Marta Sanvido

Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies

Marta Sanvido is a Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral fellow in Japanese Buddhism at UC Berkeley. Before moving to Berkeley, Dr. Sanvido worked as an adjunct professor of Japanese Language and Culture at Ca’Foscari University of Venice (a.a. 2019-2020). She earned a Ph.D. in Japanese religions from the same university in 2019. During her doctoral years, she conducted two years of fieldwork in Japanese temples and archives with the generous support of the Ca’Foscari International Bursary and the Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship. Sanvido’s research interests lie in the intersection of different types of knowledge emerging from Zen medieval and early modern secret textual corpus. Her dissertation traced the intellectual history of medieval and early modern Sōtō school. It focused in particular on the development of different Sōtō Zen branches and their connection with the broader context of the Japanese cultural milieu as depicted in secret manuals and accounts exchanged between the 14th to the 18th century. At UC Berkeley, she is working to shape her doctoral thesis into a book manuscript. Her first book project aims at shedding light on the dynamics of secrecy in premodern Japan by exploring a wide variety of sources such as secret texts, literary works, mythological narratives, and historical records. Dr. Sanvido is interested in a broad range of topics that include mountain religiosity, divinatory practices, women and gender, medieval Prince Shо̄toku cult, hagiography, local female deities, mythological discourses, Song-period Neo-Confucianism in Japan, and medieval medicine.