Courses

Course Descriptions

Buddhism (BUDDHSM)

This category is no longer used. These courses are now listed under Buddhist Studies and crosslisted with Chinese, EA Lang, Japanese, and Tibetan.


Buddhist Studies (BUDDSTD)

Buddstd 24
24. Freshman Seminar. The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester.

Buddstd 39
39. Freshman/Sophomore Seminar. Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

Buddstd 50
50. Introduction to the Study of Buddhism. This course will provide a basic understanding of the teachings and practices of Buddhism. The central issues will be situated within their broader Indian historical contexts, and the readings follow a generally chronological order. The course begins with the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the founding of the Buddhist monastic order. The course then progresses to the cosmological and philosophical developments of the Mahayana, followed by the ritual and mythological innovations of the Buddhist tantras. The final section takes a brief look at how Buddhism moved into other regions such as Tibet, China, and Japan. Prerequisites: None.

Buddstd C50
C50. Introduction to the Study of Buddhism. This course will provide a basic understanding of the teachings and practices of Buddhism. The central issues will be situated within their broader Indian historical contexts, and the readings follow a generally chronological order. The course begins with the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the founding of the Buddhist monastic order. The course then progresses to the cosmological and philosophical developments of the Mahayana, followed by the ritual and mythological innovations of the Buddhist tantras. The final section takes a brief look at how Buddhism moved into other regions such as Tibet, China, and Japan. Prerequisites: None.

Buddstd 84
84. Sophomore Seminar. Sophomore seminars are small interactive courses offered by faculty members in departments all across the campus. Sophomore seminars offer opportunity for close, regular intellectual contact between faculty members and students in the crucial second year. The topics vary from department to department and semester to semester.

Buddstd 98
98. Directed Group Study for Lower Division Students. Small group instruction in topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses.

Buddstd 99
99. Independent Study for Lower Division Students. Independent study in topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses.

Buddstd C114
C114. Tibetan Buddhism. This course is an introduction to the history, institutions, doctrines, and ritual practices of Buddhism in Tibet. The course will progress along two parallel tracks, one chronological and the other thematic, providing on the one hand a sense of the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism, and on the other a general overview of some central themes.  Along the historical track, the course proceeds from Buddhism's initial arrival into Tibet through to the present day, with each week addressing another period in this history.  At the same time, each week will focus on a given theme that relates to the historical period in question.  Themes include tantric myth, 'treasure' (terma) revelation, hidden valleys, the Dalai Lamas, exile, and more. Prerequisites: None.

Buddstd C115
C115. Japanese Buddhism. A critical survey of major themes in the history of Japanese Buddhism. The course covers: the transmission of Buddhism from China and Korea to Japan; the subsequent evolution in Japan of the Tendai, Shingon, Pure Land, Nichiren, and Zen schools of Buddhism during the medieval period; the interaction between Buddhism, "Shinto," and "folk religion"; the relationship between Buddhism and the state, especially during the Edo period; Buddhist perspectives on nature, healing, and pilgrimage; and Buddhist modernism of the Meiji period. Prerequisites:  None.

Buddstd C120
C120. Buddhism on the Silk Road. This course will discuss the social, economic, and cultural aspects of Buddhism as it moved along the ancient Eurasian trading network referred to as the “Silk Road”. Instead of relying solely on textual sources, the course will focus on material culture as it offers evidence concerning the spread of Buddhism. Through an examination of the Buddhist archaeological remains of the Silk Road, the course will address specific topics, such as the symbiotic relationship between Buddhism and commerce; doctrinal divergence; ideological shifts in the iconography of the Buddha; patronage (royal, religious and lay); Buddhism and political power; and art and conversion.

Buddstd C122
C122. Buddhist Meditation: Historical, Doctrinal, and Ethnographic Perspectives. This course will explore the nature and function of Buddhist meditation as it developed within various Buddhist traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia. Emphasis will be on the historical evolution, doctrinal foundations, and the monastic and extra-monastic regimens associated with Buddhist meditation practices. We will make use of a wide variety of primary and secondary readings as well as visual materials (including films) to attempt to place the historical and doctrinal accounts within their cultural and institutional contexts.

Buddstd C124
C124. Buddhism in Film. This course will examine contemporary Buddhism, its history, and basic concepts through a critical analysis of a series of films. Students will be asked to explore the tension between East and West, tradition and progress, fantasy and reality as it unfolds in different representations of Buddhism.

