- Ph.D., Yale University, Philosophy with additional work in Japanese literature
- M.A., University of Michigan, Asian Studies/Japanese Art History
- B.A. Cornell, University, College Scholar in “Visual and Linguistic Symbol Systems of Asia;” first year graduate of Eleanor Jorden’s FALCON (Full-year Asian Language CONcentration) program in Japanese.
Mara currently teaches pre-modern Japanese literature at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is an associate professor of Liberal Arts at Hawaii Tokai International College. She has taught at the college and graduate levels at a number of small private liberal arts colleges (including Colorado College and Franklin & Marshall College), art schools (Moore College of Art and Design, the University of the Arts) and at large universities (the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the University of Oregon).
She has also led a study tour for the Honors College of Yeshiva University to Kyoto and Tokyo, and traveled with Stockton College of New Jersey on the March of the Living trip to significant sites of the Holocaust in Poland.
Author of The Garden as an Art (State University of New York Press), she is finishing Terrible Knowledge (philosophical reflections on teaching and thinking about the atomic bombings) and The Philosopher’s Garden.
Current articles 2014-16 are in Philosophy and Literature, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Oxford’s The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Oxford Handbooks of World Philosophy and of Japanese Philosophy.
Some seventy of her scholarly articles and reviews have been published in China, England, Finland, Germany, Poland, and the U.S.
She publishes, lectures, and gives workshops internationally—not only at the college/graduate school level but also K-12—in the fields of:
- arts /aesthetics;
- women’s and gender studies and feminist philosophy,
- East Asian art history and philosophy, primarily Japanese, and
environmental philosophy and gardens.
- March of the Living/Travel & Study of the Holocaust, Poland, with Stockton College, May 2005
- Comparative Religious Ethics, faculty seminar, Institute for Ethics, Emory University, May 1998
- Korean Culture and Society Institute, Asian Studies Development Program, East-West Center, 1997
- The Armenian Genocide, faculty workshop, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, April 2005
- Environmental Ethics Workshop, University of North Texas, 1992
- Buddhism, Shamanism & Deep Ecology w/ Joan Halifax, Omega Inst., 1992
- Aston Magna Academy: Restoration England, 1987; Haydn’s Vienna, 1989
- Faculty Seminar on Arms control, Yale University, 1982-83
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT REGARDING PEDAGOGY
“Service Learning” faculty workshop, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
“Teaching Students with Disabilities” faculty workshop, Richard Stockton College
“Theory/Practice/Learning” faculty workshop, Emory University & Agnes Scott College
Korean Culture and Society Institute, Asian Studies Development Program, East-West Center (training to develop Korea-related curriculum)
“Exchange: Japan” workshop on Japanese language in undergraduate curricula
Teaching Asian Studies in the 1990’s, Rutgers University
Central Pennsylvania Consortium Workshop on Teaching
Teaching Philosophy & Public Policy Issues, Center for Philosophy & Public Policy, U-MD
POST-GRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINARS
Dunhuang Research Seminar, Dunhuang, China; Silk Route Foundation; Ning Qiang, director
The Folger Institute, seminar fellowship–Motivating History, Fall, Keith Moxey, director
Center for Historical Analysis, Rutgers U.: Project on the Historical Construction of Identities, John Gillis, dir.
Institute for the History of British Political Thought, Folger Institute: Politics & Politeness in the Age of Walpole,” J.G.A. Pocock, dir, with Gordon Schochett & Lois Schwoerer
Institute for the History of British Political Thought, Folger Institute: Political Thought in the English-Speaking Atlantic, 1760-1800,” Nicholas Phillipson, director
NON-ACADEMIC TRAINING AND EDUCATION
Japanese calligraphy workshop with Kobun Chino Roshi, Naropa Institute
Desert Retreat (mythology & storytelling) with Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Boulder County Safehouse: Training for assisting victims of family violence, Boulder CO
Master Gardener, State of Colorado/Colorado State University
Bugaku with Hayashi Arawana, Naropa Institute
Tractor-Trailer Driver, Truck Driver Development Service, Niles OH
Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Counseling, Ozone House, Ann Arbor MI
Desert Survival Training, Larry Dean Olsen
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)–Wind Rivers