2020 International and Intensive Program on Buddhism at Princeton University

2020 Glorisun International & Intensive Program on Buddhism

(June 28-July 12; Princeton University, United States)

The Glorisun Global Network for Buddhist Studies, whose founding members include Peking University, UBC, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, U Hamburg, Cambridge and Oxford, cordially invites applications for an intensive program on Buddhist Studies. Lasting from June 28 to July 12, 2020, this program is composed of two segments: Segment 1 from June 28 to July 3 and Segment 2 from July 6 to July 12, which are connected by an intersegmental conference and forum (July 3-5; detailed below).

The backbone of this program consists of five seminars delivered by international scholars. Each seminar combines close reading of primary sources (non-Chinese primary sources may be accompanied by English translations), lectures on the implications of these sources, and guided presentations from participating students on their research, which could be their term papers, or thesis chapters. The instructors for this year’s intensive program include, alphabetically:

  • Imre Galambos (Cambridge)Tradition, innovation and interaction: Buddhist manuscript culture in medieval China (Segment 1);
  • Jan Nattier (UC Berkeley): Reading Early Mahāyāna Sūtras:  An Introduction to Materials and Methods (Segment 2)
  • Stephen Teiser (Princeton): Medieval Chinese Buddhist Ritual (Segment 2)
  • Eugene Wang (Harvard): Buddhist Art of China | Seven Lectures (Segment 2)
  • Ru Zhan (Peking University) & Jinhua Chen (UBC): Transborder and Transcultural Transmission of Buddhism: New Evidence and Perspectives (Segment 1)

The program also supports a series of occasional lectures, to be delivered by scholars, both based in Europe and coming from East Asia and North America. Confirmed speakers include the following three scholars, who may be joined by one to two more speakers:

  1. Anne BLACKBURN (Cornell): Making Buddhist Kingdoms in an Indian Ocean World, 1200-1500
  2. KUO Liying (École française d’Extrême-Orient):  Making and Mapping the Dhāraṇī Pillar
  3. Jacqueline STONE (Princeton): The Buddhahood of Ordinary People: Rethinking the Path in Japanese Tendai and Nichiren

In addition to participating in these seminars, lectures and the intersegmental conference, student participants will conduct field trips in New York to gain firsthand experience of famed religious and cultural material. They are also encouraged to present their research papers to their program instructors, lecturers, and their peer participants. Outstanding students may be selected and invited to carry out short-term (3-12 months long) research at UBC and UBC’s partner universities in East Asia, Europe and North America that are linked together through a large SSHRC-sponsored international and interdisciplinary project on Buddhism and East Asian Religions (frogbear.org). This may further bring them the opportunity of pursuing doctoral degrees or doing postdoctoral research at these top universities.

The intersegmental conference (scheduled for July 4-5) for this year’s intensive program is one of three in 2020 that will honor the work of late Dr. Antonino Forte. The theme will focus on The Transmission of Buddhism in Asia and beyond, and will highlight exacting, pioneering scholarship about how the teachings and practices of Buddhism were communicated, shared, and applied by diverse groups and individuals along the so-called Silk Roads—or western regions in Chinese—across time and space. The conference will bring together 20-25 top scholars from all over the world. Student participants are encouraged to attend and, if they have relevant papers, present at the conference. Details of the conference are available here.

Participants are required to take part in all of the activities supported by the program, including the lecture series, the conference, student forum and field trips. Senior undergraduate students and graduate students specializing in any Buddhist tradition(s), and postdoctoral fellows working on relevant fields, are encouraged to apply. Please direct applications and inquiries to FrogBear.Project@ubc.ca. Please submit applications before April 1, 2020. Each application should include (1) an application form (to be provided upon request via the above email address), (2) updated curriculum vitae, (3) one writing sample, and (4) a reference letter (to be emailed by the referee directly to the above email address). Priority will be given to those applicants who are able to participate in both segments, although applications may also be considered from applicants who can only take part in one segment due to compelling reasons.

To guarantee sufficient interaction of student participants with instructors and between student participants themselves, student enrollment is limited to 30. In addition to being exempted from all tuition and administration fees, a successful candidate may receive a subsidy ranging from US$1,000-1,500 (depending on his or her individual needs and the distance s/he has to travel for the program) that will help defray program-related expenses, including lodging, meals, and transportation.


I.  Segment 1 (June 28-July 3)

  1. June 28: arrival
  2. June 29 – July 3: Seminars & Occasional Lectures

II.  Intersegmental Student Forum and Regular Conference (July 4-6)

  1. July 4-5: regular conference (see CFP here).
  2. July 6: Student Forum

III.   Segment 2 (July 7-12)

  1. July 7-10: Seminars
  2. July 11: Tour
  3. July 12:  Departure