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Dear friends and colleagues,

Long time no see! Hope you’re all healthy, happy, and productive as usual in spite of the colossal health and geopolitical crises.

I have kept myself happily busy since the last time I posted my update. There’re just too many things to share with you; So let me stay with the essentials. After serving as a professor of anthropology and the founding director of the Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies for five years at Yunnan Minzu University, I took a faculty appointment from Yunnan University as a Kuige Professor of Ethnology, just a few blocks away within the same University Town of Kunming. All academic routines stay pretty much the same with the focus on religion and ecology, Sino-Tibetan Buddhist modernity, and environmental humanities. Since coming to Yunnan, the geography of my research has been expanded from western China/Tibetan Plateau to Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, and India. Annual traveling to South Asia and Southeast Asia becomes a routine. Fieldwork beyond East Asia and the Tibetan Plateau has surely added fresh perspectives and place-based knowledge to my scholarly productivity.

My modern Buddhist studies, likewise, are increasingly taking ecological perspectives and are steadily resituated in environmental humanities. Through working with native peoples in Tibet, Yunnan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar, I continue to see the environmental value of Buddhist cultures and civilizations. At the same time, I’m also having a deeper awareness of indigenous, pre-Buddhist ecological knowledge and practices among Buddhist communities in the greater Himalayan region. This awareness compels me to re-examine the claimed ecological knowledge in the Buddhist canonic texts. Admittedly, the indigenous practices done in the name of Buddhism turn out to be a formidable contribution to what we know as Buddhist ecology. My recent publications, such as Environmental Humanities in the New Himalayas: Symbiotic Indigeneity, Commoning, Sustainability (Routledge 2021), Yunnan-Burma-Bengal Corridor Geographies: Protean Edging of Habitats and Empires (Routledge 2021), and “The Critical Zone as a Planetary Animist Sphere: Etho-graphing an Affective Consciousness of the Earth” (JSSRNC 2020), are all dedicated to indigenous ecological knowledge surviving under Buddhism and other world religions. I’m currently making a new book Multipolar Climes of the Himalaya, Andes and Arctic: Climate and Water in the Anthropocene. It’s a comparative study of terrestrial experiences of climate change in the world’s highlands. It should be out in March 2023.

One more thing – I recently happily accepted a partial appointment from the University of Cologne as its Global Faculty member while I keep my professorship at Yunnan University. I’ll be in Germany for 1-2 months annually and very much look forward to my first visit this July and August and reconnecting with friends there. In fact, Almut already invited me to contribute a paper to her co-organized workshop, a part of the Lecture Series on Religion and Ecology. Hope many of us will join the event, too!

Cheers,
Dan Smyer Yü

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Hello everyone!

It’s time for an update! As most of you know, I’m an Associate Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University. I teach and do research in World, South Asian, and European History. Last year I completed a chapter manuscript on Richard Wagner’s interest in Buddhism for an edited volume that is not yet out. I also wrote a chapter a while ago on the German study of Buddhism in the 19th and early 20th centuries, in Indology, Indomania, Orientalism (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2009), and I am teaching a course in Fall 2022 on ancient South Asia (India) with components on Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayanic forms of Buddhism.

If you are working on scholarship focusing on German-Asian connections, consider submitting a book proposal with Palgrave. I’m the Series Co-Editor, Palgrave Series in Asian German Studies (2020–): “It encourages the publication of works by specialists globally on the multi-faceted dimensions of ties between the German-speaking world (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and German-speaking enclaves in Eastern Europe) and Asian countries over the past two centuries. Rejecting traditional notions of West and East as seeming polar opposites (e.g., colonizer and colonized), the volumes in this series attempt to reconstruct the ways in which Germans and Asians have cooperated and negotiated the challenge of modernity in various fields.”

A recent volume in the series that might be of interest is by Sebastian Musch, Jewish Encounters with Buddhism in German Culture: Between Moses and Buddha, 1890–1940 (New York: Palgrave, 2019). Please, feel free to check out this review. Looking forward to finding out more about Buddhist scholarship through this network. See you!

Doug McGetchin

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Best Wishes for Health and Happiness

This year has been incredibly eventful, both around the globe and here in Germany. As 2020 comes to a close, we would like to express our warmest thanks for your cooperation and interest in our blog. May your holidays be full of love, peace, and happiness – and may it continue into the coming year. Enjoy the holidays as much as possible, stay safe, and happy new year!

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The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites applications for The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies 2020-21 competitions. In cooperation with the Foundation, ACLS awards fellowships and grants supporting work that will expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies.

Worldwide Scope

These are global competitions. All scholars – anywhere in the world – who are engaged in the study of any aspect of Buddhist traditions are encouraged to apply. There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed or the citizenship of applicants. Applications must be submitted in English, but the written work produced by the fellow or grantee can be in any language. Work proposed must be in the humanities and related social sciences and must employ humanistic approaches and methods.

Awards

Dissertation Fellowships: One-year stipends to PhD candidates for full-time preparation of dissertations.
Postdoctoral Fellowships: Two-year stipends to recent recipients of the PhD for residence at a university for research, writing, and teaching.
Research Fellowships: One-year stipends to recent PhD recipients for residence at a university for research, writing, and teaching.
Grants for Critical Editions and Scholarly Translations: One-year awards supporting collaborative or individual projects for the creation of critical editions, translations of canonical texts, and translations of scholarly works.
New Professorships: Multiyear grants to colleges and universities to establish new teaching positions in Buddhist studies.

