The Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge invites scholars to submit proposals for papers for an international conference on the theme of Buddhist identities across twenty-first century Asia. The conference is associated with Cambridge’s Global Humanities Initiative, which aims to develop approaches to the humanities that engage with scholars around the globe and across religious, cultural, linguistic and political borders.
The conference will explore the character, changes and challenges of Buddhist identity in contemporary Asian cultures. Papers may concern the evolving nature of how Asian Buddhist identities are constructed, negotiated and intersect with other modes of identity in the globalized, technologized twenty-first century; they may investigate the dynamics of modern Asian Buddhism in relation to other religious groups, as well as cultural contexts, ethnicity and/or political institutions in different regions and settings. A central aim of the event is to provide a forum for discussion between scholars working on regions of Buddhist Asia from a distance, such as those affiliated to Western academic institutions, and those who conduct research at institutions within or proximate to Buddhist cultures, whether in South, Central, East or Southeast Asia.
Proposed contributions may employ any relevant methodology or concern any narrower subject matter that illuminates the themes outlined above. The conference is particularly interested in and encourages papers submitted by scholars at any stage in their career, including the late stages of doctoral research, who are affiliated to universities or research centres in regions of Buddhist Asia.
Five keynote speakers will present papers that deal with a range of Asian Buddhist contexts:
Prof. John Clifford Holt (Bowdoin College, USA)
Dr Elizabeth Harris (University of Birmingham, UK)
Dr Adam Yuet Chau (University of Cambridge, UK)
Dr Nicolas Sihlé (CNRS, France)
Dr Johannes Beltz (Museum Rietberg Zürich, Switzerland)
The conference will take place in Cambridge over 8–9th April 2022. The event will take a hybrid format, allowing for some contributors to present remotely, although the aim is to host in person as many participants as circumstances permit. Authors of chosen submissions will be offered accommodation in Cambridge between 7–10th April 2022. Contributors will be encouraged to seek institutional funds to support travel to and from the event, but will also be eligible to seek financial support for travel from the conference.
Paper titles and abstracts no longer than 400 words, anticipating papers no longer than 30 minutes in length, should be submitted together with a CV by 1st December 2021 to the convener, Dr Chris V. Jones, at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Queries may be sent to this same address. Outcomes will be communicated by early 2022.