SMITH COLLEGE | MARCH 27–29, 2009
Soyolma Davaakhuu is Mongolia's 2008 Female Artist of
the Year. She graduated in 1998 from the Mongolian University of Arts and
Culture and has worked as a professional artist since that time. In 2001
she was initiated into the Union of Mongolian Artists, the most prestigious
art society in Mongolia. She has had solo exhibits in many of the most
prestigious art galleries in Mongolia, including the UMA gallery (2005
and 2008), the Zanadu Gallery (2007) and the Silk Road Gallery (2008).
She has also been featured in collaborative exhibits with the works of
her mother and late father.
Abstract: "A Sketch of Mongolian Buddhist Art History"
Elverskog is an
associate professor and director of Asian studies at Southern Methodist
University. He is the author and editor of six books, including most
recently Our Great
Qing: The Mongols, Buddhism and the State in Late Imperial China (2006), The
Pearl Rosary: Mongol Historiography in Nineteenth Century Ordos (2007),
of Eminent Mongol Buddhists (2008).
His latest book, Buddhism
and Islam on the Silk Road: A History of Cross-Cultural Exchange,
will soon be published.
Abstract: "The Oirads, Islam and the Origins of Mongolian Buddhism"
Gonchig Ganbold graduated from the Mongolian State University, the State
Institute of International Relations in Moscow, and the Foreign Service
Program at the University College in Oxford. He also studied at the Institute
of Advanced Studies on International Relations in Geneva and at the Asia
Pacific Security Studies Center in Hawaii. He has served as foreign–service
officer both at headquarters and foreign missions of Mongolia since 1980
and at the Office of National Security Council of Mongolia in 2003–2004.
He specializes in political diplomacy and international security and has
written many articles and translated nearly a dozen books into Mongolian.
As Consul General and Counselor of the Mongolian Embassy in Washington
DC since August 2006 G. Ganbold has placed great emphasis on improving
the public awareness and visibility of Mongolia in the U.S. and reinvigorating
cultural exchanges between the two countries at all levels. He is currently
vice president of the Mongolian School Governing Board and member of Mongolian
Cultural Center in Washington D.C.
Abstract: "Observations on the History and Culture of Buddhism in Mongolia"
Jamie Hubbard is the Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist
Studies at Smith College where he has taught since 1985. He has a long
interest in the relationship between text, rhetoric, and institution, particularly
in the social–political realm involving questions of heresy and orthodoxy.
Previous publications include The Manuscript Remains and Other Materials
for the Study of the San–chieh Movement (2003), Absolute Delusion, Perfect
Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (2001), and Pruning the
Bodhi Tree: The Storm Over Critical Buddhism (1997). Previous publications include The Manuscript Remains and Other Materials for the Study of the San–chieh Movement (2003), Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood: The Rise and Fall of a Chinese Heresy (2001), and Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm Over Critical Buddhism (1997).
He is currently
finishing a translation of the commentary on the Vimalakïrti–nirdesa–sûtra
attributed to Shõtoku
Visit Jamie Hubbard's Web site.
Lhagvademchig Jadamba is a lecturer in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the National University of Mongolia. He graduated from the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi with a Shastri degree and holds an M.A. in Buddhist studies from the University of Hong Kong. He has worked at the Library of Congress in New Delhi as a language consultant and at Zanabazar Buddhist University on Buddhist art and history projects as a translator, editor and consultant, on works including "Mongolian Buddhist Art: Masterpieces from the museums of Mongolia" (2005–2007) and "Documentation of Mongolian Monasteries" (2007–2008). He served as the official interpreter for the Dalai Lama during his visit to Mongolia in 2002. Currently, he is conducting his Ph.D. research on the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia with particular focus on the re–introduction of the institution of reincarnated lamas.
Abstract: "Buddhism in Mongolia: Revival on the Verge of Survival"
Christopher Kaplonski is a senior research associate
at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit in the Department of Social
Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. and has conducted
research in Mongolia since the early 1990s. In addition to extensive research
on memory and identity, Chris spent two years teaching at the National
University of Mongolia. His current project, tentatively titled "The
Death of the Buddhist State: Violence and Sovereignty in Early Socialist
Mongolia," looks at the power struggles between the early socialist state
and the Buddhist establishment from an anthropological perspective. Chris
publishes extensively on the topics of memory and politics in Mongolia,
issues related to Chinggis Khan, and political violence and its aftermath.
He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Rutgers University, and
a B.S. in chemical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Abstract: "Resorting to Violence: Repression of Buddhist Lamas in 1930s Mongolia"
Matthew King is a doctoral student in Buddhist studies
at the University of Toronto. He has conducted ethnographic research in
a Central Gobi monastic community over the last four years, recently looking
at the narrative complexity of a "Buddhism for Young People" camp for urban
youth. Matthew's doctoral research focuses on the historical Tibet–Mongolia
cultural interface and the historical narrative construction of the conversion
of Mongolia to Buddhism.
