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Bogel is Professor of Japanese Art History and Buddhist Visual Cultures in East Asia. Her research and publications feature the study of ancient religious icons, most often Buddhist statues. She is especially interested in icons that have received attention in art history scholarship but pose unique challenges or suggest to her alternative narratives, including the Kanshinji Nyoirin Kannon 観心寺如意輪観音 (9th c.), the Yakushiji Main Hall triad 薬師寺金堂薬師三尊像 (8th century), and icons and temples associated with the early 9th-c. Esoteric masters Kūkai and Saichō. Patronage, devotional or ritual elements, historiography, and modes of visual reception that may have formed meanings for ancient icons—as well as our interpretations today—underpin much of her research. Other publications and areas of expertise include Japanese temples and shrines, ukiyoe prints, crafts such as ceramics and textiles, contemporary art, design and fashion, cultural heritage systems, and museum practice.

Co-chair of IMAP from 2012–18, she teaches seminars and courses on Japanese art history and East Asian Buddhist visual culture. In 2015 Bogel established the Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q) with Faculty of Humanities Professor Tomoyuki Kubo and the help of Associate Professor Ellen Van Goethem, and she served as Editor for the Journal from its inception until 2019. Before assuming her current position at Kyushu University in spring 2012 she taught Japanese and Asian art history for twenty years in the USA. She was Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon and Associate Professor at the University of Washington (Seattle), where she received promotion and tenure in 2007. She was Curator of Asian Art and Ethnology at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and has continued as an occasional independent curator. Bogel holds MA and PhD degrees from Harvard University.