Deadlines

Fellowships and Grants – November 16, 2020
New Professorships Awards to Institutions – January 8, 2021

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies, administered by ACLS, is committed to inclusion, equity, and diversity as integral components of merit that enhance the scholarly enterprise. It is a priority of this program that cohorts of fellows and grantees be broadly inclusive of different backgrounds and cultures. In Buddhist studies we seek balance in regard to citizenship and university affiliation, as well as in languages, topics, Buddhist traditions, and locations of research.

For questions, please, contact the ACLS team at BuddhistStudies@acls.org.

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The University of Michigan invites applications for a tenure-track or tenured endowed chair in Tibetan Buddhist Studies beginning September 1, 2020. This is an open-rank search. Applicants with interdisciplinary teaching and research interests in Tibetan Buddhist Studies are encouraged to apply. All applicants should possess a high level of proficiency in the Tibetan language. Successful candidates are expected to teach a range of courses in Tibetan history and culture generally and Tibetan Buddhism specifically, from introductory undergraduate lecture courses through graduate seminars; to supervise doctoral dissertations; and to participate actively in the programs of the department as well as in area studies initiatives within a larger university community that encourages interdisciplinary efforts.

For details, see URL: https://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=58707

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The Department of Buddhist Studies in the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) at Heidelberg University is looking to appoint a full-time postdoctoral researcher for three years.

The position is funded by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), for a project entitled “Intertextuality in the Chinese Buddhist Canon: Computational-Philological Assessment of Sources, Authorship/Translatorship, and Style.” The Principal Investigator is Professor Michael Radich.

The position will run from October 1 2019 to September 31 2022.

Application deadline is 20 July 2019. Interviews will be conducted in late July or the first week of August.

There is a full job ad on H-Net, for which to click here.

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The Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig offers – at the earliest possible date – the following position in the research project Buddhist Murals of Kuča on the Northern Silk Road (Wissenschaftliche Bearbeitung der buddhistischen Höhlenmalereien in der Kuča-Region der nördlichen Seidenstraße):

Postgraduate/Doctoral candidate

Duration: Two years with an option of extension of another (third) year.
Salary group: TV-L 13, 50%.

Job description:
The project “Buddhist Murals of Kuča on the Northern Silk Road ” is the first comprehensive research project focussing on the Buddhist wall paintings of Kuča (Xinjiang, PR China). It aims at exploring the paintings in a series of scholarly studies and at creating an extensive information system that documents the murals in situ as well as the parts that were removed from the sites by a series of expeditions at the beginning of the 20th century. The project also aims at documenting current research in European and Asian languages and archival materials. The project will provide an overview of the original image programmes of the caves, identifications of the individual narratives depicted and their literary sources, an analysis of iconographic, stylistic and compositional concepts in order to identify artistic developments within the corpus of paintings as well as influences from other contemporary cultures and regions such as the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Central Asia, the Mediterranean and China. The doctoral candidate is expected to finish a Ph.D. thesis related to the field of the Kuča murals within the specified duration of the contract and to prepare the materials collected in the course of his research for inclusion in the project database. The final manuscript can be included in the publication series of the project.

Requirements:
The candidate must hold a university degree in a relevant field (Asian Art History or Indology) and have sound knowledge of the art history and archaeology of Central and South Asia, especially the Buddhist art of the Silk Roads. Knowledge of another cultural area (Mediterranean / Persia / East Asia) interrelated to the Kuča region is of advantage. A good working knowledge of English and of at least one classical Buddhist language is essential; candidates with proven experience in the organization and structuring of large volumes of art historical data are particularly encouraged to apply.

Attention is paid to the preferential consideration of severely handicapped persons with equal qualifications. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.
Applications including the usual documents and a short (max. two A4 pages) outline of your doctoral project have to be submitted by January 20, 2019 to: Dr. Christian Winter, Saxon Academy of Sciences Leipzig, Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 1, 04107 Leipzig or by e-mail to: bewerbung@saw-leipzig.de

For further information, please contact Prof. Monika Zin at m.zin@t-online.de

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The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites applications in the 2018-19 competition year of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. In cooperation with the Foundation, ACLS offers an integrated set of fellowship and grant competitions supporting work that will expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies.

Deadline for submission of fellowship applications: November 14, 2018.
Deadline for institutional applications for New Professorships: January 9, 2019.

Applications must be submitted in English. Program information and applications are available at https://www.acls.org/programs/buddhist-studies/.

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The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany offers two PhD scholarships for dissertation projects related to Buddhism.

Deadline for applications:
31 October 2018

Start of scholarship:
Spring, summer or autumn 2019

Duration of scholarship:
4 years

Scholarship amount:
EUR 1200 per month + insurance + support for rent + EUR 460 per year + lump sums for travel

Scholarship donor:
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität in Munich is based on a cooperation between Asian Studies (Indology, Japanology, Sinology, Tibetology) and Religious Studies and promotes and supervises PhD theses related to Buddhism within a broad range of subjects and disciplines.

For details concerning the application, please visit the university’s homepage:

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