Jonathan Thumas (Jon) entered the PhD program in East Asian Languages and Civilizations in 2017. He specializes in Japanese Buddhism, with a secondary PhD field in Archaeology through the Department of Anthropology. Before coming to Harvard, he received his MA in Religion from Columbia University and BA in Religion and Anthropology from Roanoke College. His research interests are in the archaeology and social history of Buddhism in medieval Japan. He is writing his dissertation on the development of Buddhist hermitage communities called bessho 別所, literally “separate places,” from the tenth through thirteenth centuries, using a combination of texts and archaeological remains. Outside of his research, writing, and teaching, he is a longtime enthusiast of Boston and New England hardcore music and a newfound fan of role-playing video games.