Abstract: "The Life and Work of the Mongolian Buddhist Hermit–Scholar Zawa Damdin"
Professor Knauft's research combines politico–economic and cultural analysis across different world areas. He is particularly interested in issues of collective and individual subjectivity in relation to structures of social inequality and political domination or disempowerment, both historically and in the present. His current work includes consideration of civil conflict and recovery in West and East Africa and Central Asia as well as continuing ethnographic interest in Melanesia and the comparative study of neo–imperialism regionally and globally. Professsor Knauft's publications have also addressed issues of modernity and marginality, critical theory, politics and violence; and gender and sexuality.
As Director of Emory University's States at Regional Risk Project (SARR), Professor Knauft plans, administers, and orchestrates in–region workshops on state fragility, political and economic challenges, and social and cultural development. The SARR project considers these issues in four world areas—West Africa, East Africa, South–Central Asia, and the northern Andes—and through a global perspective on states at risk in relation to international superpowers. SARR is supported in significant part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Originally trained as a cultural anthropologist of Melanesia (Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, 1983), Professor Knauft conducted two years of doctoral research among the Gebusi, a remote rainforest people of Papua New Guinea with whom he still maintains contact. His seven books include The Gebusi: Lives Transformed in a Rainforest World (McGraw–Hill, 2nd ed. 2010); Critically Modern: Alternatives, Alterities, Anthropologies (Indiana University Press, 2002); Exchanging the Past (University of Chicago Press, 2002); From Primitive to Post–colonial in Melanesia and Anthropology (1999), and Genealogies for the Present in Cultural Anthropology (Routledge Press, 1996).
Munkh–Erdene Lhamsuren is chair of the Department of Social and Cultural
Anthropology, National University of Mongolia. He earned his Ph.D. from Hokkaido
University, Japan in 2004. He is especially interested in collective identity,
ethnicity, nation and nationalism.
Abstract: "The Second Buddhist Conversion Mongolia: A Gelug–pa Invention?"
Mikaela Mroczynski is a senior at Smith College double–majoring in anthropology and theater. She studied abroad and lived in Mongolia her junior year, during which time she apprenticed with tsam mask–maker Bukhshandas Davaasambuu and did research on performance. She has studied at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi, and plans to return to India after graduation, to Thösamling Institute for International Buddhist Women in Dharamsala, with the intention of ordaining as a nun.
Abstract: "Performance, Ritual, and the Foreign Gaze: Tsam as a Vehicle for Constructing Post–Soviet Mongolian Buddhism and Mongolian National Identity"
Marylin Rhie has been a professor of art and East Asian
studies at Smith College since 1976. Her research work is primarily in
Chinese, Central Asian, Tibetan and Korean Buddhist art. She has authored
articles on such subjects as the cave temples of T'ien–lung shan, the relationships
between the art of India, Central Asia and China during the T'ang dynasty,
and chronologies of Chinese Buddhist art of the Six Dynasties and Sui period.
She has published books on the art of Tibet (with Robert Thurman of Columbia
University): Wisdom and Compassion, the Sacred Art of Tibet, and completed
three volumes of a four–volume series on the early Buddhist art of China and
Central Asia, published by Brill Academic Press (Vol. I: 1999; Vol. II:
2002; Vol. III: 2007). Books are planned on the Buddhist cave temples of
T'ien–lung shan, T'ang Dynasty Buddhist Sculpture, and the Buddhist Sculpture
of Late Silla and Early Koryo (Korea).
Abstract: "Zanabazar and Dolonnor: Two Traditions of Mongolian Buddhist Sculpture"
Rinpoche is a reincarnate
Tibetan Lama of Mongolian decent and one of the most prominent Buddhist
teachers to leave Tibet in the past twenty years. He was recognized
at the age of two by the Panchen Lama as the reincarnation of Tsong
Khapa's father and throne holder and abbot of Kumbum Monastery. During
the Cultural Revolution he was forced to attend Chinese schools and
to work in a forced labor camp for 16 years. After the Cultural Revolution,
Rinpoche continued as Abbot of Kumbum, overseeing its renovation
and reestablishing monastic studies. In 1998 he went into exile rather
than compromise his spiritual beliefs and practices. In the United
States he founded the Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom (TCCW)
in Mill Valley, California. His Holiness the Dalai Lama appointed
him director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TMBCC)
in Bloomington, Indiana in 2005.
Abstract: "Mongolian Buddhism"
Rustam Sabirov holds a Ph.D. in history (2004) from Moscow
State University's Institute of Asian and African Studies and is currently
a research fellow at Moscow State University. The subject of his dissertation
was "The Religious Situation in Mongolia: the end of the 1980s–2000."
