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Call for Proposals

This Section invites proposals for panel sessions and individual papers in all areas of Buddhist studies. In particular it invites proposals for work that highlights enduring themes in the field and work that introduces experimental approaches or new materials. Proposals should address how the presentation will address general concerns of Buddhist studies. We especially encourage panel proposals that will take creative advantage of the ninety-minute slots afforded by the AAR, and which employ innovative modes of group study and discussion in an academic forum. The following topics are highly encouraged:

  • Rethinking Buddhist studies
  • Vinaya from India to Japan
  • Buddhism and Greco-Roman culture
  • Buddhist performance
  • Buddhism and the body (for a possible cosponsored session with the Body and Religion Consultation)
  • Buddhists and sacred mountains (for a possible cosponsored session with the Indigenous Religious Traditions Group)
  • Maritime trade and Buddhism
  • Buddhist poetry
  • Buddhism and the study of the Mediterranean
  • Buddhism and food
  • Discussion of a recent book in Buddhist studies


This Section is the largest, most stable, and most diverse forum for Buddhist studies in North America. We embrace the full historical range of the Buddhist tradition from its inception some two-and-a-half millenia ago to the present and span its entire geographical sweep — the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, and the West. In addition to being historically and geographically inclusive, we have made efforts to encourage methodological plurality. Papers presented in recent years reflect, in addition to the philological and textual approaches of classic Buddhology, the methods of intellectual history, institutional history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, gender and cultural studies, art history, literary theory, and postcolonial studies. We will continue to encourage cross-disciplinary exchange. This Section is the forum of choice for many established scholars. For some years now, we have also striven to provide a forum for younger scholars to aid them in establishing their careers. In recent years, a growing number of foreign scholars has come to recognize this Section as a valuable forum to submit proposals, including scholars whose primary language is not English. We wish to continue to promote communication with scholars abroad and to provide opportunities for younger scholars, and are very much in favor of the AAR’s recent moves to encourage greater international participation.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to Chairs and Steering Committee Members during review, but visible to Chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection.


Lori Meeks
University of Southern California
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Christian K. Wedemeyer
University of Chicago
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Method of Submission


This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.