PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

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Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group’s mission is to create an environment that promotes discussion among scholars taking diverse approaches to the study of Tibetan and Himalayan religions. Our identity and cohesion derive from the fact that we deal with a delimited geocultural space, but the intellectual excitement comes from the fact that we are specialists in different historical periods and cultural areas, from the fact that we are interested in different religious traditions, and from the fact that we have different methodological approaches to the study of religion. In particular, we encourage scholarship that approaches Tibetan and Himalayan religions through a wide range of approaches:

Multidisciplinary focus — we are committed to methodological diversity and to promoting scholarship that challenges the traditional disciplinary dichotomies through which the field has defined itself, such as text/practice, written/oral, philology/ethnography, and humanistic/social scientific study

Transregional focus — we encourage a holistic approach to the study of Tibet and the Himalaya as a region, albeit a diverse one. One of the most important features of religious traditions in our field — perhaps in every field — is the degree to which they are inextricably connected, and it is only through the exploration of such interconnections that the phenomenon of religion in the Tibeto-Himalayan region can be understood. Such interconnections often cut across ethnonational boundaries

Focus on cultural history — in the last decade, the study of Asian religions has taken a quite drastic cultural/historical turn. Nowhere is this more evident than in the study of Tibetan and Himalayan religions. A previous generation of scholars was concerned principally with elite religious institutions — and more specifically with their doctrinal/philosophical texts. Today scholarship is much more diverse. A new generation of scholars is concerned, for example, with folk religious practices, religion and material culture, the politics of religious institutions, the representation of Tibetan religions in the media, and the historical construction of the field itself
This Group is committed to fostering such a multifaceted approach to the cultural history of Tibet and the Himalayas.

Call for Papers: 

The Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group promotes scholarship about all aspects of religion in Tibet and Himalaya, broadly defined. We solicit proposals for individual papers, fully formed panels, and roundtables in sessions lasting 90 or 150 minutes. Preference is generally given to complete panels. Additionally, we encourage proposals that make creative use the ninety-minute session and that foster discussion and group engagement.

Possibilities include short sessions with just 1 or 2 presenters (or perhaps one presenter and a respondent), reading a text together, book panels, precirculating papers, etc. We further encourage proposals that seek co-sponsorship with other AAR program units.

Specific topics of interest for 2015 mentioned at the recent THRG business meeting include:

• “Tibet and the Himalaya in Pop Culture”, contact Adam Krug (UCSB) at adam_c_krug@umail.ucsb.edu
• “Female Narrative Literature in Tibet,” contact Jue Liang (UVa) at jl4nf@virginia.edu
• Animals in Tibetan and Himalayan Religions. Eric Mortensen (Guilford College) emortens@guilford.edu
• Tibetan Teachers and Performativity in Narratives. Liz Monson (Harvard) elmonson@fas.harvard.edu

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee