This Unit seeks to: • Provide a venue for new studies on Buddhism in non-Asian locales • Facilitate communication and exchange between scholars working on Buddhism outside of Asia • Offer a forum within which to collectively clarify the intellectual and methodological underpinnings of research on Buddhism in the West, and consider new possibilities in methods and approaches
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Buddhism in the West Unit
Call for Proposals
The Buddhism in the West Unit is seeking to fill two 90-minute sessions and strongly encourages proposals for fully developed panels, roundtable discussions, or other formats focused on a single theme, question, or recent publication. The Unit is happy to support co-sponsorships with other Units including, but not limited to: the Buddhism Unit; the Buddhist Critical-Constructive Reflection Unit; the Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit; the Space, Place, and Religion Unit; and the Class, Religion, and Theology Unit.
The Unit is particularly interested in responding to the 2023 Presidential Theme: La Labor de Nuestras Manos (The Work of Our Hands) which is concerned not only with religious labor but the labor we do as scholars of religion. In particular, Scott Mitchell and Courtney Bruntz are interested in organizing a roundtable discussion on labor in the academy and the various ways Buddhist studies scholars may contribute to the field beyond the tenure track.
Other topics that have been suggested include:
- Buddhist studies academic labor (contact Scott Mitchell and Courtney Bruntz, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
- Relief efforts by Buddhist groups in the West in response to disaster and social issues
- The establishment of temples and Buddhist centers in the Tibetan diaspora (co-sponsored with Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Unit)
- Buddhism, food, and foodways
- 19th Century Chinese Buddhism in North America (co-sponsored by the Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit)
- Author-meets-critics or roundtable discussion of Scott Mitchell’s forthcoming The Making of American Buddhism (Oxford, 2023)
- Digital space, Virtual Sangha and Globally Networked Asian (Chinese) American Buddhist Communities. (Contact: Xiao Han, Han.Xiao@courrier.uqam.ca) - Potential co-sponsorship with the Buddhism Unit
- The Changing Landscape of Black, Latinx, and Asian American Buddhisms, co-sponsored with the Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society. (Contact: Jesse Lee firstname.lastname@example.org)
AAR membership is not required to submit a proposal for the 2023 meeting. Please contact the unit co-chairs with questions.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Nalika Gajaweera, University of Southern California1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Ira Helderman, Vanderbilt University1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Kim Lam, Deakin University1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Adeana McNicholl, Vanderbilt University1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Sharon A. Suh, Seattle University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025