PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
November 18-21, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting Program (PDF)

Program Book Ads

Preliminary 2017 Annual Meeting Program (MS Word)

To return to the Welcome Page, please click here.

For questions or support, email

To return to the AAR website, click here.

Buddhism Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit is the largest, most stable, and most diverse forum for Buddhist studies in North America. We embrace the full historical range of the Buddhist tradition from its inception some two-and-a-half millennia ago to the present and span its entire geographical sweep — the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, and the West. In addition to being historically and geographically inclusive, we have made efforts to encourage methodological plurality. Papers presented in recent years reflect, in addition to the philological and textual approaches of classic Buddhology, the methods of intellectual history, institutional history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, gender and cultural studies, art history, literary theory, and postcolonial studies. We will continue to encourage cross-disciplinary exchange. This Unit is the forum of choice for many established scholars. For some years now, we have also striven to provide a forum for younger scholars to aid them in establishing their careers. Under normal circumstances, at least one session at the Annual Meeting is devoted to four or five individual papers; often many or all of these are from graduate students or younger scholars making their first academic presentation at a national conference. In recent years, a growing number of foreign scholars have come to recognize this Unit as a valuable forum to submit proposals, including scholars whose primary language is not English. We wish to continue to promote communication with scholars abroad and to provide opportunities for younger scholars.

Call for Papers: 

The Buddhism Unit welcomes proposals for papers sessions, individual papers, and roundtables in all areas of the study of Buddhism. To encourage greater exchange among the various subfields within Buddhist Studies, we are particularly interested in sessions that confront enduring problems in the study of Buddhism, raise important theoretical or methodological issues, and/or bring fresh materials or perspectives to bear on themes of broad interest.

This year we are especially interested in sessions that focus on the contributions of Buddhist Studies to methodologies and pedagogies in the study of religion(s) broadly conceived. We are also interested in sessions that examine particular themes and problems relevant to the study of Buddhism across time and space. We welcome proposals for 90-minute or 120-minute sessions, for roundtables, and for sessions featuring pre-distributed papers or utilizing other innovative formats.
Below are some of the themes that our members have proposed for next year. If you are interested in contributing to a proposal on one of these topics, please contact the organizer directly.

Proposed sessions and organizers include:
• Practical Canons in Context (Adam Krug,

• Building Buddhist Monasteries in Image, Texts, and Material (Gregory Adam Scott,

• Embodiment, Place, and Landscape (Ivette Vargas-O'Bryan,

• Teaching Buddhism (Amy Langenberg,, and Manuel Lopez, (

• The intersections of LGBT or queer sexualities and subjectivities in Buddhist traditions (Julie Regan,

• Works of Ashvaghosha (; Buddhism and the Body (William McGrath,; and

• Approaches to the Buddhist Councils (Thomas Borchert,, and Kristin Scheible,

• Art, Ritual, and Embodiment (Rae Dachille,

• For a possible co-sponsored session with Bioethics and Religion, we welcome papers concerning any aspect of bioethics theory or practical issue from the perspective of Buddhism, or one that is comparative in nature. Papers addressing the conference theme of vulnerability are especially welcomed (George Randels, grandels@PACIFIC.EDU)

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee