Maya Stiller

Assistant Professor, Korean Art and Visual Culture
Primary office:
231 Spencer Museum of Art


Professor Maya Stiller specializes in Chosŏn period (1392-1910) Korean art and visual culture. After double majoring in Korean Studies and Art History for her BA and MA, she spent several years of field research in Korea and Japan, followed by a doctoral degree in Korean Art History from Freie Universität Berlin in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Asian Languages & Cultures (focus: Korean History and Buddhist Studies) from UCLA in 2014. As an art historian with an interdisciplinary approach, professor Stiller explores visual interpretations of Buddhist faith and ritual practice in Chosŏn Korea. Her most recent article, “Slaves, Village Headmen, and Aristocrats: Patronage and Functions of Buddhist Sculpture Burials in Late Koryŏ and Early Chosŏn Korea,” will be published in Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, while another article, “The Politics of Commemoration: Patronage of Monk-General Shrines in Late Chosŏn Korea,” was published in the Journal of Asian Studies in 2018. Professor Stiller’s research projects have received support from the ACLS/Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, the Korea Institute at Harvard University, and the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University.


Ph.D., Asian Languages & Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles, 2014
Dr. phil., East Asian Art History, Freie Universität Berlin, 2008
Mag. (B.A.+M.A.), Korean Studies/Art History, Humboldt Universität Berlin, 2003

Academic Positions

2013 – Present: Assistant Professor, University of Kansas
2016 – 2018: ACLS/The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University
2015 – 2016: Soon Young Kim Postdoctoral Fellow, Korea Institute, Harvard University
2012: Junior Research Fellow, Academy of Korean Studies
2011 – 2012: Research Fellow, Kyūshū University
2008: Special Researcher, Kyujanggak Archives, Seoul National University
2004 – 2008: Lecturer, East Asian Art History, Freie Universität Berlin

Selected Publications

"Slaves, Village Headmen, and Aristocrats: Patronage and Functions of Buddhist Sculpture Burials in Late Koryŏ and Early Chosŏn Korea." Cahiers d’Extreme-Asie (12/2019): TBD.

“The Politics of Commemoration: Patronage of Monk-General Shrines in Late Chosŏn Korea.” The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 77, issue 1 (2018): 83-105.

“Han'guk kosŭng chin'yŏng ŭi t'ŭk'sŏng kwa kinŭng: Specific Aspects and Functions of Korean Monk Portraits." In: Maŭmi kot puch'ŏ, chŭksim sibul - Buddha in the Heart, ed. Kwangju National Museum, 236-245. Kwangju: Kwangju National Museum, 2017. In Korean. Available for download at

“Gim Hong-do’s Album of Geumgangsan and the Four Prefectures (Geumgang sagun cheop 金剛四郡帖, 1788): A Visual Record of Late Joseon Travel Culture.” In 60 Jahre – 60 Werke: Festschrift für Prof. Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch, ed. A. Bergmann, S.-L. Hertel, J. Noth, A. Papist-Matsuo, W. Schrape, 152-157. Weimar: VDG, 2015.

Thirty-nine entries (Buddhist art-historical terminology, places, names). In Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, ed. R. Buswell & D. Lopez, eds. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.

Courses Taught

Graduate Seminars
Art of the Olympics: Tokyo, PyeongChang, Beijing, Seoul (co-taught with Maki Kaneko)
Buddhist Art of Korea: Faith, Power and Paradise
Korea-Japan Artistic Interactions, 300 CE – present (co-taught with Maki Kaneko)
Korean Ceramics in East Asia
Sacred Sites in East Asia (co-taught with Amy McNair)

Undergraduate Classes
Buddhist Art of Korea
Ceramic Arts of Korea – Placenta Jars, Pottery Wars and Tea Culture
Modern Korean Art & Culture

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