LECTURE & SEMINAR> Dr Christoph Emmrich (Toronto) - 14 March 2020, SOAS University of London - The Buddhist Forum sponsored by Khyentse Foundation

Ema Sala Discussion
Dear colleagues,

the SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies is delighted to announce another event in the Buddhist Forum series sponsored by Khyentse foundation. Dr Christoph Emmrich (University of Toronto) will lecture on "Misāyā Tisā Bareyā Nasā, or A Woman’s Jewels are the Monk’s Food: Materiality, Gender, and Buddhism in Newar Life and Poetry”, and subsequently hold a seminar on "A Jewel-Themed Introductory Workshop to Newar Buddhist Language and Literature".
Due to the strike action, both lecture and seminar will take place on Saturday 14 March ( see the details below). 
If you plan to stay for the seminar, please register with me at es27@soas.ac.uk. Catering will this time include lunch sandwiches for all registered for the seminar. 

We are very excited to host this event, and hope that many of you will be able to join us. 

All the best,

Emanuela Sala
Centre of Buddhist Studies
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom
Email: es27@soas.ac.uk
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Misāyā Tisā Bareyā Nasā, or A Woman’s Jewels are the Monk’s Food: Materiality, Gender, and Buddhism in Newar Life and Poetry
Sat 14 March 2020
B102 (Brunei Gallery) SOAS

Jewellery is how Buddhist Newars spell gender and beauty, how they celebrate and take care of themselves, how they fit in and create the extraordinary. It is what makes them both modern and old-fashioned, both broadly South Asian and very Kathmandu Valley. By confronting the sociology with the poetics of jewellery, this talk will try to ask how practices involving studs, anklets, and bangles, not to speak of hair chains, head combs, and forehead pendants, articulate the ways in which Newars precariously situate themselves and attempt to find their balance on the passing historiographical cusp and travel with the flows of gold, stone, and style that traverse skin, homes, shops, markets, and state borders. How do Newars manage desire, fulfillment, religion, and the content of their purses, not to mention the words to express all this, without turning themselves into museum pieces or selling out to the highest bidding pawnbroker? This talk suggests that medieval bodhisattva tales, 19th century songs of love, and 20th century epic poetry may bear the answer.

A Jewel-Themed Introductory Workshop to Newar Buddhist Language and Literature
Sat 14 March 2020
1-4 pm
B203 (Brunei Gallery) SOAS

The workshop linked to the lecture will walk participants through select passages from Buddhist literature in Old and Contemporary Newar, such as the Newar version of the Maṇicūḍāvadāna, which famously features the jewel in the head of a prince, 19th century bhajans dedicated to the decorations of Buddhist deities of the Kathmandu Valley, and Cittadhar Hṛdaya’s 20th century mahākāvya Sugata Saurabha, in which jewellery helps rearticulate Newar Buddhist modernity between the ostentatious and the austere. The directed readings will be prefaced by a brief introduction to the phonology, morphology, and syntax of literary Newar to facilitate the access to the original sources.

Christoph Emmrich is a Newarologist, Burmologist, Indologist, and Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto, where he has been teaching Newar, Burmese, Pali, Buddhist, and Jain Studies since 2006. When he does not teach, he divides his time between Lalitpur, Mawlamyine, Mandalay, and Pondicherry conducting research on rites and ritual literature, shop-keeping, and list-making, as well as poetry, textual practice, and temple management. His latest monograph Writing Rites for Newar Girls. Marriage, Mimesis, and Memory in the Kathmandu Valley is forthcoming with Brill.