Meghen Jones

Associate Professor of Art History
Art History
School of Art and Design
Harder Hall, Room 285
Tue. 3:00-4:30pm; Wed. 2:00-3:00pm
Meghen Jones

"Verbalizing design is another act of design."

- Hara Kenya


  • PhD, History of Art & Architecture, Boston University
  • MA, Ceramics Craft Design, Musashino Art University
  • BA, Japanese Studies and Fine Arts, Earlham College


Meghen Jones is Associate Professor of Art History in the School of Art and Design. She teaches introductory courses on material culture and Buddhist arts; upper-level undergraduate courses on ceramics history, design history, and East Asian visual and material culture; and the graduate seminar History of Ceramic Art, Craft, and Design: Global Flows. Her teaching emphasizes the direct study of objects, and she has led student programs to museums and collections in the US, Canada, and Japan.

Jones graduated in 1993 with a dual major BA in Japanese Studies and Fine Arts from Earlham College in Indiana, followed by further language training at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies and completion of an MA in Ceramic Craft Design at Musashino Art University, Tokyo (1997). After a period of creating and teaching ceramics, working for private collectors, directing a university art gallery, and instructing art history courses, she earned an MA and PhD in Art and Architectural History from Boston University (2014), conducting her dissertation research at the Crafts Gallery of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Prior to Alfred, she was Teaching Fellow in Japanese Studies at Earlham College (2011–2013), and a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Norwich, U.K. (2013–2014).

Her research, for which she received the Faculty Scholar Award in 2022 and 2023, focuses on Japanese art and design 1868 to today; global flows of ceramic art and design; modernisms; and craft theory. She is particularly interested in modern ceramics and issues of culture identity, power, cultural appropriation, and US-Japan relations after World War II. Recent peer-reviewed publications include the article "Mingei" in Oxford Bibliographies in Art History; “Kitaōji Rosanjin in New York, 1954” in Impressions; the chapter “National Treasure Tea Bowls as Cultural Icons in Modern Japan” in The Construction and Dynamics of Cultural Icons (University of Amsterdam Press); and the book Ceramics and Modernity in Japan (Routledge), co-edited with Louise Allison Cort. Her current work in progress is editing the multi-author exhibition catalogue Path of the Teabowl, to be published by the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum and documenting the exhibition there she curated. Her lectures on Japanese ceramics and related topics have been hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Crocker Art Museum, and the University of Michigan, among others. Jones’s translations from Japanese to English have appeared in projects such the Google Cultural Institute’s Made in Japan.

Grant and fellowship support for her research has been provided by the Japan Foundation, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts & Cultures, the Fulbright Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and others.

Jones's administrative leadership experience includes serving as Art History division chair (8/2019-12/2020), Director of Global Studies (10/2018-12/2020), and co-chairing the Online Faculty Development Task Force (summer 2020). She is currently co-chairing the university-wide Middle States Commission on Higher Education Re-accreditation Self-Study. 


Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Material Culture
  • Buddhist Arts of Asia
  • History of Modern Design
  • Arts of Japan
  • Ceramics in Japan and Beyond
  • East Asian Design & Material Culture
  • Anime to Zen: Contemporary Japanese Visual & Material Culture
  • Modern and Contemporary Ceramics
  • History of Ceramic Art, Craft and Design: Global Flows
  • BS Thesis in Art History and Theory

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