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Fall 2016


Kahn Fellows to Premiere Film at Hawaii Film Festival

Hawaii Film Fest

A film, A Small Life, by Lynne Yamamoto, Jessie Wells Post Professor of Art, and Lucretia Knapp, lecturer in art, will be premiered at this year's Hawaii International Film Festival, November 3-13 (A Small Life screenings November 6 and 12).

A Small Life is a reflective journey that explores the past of three sisters, now in their 80s and 90s, who reflect on a tragic event in 1942, in Hawaii.

The film was developed during Yamamoto's and Knapp's participation in the Kahn Institute yearlong project Memory: Form, Function, and Fallibility (2015-16).

Robed Warriors

Buddhist Studies to Host Prominent Buddhist Monastic Women as Part of Four-part Series, "Robed Warriors"

Amid an ongoing transformation of Western culture and religion by the continuing influence of Buddhism, and a reciprocal transformation of Buddhism worldwide—both by its movement West and by an influx of women—Smith's Buddhist Studies Program will host a four-part seminar, with each session being led by a prominent Buddhist monastic woman.

“Robed Warriors,” which will take place during four two-week periods this fall and spring, will explore the impacts of Buddhist monastics—women in particular—on issues in the West ranging from health care and hospice services, the design of charitable NGOs, cognitive science, values education and feminism to the envisioning of religious life.

The four-part program began on October 12, as Smith and the Five Colleges welcomed the Venerable Professor Carola Roloff (Jampa Tsedroen), one of the world’s foremost experts on Buddhist nuns’ ordination and a senior researcher on Buddhist contributions to interreligious dialogue in the Academy of World Religions at the University of Hamburg.

These events are free and open to the public.

“Robed Warriors” will continue in the spring with visitations by:

“Robed Warriors” is produced and organized by Jay Garfield, the Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Buddhist Studies at Smith, who directs the Buddhist Studies Program as well as the Five College Tibetan Studies in India program. 

The Pioneer Valley, with more than 30 communities practicing one of several Buddhist traditions, is the ideal place to hold such a seminar, says Garfield.
“This is a tremendously rich place for Buddhist practice,” says Garfield of the Pioneer Valley, “and Smith has been a prominent institution in Buddhist studies for decades. Also, the Five College Buddhist Studies program has been an academic community that’s always been closely integrated with the surrounding practice communities and have done a lot of collaborative work with practice communities.”

As part of each monastic’s visit, the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith will host a daylong seminar, bringing together Five College scholars across a range of fields to address broad questions about the role of religion in world culture and the ways in which attitudes and practices that impact our lives can grow out of unlikely sources.

“People who attend these events will get a sense of the tremendous dynamism of Buddhism today,” says Garfield, “and of the variety of ways in which Buddhism is evolving and interacting with culture and, in particular, with the transformation through women’s leadership.”

Read more details and schedule information about “Robed Warriors”