UC/Stanford Buddhist Studies Conference and Workshop

DATE: Friday-Sunday, March 28-30, 2008

PLACE: Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA

SPONSOR: Center for Buddhist Studies



The State of California, taken as a whole, has unequalled resources for the academic study of Buddhism. UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara, and Stanford each have world-renown specialized Ph.D. programs in Buddhist Studies, as well as dedicated Centers for Buddhist Studies that promote advanced research as well as a variety of outreach programs. Together these four campuses have some two dozen faculty specialists in the art, architecture, culture, history, literature, and philosophy of Buddhism. Each of these scholars is a leader in his or her respective subfields; in addition, there are a number of eminent scholars teaching in smaller programs at UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of Santa Clara.

While these faculty members are all familiar with the research interests and published work of their peers from other programs, to date there has been little attempt to collaborate on research or coordinate teaching across institutions. The only formal effort at cross-campus collaborative teaching was a joint Buddhist studies graduate seminar between UC Berkeley and Stanford that ran through much of the 1980s and 1990s. Berkeley and Stanford recently revived this cooperative spirit, putting together a joint colloquium series as well as sponsoring an annual Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Student conference. The student conference met over the past three years, alternating between the two campuses, and was a tremendous success.

This inaugural conference provides an opportunity not only for graduate students to present their research to a broad group of specialists, but also a venue to explore possibilities for greater cooperation and collaboration among Buddhist Studies programs throughout the UC system and with other, non-UC programs in California.

Participating Universities
Each of the four main institutions participating in the proposed conference has a major doctoral program as well as a center sponsoring research in Buddhist Studies:

UC Berkeley (http://buddhiststudies.berkeley.edu/about/)
UCLA (http://www.international.ucla.edu/buddhist/)
UCSB (http://www.religion.ucsb.edu/projects/bstudies/)
Stanford University (http://scbs.stanford.edu/)

While UC Berkeley's Center for Buddhist Studies is assuming organizational responsibilities for this inaugural conference, the understanding among the four participating universities is that administrative/hosting duties for this annual event will rotate among the participating universities from year to year.

Conference Format
The UC/Stanford Graduate Student Conference in Buddhist Studies will begin on the afternoon of Friday, March 28, 2008 and run through midday Sunday, March 30, 2008. The conference will have two main components:

  1. Panels of vetted graduate student papers followed by faculty responses.

    These panels will provide graduate students with the unique opportunity to present their work to Buddhist Studies faculty from four universities and receive both formal and informal feedback from them. The students will be given an opportunity to identify areas of mutual interest and to share resources. Intellectually and professionally, therefore, this conference offers a venue for students to develop their scholarship and make important connections in their chosen field of study.

  2. Workshops to discuss issues of mutual interest to our programs, and to explore possibilities for collaborative research and teaching mentioned above.

    Specific issues to be discussed include:

    • sharing visiting scholars across campuses,
    • student and faculty exchanges,
    • use of electronic classroom technology for graduate seminars and for teaching rarely taught languages,
    • formation of cross-campus examination and dissertation committees,
    • identification of possible topics for long-term multicampus research initiatives,
    • coordination of future fundraising efforts.

Conference Contact

Keila Diehl, Ph.D.
Vice Chair
Center for Buddhist Studies
UC Berkeley


Friday, March 28, 2008

3:00 pm - Check-in

4:00 - 6:00 pm - Panel 1

Moderator: Professor Robert Sharf, University of California, Berkeley

Greg Seton, University of California, Santa Barbara
Re-examining the Historical Evidence of Early Yogācāra Groups

Respondent: Birgit Kellner, University of California, Berkeley

Dan Stuart, University of California, Berkeley
Thinking About Cessation: Evidence from the Pṛṣṭhapālasūtra of the Sarvāstivādin Dīrghāgama

