PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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Yogācāra Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The Yogācāra tradition within Buddhism provides the seminal basis for many forms of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Yogācāra was the preeminent Buddhist school for many centuries in India, East Asia, and Tibet. Even after its relative decline as a distinct tradition, its teachings continued to provide the basis for both the theory and practice of subsequent Buddhist Mahāyāna schools throughout Asia, and it has seen a resurgence in the 20th and 21st century in Asia, including in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and among Tibetans.

Call for Papers: 

The Yogācāra Studies Unit section welcomes proposals for papers sessions, individual papers, and roundtables . These sessions might focus on a classical text, on specific topics or themes, on methodological issues, or on recent publications in the field (books, papers, etc.).
The allocation of sessions for the Yogācāra Studies Unit is either A) One 2.5 hour session and one 90 minute session. or B) Three 90 minute sessions, two of which are co-sponsored sessions. The choice of which option to use will be dictated by the number and types of panel proposals received.


At this year's Business Meeting, a number of proposals were put forward. We welcome submissions for these panels as well as suggestions for other topics.

● Text Focused Session -
We generally devote our dedicated session to discussion of a particular primary text, which should be conducted according to the following guidelines: preferably, the text should be extent in Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan, and there should also be a translation, even a partial one, into English. The panel organizer and speakers (3-5) select beforehand a rather short section of the text, and make it available online at least two weeks prior to the Annual meeting. During the session, which will be either a 90 min or 2.5 hours long, speakers should be ready for brief presentations – not more than 7 minutes long – aimed at raising questions and points for the discussion. The remaining time will be dedicated for a close reading of the text section by the group and discussion. Possible texts include but are not limited to:

○ The Mahāyānasūtrālamkāra and its commentaries. Anyone interested in participating in this panel should contact John Powers: john.powers@deakin.edu.au

○ The Bodhisattvabhūmi
Anyone interested in participating in this panel should contact Pierre-Julien Harter

● It is usually the case that we co-chair panels with other Units as well (if proposing a session, please provide suggestions for co-sponsorship). Current suggestions for such panels include but are not limited to :

○ Yogācāra and Tantra/ Kashmiri Śaivaism.
Anyone interested in organizing or participating in this panel should contact the Unit's co-chairs: roy.tzohar@gmail.com;brennanj@kenyon.edu

○ Yogācāra and Modern Indian (especially Neo –Vedānta), Tibetan, and Chinese Thought.
Anyone interested in participating in this panel should contact Jay Garfield (India and Tibet) jgarfiel@smith.edu and Eyal Aviv (China) aviv@email.gwu.edu

○ The reception and transformation of Yogācāra in East Asia, with particular focus on the Cheng weishi lun of Xuanzang.
Anyone interested in organizing or participating in this panel should contact the Unit's co-chairs: roy.tzohar@gmail.com;brennanj@kenyon.edu

Other topics are welcomed. We look forward to receiving your proposals.

Method: 
PAPERS
E-mail with Attachment (proposal is in attachment, not in body of e-mail)
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Comments: 
Our unit fills an important niche in the Academy. We formed because there was a scarcity of specifically Yogācāra themed panels for years at AAR. The existence of our unit ensures that there will be at least two such panels at every annual meeting. This is significant because Yogācāra is one of the most influential traditions in Buddhism and has impacted developments in Buddhism in India, East Asia, and Tibet, Mongolia, and increasingly western countries. Its analyses of consciousness and techniques of meditation are central to many Buddhist traditions and are fundamental to current practice traditions.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee