Buddhist Studies Graduate Student Conference

CFP: Buddhist Studies Graduate Student Conference at FSU

November 10-11, 2017—Tallahassee, Florida 

Buddhism and Identity: Discourse, Marginality, and Misrepresentation

The Florida State University Department of Religion, in conjunction with the Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies, and the Fifth Annual Sheng Yen Buddhist Studies Lecture Series are pleased to announce the 2017 Buddhist Studies Graduate Student Conference. 

Dr. Meir Shahar of Tel Aviv University will deliver the Keynote address as a part of the Sheng Yen Buddhist Studies Lecture Series. The conference will conclude with a second Keynote address and a Buddhist Studies roundtable discussion consisting of guest respondents and FSU Buddhist Studies faculty, whose expertise cover Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese Buddhism. 

This conference aims to feature Buddhist Studies as an interdisciplinary field, and actively seeks papers that present a multiplicity of approaches and perspectives that cross departmental lines. Focusing on the theme of “Buddhism and Identity,” we welcome presentations about how Buddhism is represented not only as a religion, but how, as an idea, it is conceived of and understood as a social, cultural entity. Specifically, applicants are encouraged to consider how the study of Buddhism manifests from and exists within the margins in multiple contexts—historical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological—and how marginal groups or individuals construct themselves, or are constructed by the religious majority and scholars, through certain discourses from both pre-modern and modern perspectives.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Marginal/Minority Experiences of Buddhism; Buddhism in the Creation and Maintenance of Personal or Group Identity; Buddhism within, or as a Power Structure of Identity Creation; Buddhist Identity and Popular Culture; Academia and Buddhism; The Body as a site of Buddhist Identity; Negotiation No-Self and Personal Identity. 

The conference will proceed as four panels, consisting of three to four presenters (total of 12-16 student presenters) and one to two faculty respondents. Each presenter will have roughly 15-20 minutes to present their paper (not exceeding 60 minutes in total) and roughly 30 minutes afterwards for feedback from the respondent(s) and questions from the audience. Each panel will be no more than 90 minutes. 

Owing to the generosity of the Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies, outstanding papers will have the opportunity to appear in a special issue highlighting the work of graduate students in Buddhist Studies. Additionally, an award for best paper will be presented after Dr. Shahar’s keynote address. 

In keeping with the conference’s goal of bringing together as diverse a group as possible, an attempt will be made to award partial travel stipends for all presenters. In addition, all meals will be covered for this conference. 

Please send proposals in the form of an abstract of approximately 300 words, a list of key terms, and a one-page CV to Corbin Nall and Greige Lott ( by August 15, 2017. Final papers must be submitted by October 5, 2017.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to your proposed topics. 

Corbin Nall and Greige Lott.