Civilizational Dynamics: Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies


Arizona State University    |    July 31-August 6, 2016    |    Application Deadline is April 15, 2016


With the support of The Robert N. Ho Family Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, Arizona State University offers a week-long workshop on teaching about Buddhism at the post-secondary level to facilitate new scholarly networks in this field. Interdisciplinary approaches in textual and ethnographic studies in premodern and modern contexts as well as a focus on teaching undergraduates about Buddhist histories and practices, changing academic environments and student demographics will be discussed in workshop sessions. Some readings in preparation of the workshop is expected.

Theravada Buddhists embody both traditional and modernizing interests in the religion, and represent influential voices on meditation, monastic practice, textuality, and social engaged Buddhism. The workshop focuses on recent developments in the study of and teaching about Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. Theravāda Buddhist civilizations have flourished for many centuries in Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, and in the modern world in Nepal, in some areas in India among Dalits, in Southern China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and world-wide through diaspora networks.

Workshop faculty include Professors Juliane Schober (Asian Studies, Religious Studies, ASU), Steven Collins (South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Divinity School, University of Chicago), Nancy Eberhardt (Chair of Anthropology and Sociology, Knox College) and Stephen Berkwitz (Chair of Religious Studies, Missouri State University).

Applications should include a CV and a Statement of Purpose (ca. 1,000 words) explaining how workshop participation will augment the courses you teach and contribute to the broader curriculum at your institution. Applicants need not specialize in the study of Theravāda: they may teach in Buddhist or religious studies, anthropology, history and related fields at the post-secondary level who wishes to engage in curriculum development and explore Theravāda traditions and scholarship.

Up to ten workshop participants will be admitted who teach at institutions that do not grant doctoral degrees in Buddhist studies. The award will cover travel expenses up to $1,000, meals and accommodation for 8 nights. Scholars who teach outside the U.S. may apply. Additional information about the workshop, teaching resources, and a tentative workshop curriculum can be found at Applications must be received by April 15, 2016 and notifications will be sent out in early May 2016. For further inquiries, please e-mail us at

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