Kirk Johnson was raised for most of his childhood in the mountains of Western India where he attended an International Baha’i School with students from over 34 different countries. This experience had a profound and indelible impact on his life, world view and the course of his future career. He returned to the United States for University at the age of 17 and found himself drawn to the social sciences. After earning his Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal, Canada he moved to the polar opposite side of the world (a tropical island in the Pacific) where he now lives in a little cottage with his beautiful wife Sarah and their son Aidan, a stone’s through from the tranquil blue ocean. And when he is not building tree houses or forts with his son, or tending his garden or bumming on the beach, he works at the University of Guam as a professor of Sociology.
He has lived on Guam since 1998 and has served as Director of the Bali Field School for a decade and a half. Traveling to Bali, Indonesia with students and scholars for the past fifteen years has been the most rewarding part of his job, allowing him the opportunity to connect with others in ways that a classroom setting makes difficult. And though this project keeps him up late into the night planning and fundraising throughout the year, he knows that one glimpse of a student standing in the middle of a rice field on their first morning in Bali or watching their spirit transform as they sit on a dirt floor in a remote village and laugh and talk and sing with children and families that seem to live a life so radically different from their own, allowing them to reflect deeply on the social, economic, and geo-political forces that have created such vast differences in wealth in the world today, makes it all worth it. Kirk’s areas of research and academic interest include development and social change, globalization, mass media, culture, religion and education, human ecology and sustainability.
Kirk is also very involved in learning about the nature of capacity building and community development among diverse Pacific island communities and his work and service as a Baha’i takes him to communities throughout Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia to learn how village communities at the grassroots are endeavoring to empower children and junior youth, are striving to foster the devotional life of their families and communities and how indigenous peoples from varied backgrounds are learning to take charge of their own material and spiritual destinies. To learn more about any of this work and to get involved in these efforts please write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
- BA - Sociology, Fort Hays State University, 1990
- MA- Sociology, Ohio University, 1992
- MA - International Development, 1992
- Ph.D. - Sociology, McGill University, 1998
Bali Field School
Click on the links below to find out more about the Bali Field School, an annual course that is held each year over spring break.
Student Research and Service
Casting Our Net: Rediscovering Community in the 21st Century (Documentary Produced by the 2007 Bali Field School) - 5 Part Series.
This Documentary has been screen at three International Academic Conferences as well as in Bali, Indonesia.