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September 22, 2013

Dissertation Workshop: Theravada history and cultural practice among South or Southeast Asian communities

Call for Dissertation Workshop Proposals
Theravada history and cultural practice among South or Southeast Asian communities

The Theravada Civilizations Project is pleased to announce plans for an intensive dissertation workshop, which will be held on March 25,
2014 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (preceding the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting).

Theravada Buddhism is practiced throughout the world with over 150 million practitioners settled primarily in Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Burma, Nepal, and Thailand. The South and Southeast Asian diaspora communities as well as the rise in global interest in vipassana meditation has led to the growth of Theravada Buddhism in the Americas, Australia, Japan, and Europe. The scholarly study of Theravada Buddhism began with the scrutiny of Pali literature, but now covers many disciplines including literature, ethics, anthropology, philology, philosophy, history, cultural studies, political science, urban studies, and art and material culture.

A description of the larger project can be found in Juliane Schober and Steven Collins, The Theravada Civilizations Project: future directions in the study of Buddhism in Southeast Asia, in the (on-line) Journal Contemporary Buddhism, vol. 13 (1), May 2012. Since project members and other scholars in the field are based at many different locations, graduate students preparing their dissertations do not have the opportunity to present and gain detailed feedback on their work from several experts in the field.

This workshop is intended to bring together doctoral students and/or post-doctoral academics in the humanities and social sciences who are
(1) developing dissertation proposals or are in early phases of research, dissertation writing, or revising dissertations for publications; and who are (2) engaging some aspects of Theravada classical and/or vernacular literature and/or researching aspects of Theravada history and cultural practice among South or Southeast Asian communities.

The workshop will be limited to 6 doctoral students and/or post-doctoral academics, ideally from a broad array of disciplines and working on a wide variety of materials in a variety of time periods on themes related to Theravada traditions and communities in Southeast Asia. It will provide a day of intense discussion, presentation, and close review of dissertation proposals, outlines, and/or draft review on March 25. 2014. Priority will be given to doctoral candidates at North American universities.

The Theravada Civilizations Project will be able to provide up to 1,000 US dollars in support for participants to help cover travel and accommodation. Meals will be provided at the workshop. Students needing additional funds to attend the workshop are encouraged to approach their home institutions for support.

Applicants need not have advanced to candidacy but must have at least drafted a dissertation research proposal to apply. Applications are also welcome from doctoral students in the early phases of writing their dissertations, as well as those in the later phases and recent post-docs. Applications consist of two items only:

(1) A current Curriculum Vitae, and
(2) A dissertation proposal, or a statement of the specific issues being addressed, the intellectual approach, and the materials being studied. Neither the proposal nor statement should exceed 10 double-spaced pages in length.

Application materials must reach Steven Collins at s-collins@uchicago.edu no later than January 1, 2014. Workshop participants will be selected on the basis of the submitted projects, the potential for useful exchanges among them, and a concern to include a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, intellectual traditions, and regions. Applicants will be notified by February 1, 2014. For further information about the workshop, or eligibility, please contact Prof. Collins at the above email address.

Posted by katemw at September 22, 2013 12:29 PM

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