CFP> Panel "Tibetan Buddhism in Translation," 15th IATS Seminar, Paris, France, July 7 to 13 2019

James Gentry's picture

Dear Colleagues, 


We would like to invite interested scholars to submit paper proposals for our cross-disciplinary panel, "Tibetan Buddhism in Translation," to be held at the 15th IATS Seminar, Paris, 7-13 July 2019. 


We look forward to receiving your proposals. 


With all best wishes, 


James Gentry

Assistant Professor

Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute

Kathmandu University


Ana Cristina Lopes


University of Virginia



Panel: Tibetan Buddhism in Translation

The 15th IATS Seminar Paris, France, June 7-13 2019


Translation has arguably been the single most defining dynamic in the formation of Tibetan Buddhist traditions and in their interactions with immediate neighbors and more distant global interlocutors. From Tibetan imperial times to the contemporary Tibetan diaspora, Buddhist ideas and practices have been the focal point of translational activity on many different levels. Tibetans have often understood translational activity as foundational in the formation of the Tibetan literary language and Tibetan cultural identity; enduring engagement with translation has led Tibetan scholars to periodize Tibetan history according to translational activity (snga ’gyur/phyi ’gyur); the translation of texts and cultural concepts was pivotal in the formation of the field of Tibetan Studies; and translational activity has been a key concern in the missionary activities of Tibetan Lamas and non-Tibetan converts.


Recently theorists such as Bruno Latour and others have recast the notion of “translation” to signal transitional pivots and points of inflection active in the formation of networks that constitute contemporary societies. Inspired by this expansion of the notion of translation beyond mere linguistic transfer, this panel proposes that translation—not only of texts, but also of ideas, objects, practices, traditions—is a productive rubric through which to analyze the dynamics and rhetoric involved in processes of cultural re-signification that Tibetan Buddhist and associated traditions have undergone in manifold contexts.      


We invite paper proposals drawing variously from anthropological, historical, philological, philosophical, and/or translation studies perspectives from scholars concerned with exploring  multidisciplinary approaches to how translation has diversely figured in interactions with Tibetan Buddhist traditions across linguistic, social, and cultural boundaries, both historically and in the contemporary period. 


All submissions will be considered, but papers exploring the following areas of inquiry are particularly welcome: 1) multi-lingual source or target cultures, texts, or practices; 2) complex receptions of literary translations; 3) social and cultural impact of literary translation activities; 4) philosophical and other conceptual incompatibilities and compatibilities between source and target cultures; 5) cultural translations of ritual performances and sacred objects, artwork, and architecture; 6) issues in the transplantation of practices to a global context; 7) roles of contemporary mindfulness movements and science in the cultural translation of Buddhist traditions.


The deadline for submissions is May 26th. Please send paper proposals to James Gentry ( and Ana Cristina Lopes (  




Categories: CFP