The Department of Humanities, University of Toronto Scarborough,
is pleased to present
A Call for Papers
The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Conference:
Buddhism and Diaspora
Friday May 14- Sunday May 16, 2010
University of Toronto Scarborough
This international and interdisciplinary conference will examine the role religion, and specifically Buddhism, plays within diasporic communities. Communities like Chinese Buddhists, Tibetans, Newars, Sinhalese, and many others have brought with them, translated, or alternately reformulated specific types of Buddhism as crucial pieces in the ongoing negotiation of their cultural and social identities. In this context, the conference inquires whether there have been or are currently specific ways that Buddhism has answered the challenges, problems, and expectations that accompany displacement and relocation.
This conference will question the role diaspora has had in the history and self-perception of Buddhism through the ages, both within Asia and during its more modern spread to other parts of the world. This can prompt us to examine how Buddhism has figured in developing and changing notions related to authenticity, tradition, ethnicity, belonging, nation, and landscape, in the light of displacement, exile, violence, travel, and integration. By thematizing diaspora as a situation in which both Buddhism’s local articulations as well as its trans-local content are confronted, questioned and reformulated, this conference is an opportunity to bridge current methodological and thematic dichotomies between current ethnographic and text-oriented approaches in the study of Buddhism and Buddhist societies. These questions will help address larger issues of how Buddhist texts and Buddhist practitioners conceptualize and participate in the formation of lived diaspora in both modern and historic settings.
The conference will encourage speakers to probe into the following questions:
How may a Buddhist heritage account for a certain kind of diasporic experience?
Which strategies do Buddhist agents, practice and doctrine offer to mediate between the locality of the community’s provenance and that of its host country? Between the diasporic communities and other religious communities? Between the political and economic conditions of their displacement?
What role does Buddhism play in the creation of such conditions?
What kind of new forms of religiosity emerge from such transfer and reconfiguration?
This conference will address such questions through multiple formats for scholarly inquiry, namely organized panels with discussants, roundtables, keynotes lectures, and public events.
The program committee welcomes proposals for papers from academics, professionals, graduate students and others. Proposals that include a max 300 word abstract of the paper and a short academic CV should be made online through our submissions site at:
At this website applicants can cut and paste both abstract and CV into our web form.
The deadline for submissions is October 30, 2009. Participants will be notified by December 1st if their submission has been successful.
For more information, please visit our website: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~humdiv/TLKY/event3
Keynote Address, Friday May 14th: Professor Victor Hori (McGill University)
This conference is sponsored generously by an endowment for the advancement of Buddhist studies, made possible by a gift from the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Foundation (Hong Kong) to the University of Toronto Scarborough. Questions about this event or any other aspect of the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Conference Series in Buddhist Studies may be addressed to Sarah Richardson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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