Maren Jill Adams

Associate Teaching Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Director of Global Learning and Undergraduate Research Programs

Maren Jill Adams specializes in post-1945 visual and memorial culture in Japan and Germany, with a broader interest in Asian and Continental Philosophy of Religion.

Dr. Adams also has a passion for curricular, pedagogical, and program development in areas of Experiential Learning, particularly Global Learning and Undergraduate Research. At Oxford College, she has taught courses and directed student researchers in Interdisciplinary Studies, Religion, English, and our Discovery Seminar, Milestone, and Honors programs. In addition to her service to Emory University academic, staff, and student communities, she participates in the American Academy of Religion, where she recently served on the steering committees for the "Religion, Affect and Emotion" and "Religion, Holocaust, and Genocide" sections; The Forum on Education Abroad, where she serves on the Annual Conference steering committee; American Philosophical Association; Association of American Colleges and Universities; Association for Asian Studies; NAFSA: Association of International Educators; and Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. 

Dr. Adams earned her Ph.D. (as Jill Petersen Adams) with the dissertation "Irreconcilable Mourning: Inheritance, Redemption, and the Critique of History" in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. In addition to her academic interests, she has a passion for martial arts: after training in kendo for a few years, she currently trains karate in Atlanta, and she has trained and taught Okinawan Goju Ryu karate with a school in Syracuse, NY. She also loves to bring students and colleagues to Japan.


Ph.D.| Syracuse University| 2013

MA| Syracuse University| 2007

BA| Emory University| 2003

AA| Oxford College of Emory University| 2001

Courses Taught

Visual Culture (IDS 216E)

Discovery Seminar: "In Praise of Shadows? Ways of Seeing in Japan" (DSC 101Q)

Introduction to Religion (Rel 100QW)

Honors Seminar: "Writing the Disaster: Witnessing, 1945" (Honors 300/ Eng 389RW)

Death and Dying in World Religions (Rel 323)

(Elsewhere: Introduction to the Study of Religion; Dying, Death, and Mourning)


As Jill Petersen Adams:

“High Fidelity: Pedagogy and Postatomic Japanese Chronicle.” Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies (November 2021).

"Seeking Peace, Seeking Justice: Place-based Pedagogies and Global Connections." In Interdisciplinary Approaches to Pedagogy and Place-Based Education: From Abstract to the Quotidian. Edited by Deric Shannon and Jeffery Galle. (PalgraveMacmillan, 2017): 147-166.

“Acts of Irreconcilable Mourning: Post-Holocaust Witness and Testimony.” Culture, Theory, and Critique, Volume 56, Issue 2 (November 2015): 228-244.

“Mourning, the Messianic, and the Specter: Derrida’s Appropriation of Benjamin in Specters of Marx.” Philosophy Today 51 (Supplement 2007): 140-147.

“Gerhard Richter: Afterness: Figures of following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics.Continental Philosophy Review, Volume 45, Issue 4 (2013): 587-592.

Research Interests

In addition to general interests in philosophy of religion, death and dying, and East Asian (particularly Japanese) religious and philosophical traditions, current research interests include:

Mourning and memorial transmission in post-1945 Japan and Germany

Transgenerational remembrance; New technologies of mourning and memory

Intersections of theories of mourning with work on memory, affect theory, embodiment, gender, and peace and conflict studies

Pedagogical scholarship, particularly focused on high impact practices such as global learning and other experiential learning