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July 23, 2013

Buddhist Meditation: History, Culture, Development, Science

The Buddhist Studies Group at the University of Virginia is pleased to announce an interdisciplinary graduate student conference to be hosted on the UVa Grounds in Charlottesville, VA from Feb 28 to March 2 on the theme of “Buddhist Meditation: History, Culture, Development, Science.”

In recent years, Buddhist meditation has come to be studied within an increasing number of academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences as well as the physical sciences. At the same time, there has also been an explosion of interest in the functional applications of Buddhist and Buddhist-derived meditation techniques within a wide range of professional fields including education, medicine and care giving, athletics, and business.

This conference will provide a collaborative forum for both established and emerging scholars from a diverse range of academic
and professional disciplines to showcase their research and engage in discussion about the range of methodological approaches currently being brought to bear on the study of Buddhist meditation and to discuss and contextualize current appropriations and transformations of Buddhist contemplative practice. The conference will include:
• Keynote address by Georges Dreyfus(Williams College) [to be confirmed].
• Innovative interactive panels, in which selected graduate students will present and discuss their research.
• A symposium investigating contemporary definitions and applications of contemplative practice (Details to follow).

Call for Paper Proposals
Along the lines of this year’s theme, we are looking for paper proposals from students currently enrolled in M.A. or Ph.D.
programs from a diverse range of disciplines including: Religious Studies, Area Studies, History, Cognitive Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Neuroscience, Medicine and Care-giving, Visual and Performing Arts, Education, and Art History. We strongly encourage proposals that stretch received boundaries and
challenge the way we study and think about Buddhist meditation. The papers that will be chosen for presentation will be those that
not only reflect excellent research and inquiry within their respective fields of study, but also demonstrate a relevancy to other
disciplines and illuminate some of the challenges that arise when we approach Buddhist meditation in the academic world. Some potential approaches include:
• Problems in studying the historical development of Buddhist meditation
• Critical investigations into the secularization and re-contextualization of Buddhist meditation practices
• Behavioral, interpersonal, and ethical dimensions of Buddhist meditation
• The role of the visual and performing artsin Buddhist meditation practice
• How the body has been perceived and utilized within specific Buddhist contemplative systems
• The role of creativity and innovation vis-à-vis lineage and “tradition”
• Therapeutic and instrumental(vs. soteriological) applications of Buddhist meditation
• Institutionaland pedagogical frameworks
• The role of the literary in Buddhist meditation traditions (e.g. biography, philosophical literature, poetry, etc…)

Paper Proposal Submission Guidelines
Please submit an abstract of your paper of not more than 500 words, along with your name, university and department affiliation,
and a brief bio, to gradbuddhismconf2013@gmail.comby September 30, 2013. You will be notified by November 15 of the
status of your proposal, after which we will publish a detailed schedule of the conference.
* Due to generous support we are pleased to announce that we will be able to provide accommodation and partial travel stipends
for those accepted panelists who are unable to secure funding from their home institutions.

We also warmly welcome and encourage non-presenting graduate students and academic scholars to attend at their own cost. Regrettably, we cannot provide letters of invitation to international presenters and attendees for visa purposes, as we are not equipped to take legal responsibility for international visitors. Thus, all travel and visa arrangements are your own responsibility.

If you require further information or clarification, please contact the conference organizers at: gradbuddhismconf2013@gmail.com

Posted by katemw at July 23, 2013 07:31 AM

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