Conference Title: Buddhist Dynamics in Premodern Southeast Asia

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
– Comparative Southeast Asian Buddhist texts, images, and practices
– The engagement of Buddhism with Brahmanism and other religions in Southeast
– New archaeological, literary, or art historical discoveries
– The cultural significance of Buddhist translation and cosmopolitan and vernacular
– The place of India, Sri Lanka, and China in Southeast Asian Buddhist history
– The importance of trade, pilgrimage, and agriculture to regional Buddhist
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
Questions about the conference may be addressed to Dr. Christian Lammerts at:
Conference Committee:
Christian Lammerts
Geoff Wade
John Miksic
Tansen Sen


(Read more:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: