CFP: Buddhist Dynamics in Premodern Southeast Asia, Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Singapore, 10-11 March 2011

Christian Lammerts dclammerts at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 13 09:12:20 UTC 2010

Call for Papers

Conference Title: Buddhist Dynamics in Premodern Southeast Asia

Dates: 10-11 March 2011

Place: Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Buddhism was the dominant cultural force throughout much of Southeast
Asia in premodernity, from the early realms of Funan, Dvaravati,
Sriksetra, Srivijaya, Haripunjaya, and Champa, through the medieval
kingdoms of Dai Viet, Pagan, Angkor, Majapahit, and Sukhothai, to the
later polities of Mrauk U, Ava, Lan Xang, Sipsongpanna, and elsewhere.
Buddhists here were responsible for an array of innovations across
diverse fields of learning, ranging from medicine, law, alchemy,
political science, and grammar to scriptural hermeneutics, ritual and
apotropaic techniques, and art and architecture. However, the Buddhist
culture of premodern Southeast Asia cannot be understood as univocal,
and is marked instead by a dynamism and difference that varies across
geography and time.

Today the study of Buddhism in premodern Southeast Asia stands at a
critical and promising juncture. Research on regional manuscript
libraries has brought to light hitherto unknown vernacular, Pali, and
Sanskrit texts. New inscriptions and art historical and archaeological
finds continue to be uncovered. There are redoubled efforts to make
these materials available for study and, most importantly, increasing
interest in them among young scholars of Buddhism. Recent scholarship
has been marked by a turn towards careful examinations of local and
vernacular expressions of Buddhist culture as well as a return to
long-standing questions concerning the regional diffusion and
interrelationship among varied texts, aesthetic forms, and religious
ideas and practices. Yet much more work remains to be done on both the
local and comparative analysis of Southeast Asian Buddhist histories.

The Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian
Studies invites paper proposals for an interdisciplinary conference on
premodern Southeast Asian Buddhism to be held in Singapore, March
10-11, 2011. The conference aims to bring together international
scholars engaged in research on Buddhist archaeological, textual, or
art historical sources produced across the region from the early first
millennium C.E. until circa the 18th century. We invite proposals that
interrogate the broad interpretive thematic of the dynamic interplay
between the local and the regional through the critical study of
manuscripts, archaeological sites, inscriptions, images, and/or
artefacts. We especially encourage proposals that are comparative and
interdisciplinary in scope.

Potential papers might, for example, address:

-- Cultural and material exchange among regional Buddhist centres and
monastic communities
-- Comparative Southeast Asian Buddhist texts, images, and practices
-- The engagement of Buddhism with Brahmanism and other religions in
Southeast Asia
-- New archaeological, literary, or art historical discoveries
-- The cultural significance of Buddhist translation and cosmopolitan
and vernacular languages
-- The place of India, Sri Lanka, and China in Southeast Asian Buddhist history
-- The importance of trade, pilgrimage, and agriculture to regional
Buddhist geographies

Paper proposals should include a title and a 400-word abstract,
together with a short
biography of the applicant.

All participants will be provided with three nights accommodation in Singapore.
Requests for assistance with airfare, especially from Asian countries, will be
sympathetically considered.

Proposals should be received by 31 August 2010 and successful
applicants will be informed of their acceptance by 15 September 2010.

Proposals should be directed to:

“Buddhist Dynamics in Premodern Southeast Asia” Conference
Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Singapore 119614
Email: nscconferences at

Questions about the conference may be addressed to Dr. Christian
Lammerts at: dclammerts at

Conference Committee:
Christian Lammerts
Geoff Wade
John Miksic
Tansen Sen

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