Since 2005, Rustam Sabirov has taught at the Institute of Asian and African
Studies, including History of Mongolia, History of Religions in Mongolia,
Mongolia in the System of the International Relations, and Ethnology of
Mongolia. He continues to focus his research on contemporary religion in
Abstract: "Buddhism in Mongolia after 1990: Traditional Religion in Modern Conditions"
Hamid Sardar is a scholar of Tibetan studies and an ethnographic filmmaker currently based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He earned his Ph.D. degree at Harvard University from the Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies and participated in the acclaimed National Geographic expedition that discovered the hidden falls of the Brahmaputra River in Tibet (1999). From 1999–2003, he worked as academic director for the School for International Training in Nepal and Mongolia. Since then, he has dedicated his time to documenting Mongolia's various nomadic traditions through various projects, articles and films. His documentary films "The Reindeer People" (2004) and "Balapan, Wings of Altai" (2006) both won prizes for Best Film on Culture at both the Banff and Telluride Mountain film festivals. In 2008, he directed his third film in Mongolia, "Tracking the White Reindeer," which also won the prize for Best Film on Culture at Banff and received the Special Jury Award at the Autrans film festival in France.
Abstract: "Totems & Tengers: Animal Symbolism in Mongol Religion"
Rick Taupier is director for international research at the University
of Massachusetts Amherst, a former Massachusetts assistant secretary of
environmental affairs and former associate director of the UMass Environmental
Institute. In the 1970s he was a student of Dr. Robert Thurman and the
Kalmyk Mongolian Geshe Wangyal. He continued his studies under the Tibetan
Lama, Sharpa Choeje Tara Rinpoche, and many other eminent teachers from
Loseling and Gomang Colleges of Drepung Monastery. He is currently pursuing
his second Ph.D. in the history of Buddhist Central Asia, concentrating on
the Oirat Mongols, and has recently completed a first English translation
with Andre Boskomdziev of Seren Gerel, the biography of the Oirat Gegen
Abstract: "Reconstructing a Historical Narrative of Buddhism in Mongolia"
Karma Lekshe Tsomo is associate professor of theology
and religious studies at the University of San Diego. She received a Ph.D.
from the University of Hawaii and serves as president of Sakyadhita International
Association of Buddhist Women. She
is the founder/director of Jamyang Foundation, an innovative educational
project for women in developing countries. Her publications include a number
of edited volumes on women in Buddhism, including Buddhist Women Across
Cultures: Realizations; Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the
Stream; Buddhist Women and Social Justice: Achievements, Changes, and Challenges,
as well as Into the Jaws of Yama, Lord of Death: Buddhism, Bioethics, and Death.
Abstract: "Nuns, Dakinis, and Ordinary Women in the Revival of Mongolian Buddhism"
Uranchimeg Tsultem is a specialist in the art of Mongolia
and Tibet. She worked extensively on the modern art of Mongolia prior to
her present Ph.D. studies at the University of California, Berkeley. As
an assistant professor at the Mongolian University of Arts and Culture
(1995-2002), she curated Mongolian art exhibitions in Tsukuba, Japan (1997),
New York, NY (2000), and Bonn, Germany (2001), among others, and published
on Mongolian modern art. At UC–Berkeley, her focus shifted to earlier periods
and her dissertation "Ikh Khüree: Nomadic monastery of Mongolia"
concentrates on Mongolian art of the 17th–early 20th centuries.
Abstract: "Zanabazar: The Building of the New State in Medieval Mongolia"
Vesna Wallace is the Yehan Numata professor of Buddhist studies at the
University of Oxford and the academic director of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist
Studies. Her publications include several books and several articles on
Indian esoteric Buddhism. She also conducts research and publishes on Buddhism
in Mongolia, and travels to Mongolia annually for field and archival work.
Abstract: "How is the Buddha Vajrapani Signifying Mongolian Buddhist Identity?"
Lama Kabchupa Kuntu Zangpo is the Head Lama in Gongkar Choling Dratsang of Gandan Tegchenling Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Lama Kuntu Zangpo became a monk in 1974 at Gandan Monastery at the age of 20 under Chojey Yunten Gyamtso. He completed basic studies in 1979 and was asked to serve as the personal assistant to the Gandan abbot Gombo Kyab and 1980 began teaching at the Gandan Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies. The Dalai Lama visited Mongolia in 1979 and Kuntu Zangpo became his student and in 1983 went to India to study in the Dalai Lama's Tsennyid Labdra. He received many teachings and initiations from the Dalai Lama during those years, and later became the Dalai Lama's translator during his visits to Mongolia. In 1987, he became the Deputy Director of the Gandan Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies. Lama Kuntu Zangpo also became the student and translator of the great Bakula Rinpoche during Mongolia's transition to democracy and studied with and translated for Denma Lobchu Rinpoche and Panchen Otrul Rinpoche during their visits to Mongolia. Kuntu Zangpo sat for the Kabchu Degree (Master of Ten Buddhist Branches of Knowledge) in 2001 and in 2002 assumed the position of head lama of Khemang Losel Gongkar Choling at Ganden Tegchenling Monastery, established 200 years ago as a branch of Drepung Loseling Monastery in Tibet. He continues in this position today, where he cares for and teaches the seventy–five monks of this institute.
Abstract: "Identities in Collision—Buddhism Under Communism and Buddhism Set Free"