I am a writer and scholar based in San Francisco, CA, and have published widely for both academic and popular audiences. Much of my writing over the past decade, which includes a book (Imagery, Ritual and Birth), is devoted to the topic of birth in the humanities. My academic background is in the history of religions with a focus on Chinese art and religion (PhD, UC Santa Barbara), art history (MA, UC Santa Barbara) and philosophy and language (BA, New York University). Trained in interdisciplinary and comparative work, I also write about Chinese art and religion, Catalan culture, philosophy and art. Locally, I have written about issues of race and class in San Francisco, as well as art of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In addition to my writing, I have taught humanities classes in the University of California and California State University systems, and have over the past decade researched as a visiting scholar with both the Philosophy Department and the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as at the Graduate Theological Union and the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley. Videos I have made, including a series on Chinese art, philosophy and religion and Catalan art and culture, have been used by others in their academic teaching, including at Stanford University.

I have served as President of the American Academy of Religion, Western Region (AAR/WR), and organized the region’s first virtual conference in 2020, which was also the first major regional virtual conference of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). A report I wrote about that event is available online through AAR/WR’s website and was also published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). I have worked on various editorial teams since 2011 and am currently an associate editor for Sophia: International Journal of Philosophy and Traditions.

In my spare time, I have found much joy in teaching philosophy and humanities classes to children through Outschool, an online education platform, and I also play the fiddle as part of an Irish music group in San Francisco. My husband Toni and I live in San Francisco and are raising our two children, Kieran and Montserrat. We are occasionally in Catalonia, which is where Toni is from and his family lives, and we live our lives close to Catalan culture.
You can email me at: amhennessey at gmail dot com. I am comfortable corresponding in Catalan, Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, Italian and Spanish.

Anna Hennessey, PhD