Adjunct Assistant Professor
BA, Hunter College
PhD, Columbia University
Professor Young is also a Research Associate in the Division of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History where she works on Tibetan artifacts and iconography. She has been awarded two Fulbrights, two Asian Cultural Council grants, was a Research Scholar in the History of Science and in Archaeology at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and has been elected to the Hunter College Alumni Hall of Fame.
Professor Young teaches East Asian Religion, East Asian Civilization 1 and 2, and Special Topics in Asian Studies. In EA Civ 1 she focuses on ancient and medieval travel accounts of Asians and those of western travelers to Asia and in EA Civ 2 the focus is on Asian material culture. Her courses are comparative and interdisciplinary in that she utilizes texts, iconography and anthropology.
She believes that the study of religion broadens our understanding of the world and inspires an empathy for difference.
Her research focuses on gender issues in Buddhist texts, material culture and rituals; shamanism; sacred biography; pilgrimage; healing and medicine; dream theory; and archaeology. She has done fieldwork in India, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China and Russia.
Professor Young is the author of Women Who Fly: Goddesses, Witches, Mystics, and Other Airborne Females
(Oxford University Press: 2018), Courtesans and Tantric Consorts: Sexualities in Buddhist Narrative, Ritual, & Iconography
(Routledge, 2004) and Dreaming in the Lotus: Buddhist Dream Narrative, Imagery, and Practice
(Wisdom, 1999); editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion
(Macmillan 1998); editor of An Anthology of Sacred Texts By and About Women
(Crossroads & HarperCollins, 1993); most recently she has published Body & Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings
, (AMNH Publications and University of Washington Press, 2009) and has several electronic publications on the AMNH website (www.amnh.org/our-research/anthropology/collections/highlights