Respondent: Paul Harrison, Stanford University

6:00 - 9:00 pm - Dinner and schmooz

Saturday, March 29, 2008

7:30 - 8:30 am - Breakfast

9:00 am - 12:00 pm - Panel 2

Moderator: Professor Carl Bielefeldt, Stanford University

Karen Muldoon-Hules, University of California, Los Angeles
Brides of Buddha: How Brahmanical Marriage Motifs Served Buddhist Ends

Respondent: Alexander von Rospatt, University of California, Berkeley

Eric Greene, University of California, Berkeley
Picturing Impurity: Visual Representations of the Aśubha-bhāvana in India, Central Asia, and China

Respondent: Raoul Birnbaum, University of California, Santa Cruz

Ben Brose, Stanford University
Appeasing the Ancestors: Patronage and the Production of Merit in Tenth Century China

Respondent: Natasha Heller, University of California, Los Angeles

12:00 - 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:00 - 4:00 pm - Panel 3

Moderator: Professor José Cabezon, University of California, Santa Barbara

George Clonos, Stanford University
Landscape as Place of Practice: Mount Omine Shugendo in the Tokugawa Period

Respondent: William Bodiford, University of California, Los Angeles

Mark Nathan, University of California, Los Angeles
Law and Buddhism in Korea during the Japanese Occupation Period

Respondent: Duncan Williams, University of California, Berkeley

Catherine Tsuji, University of California, Santa Barbara
The Revival of Buddhism in Contemporary Mongolia: An Affair of State, Family, and the Individual

Respondent: Robert Buswell, University of California, Los Angeles

4:00 - 6:00 pm - Free time

6:00 - 9:00 pm - Dinner and schmooz

Sunday, March 30, 2008

7:30 - 8:30 am - Breakfast

9:30 - 11:00 am
Graduate Student Workshop
Faculty Workshop

12:00 pm - Lunch



The UC/Stanford Buddhist Studies Conference and Workshop will be held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California

Flying into to Monterey Peninsula Airport

See http://www.montereyairport.com/ for flight schedules.

Transportation from Monterey Peninsula Airport to Asilomar

Local taxi companies service the Monterey Peninsula Airport, as does the Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) bus system. The MST bus system stops at the Monterey airport. The buses are clean and wheelchair accessible. The fare to Asilomar is $1.75 one way, and the total trip is about 30 minutes. Take any number Monterey-bound bus. Ask for a transfer when you board. Transfers are free. Tell the driver to announce the Monterey Transit Center, which is where you will disembark and transfer to the #1 Asilomar bus. There is rarely more than a 5-minute wait at the transfer point. The #1 bus will let you off at the front gate to the Asilomar Conference Grounds.

Driving to Asilomar from the San Francisco Bay Area or San Jose

Asilomar is approximately 120 miles south of downtown San Francisco (about 105 miles from San Francisco International Airport) and about 75 miles south of San Jose. Take 101 south to 156 West. Take 156 West to highway 1 South, through Monterey to the Pebble Beach / Pacific Grove exit, turn right on Holman highway / 68 West. Stay on Highway 68 West/Holman Highway for 3.5 miles until it becomes a city street called Forest Avenue. Continue on Forest Avenue for about 1 mile and make a left turn onto Sinex Avenue. In just under 1 mile, Sinex Avenue ends right at the front gates to Asilomar.

Driving from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, or San Luis Obispo

Asilomar is approximately 325 miles from downtown Los Angeles (about 310 miles from LAX). Take 101 North though Salinas to 156 West. Take 156 West to highway 1 South, through Monterey to the Pebble Beach / Pacific Grove exit, and highway 68 West. For about 3-1/2 miles you will then be on a portion of Highway 68 West that is also called the Holman Highway. Stay on Highway 68 West/Holman Highway until it becomes a city street called Forest Avenue. Continue on Forest Avenue for about 1 mile and make a left turn onto Sinex Avenue. In just under 1 mile, Sinex Avenue ends right at the front gates to Asilomar.