Buddstd C126
C126. Buddhism and the Environment. A thematic course on Buddhist perspectives on nature and Buddhist responses to environmental issues. The first half of the course focuses on East Asian Buddhist cosmological and doctrinal perspectives on the place of the human in nature and the relationship between the salvific goals of Buddhism and nature. The second half of the course examines Buddhist ethics, economics, and activism in relation to environmental issues in contemporary Southeast Asia, East Asia, and America.

Buddstd C128
C128. Buddhism and Contemporary Society. A study of the Buddhist tradition as it is found today in Asia. The course will focus on specific living traditions of East, South, and/or Southeast Asia. Themes to be addressed may include: contemporary Buddhist ritual practices; funerary and mortuary customs; the relationship between Buddhism and other local religious traditions; the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state; Buddhist monasticism and its relationship to the laity; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist "modernism"; and so on.

Spring2014: While including the monastic Theravada traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the Mahāyāna tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, which here—uniquely in South Asia—has survived till the present day. We will approach this tradition by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Exploring continuities and ruptures, Nepalese Buddhism will be contrasted with Theravada Buddhism. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider the recent introduction of Theravada Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field—the Kathmandu valley where Buddhism exists alongside Hinduism and indigenous traditions—but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society. Prerequisites: None.

Fall2012: While considering the monastic Theravāda traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the Mahāyāna tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Whereas in India Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among till the present day among the Newars, the indigenous population of the Kathmandu Valley. This survival allows for the unique chance to study Indic Mahāyāna Buddhism (and the manifold forms of tantric practice it includes) "on the ground" as a vibrant and dynamic religious tradition that concretely shapes and structures the lives of people and the culture and society they inhabit, and that in turn is transformed by the adaptation to this culture and society. We will approach the Newar Buddhist tradition and the dynamics of adaptation by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Particular attention will be paid to the complex relations between Newar Buddhism and the Hindu and autochthonous religious traditions it coexists with. Exploring continuities and differences, Newar Buddhism will also be contrasted with Theravāda Buddhism. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider he recent introduction of Theravāda Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society.

Fall2010: This class will focus on the Newar Buddhist tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. While in India itself Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among the Newars till the present day in Nepal. This allows for the unique chance to study Indic Mahāyāna Buddhism (and the manifold forms of tantric practice it includes) "on the ground" as a vibrant and dynamic religious tradition that concretely shapes and structures the lives of people and the culture and society they inhabit, and that in turn is transformed by the adaptation to this culture and society. We will approach the Newar Buddhist tradition and the dynamics of adaptation by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Particular attention will be paid to the complex relations between Newar Buddhism and the Hindu and autochthonous religious traditions it coexists with. Another important topic will be the recent introduction of Theravāda Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. The exploration of Newar Buddhism will be tied to other Buddhist and Indic religious traditions and their practice in society. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Indic Buddhism and how its functions in society.

The treatment of the Newar Buddhist tradition will be brought to life by the extensive presentation of visual materials including documentaries, and rare and fascinating video footage. Instead of set books there will be an extensive reader, which will be available on the day that classes start at University Copy on 2425 Channing Way.

Fall2008: "Buddhism in Contemporary Japan." A critical survey of key issues in the contemporary forms of Buddhism in Japan.  The course covers: Buddhist emergence into modernity, the rise of new lay-oriented Buddhist movements, the breakdown of traditional parishioner-temple relations, the role of pilgrimage sites and routes, and the internationalization of Buddhism.  We will read primary texts of contemporary Japanese Buddhist leaders, secondary literature on the history and sociology of contemporary Japanese Buddhism, and watch films about or on the role of Buddhism among individuals and organizations. Prerequisites: None.

Fall2006: This semester the class will focus on the contemporary practice of Indic Buddhism in Nepal and Sri Lanka, the two areas in South Asia where Buddhism has survived uninterruptedly to the present. We will approach these two traditions by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, Buddhist "modernism," the practice of meditation, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle rituals, and the relationship to the respective local Hindu traditions. As far as possible we will do so in a comparative vein, in order to explore differences and commonalities between the Theravada tradition preserved in Sri Lanka and the Mahayana tradition preserved in the Kathmandu Valley.

Buddstd C130
C130. Zen Buddhism. This course will introduce students to the Zen Buddhist traditions of China and Japan, drawing on a variety of disciplinary perspectives (history, anthropology, philosophy, and so on). The course will also explore a range of hermeneutic problems (problems involved in interpretation) entailed in understanding a sophisticated religious tradition that emerged in a time and culture very different from our own.

Buddstd C132
C132. Pure Land Buddhism. This course is designed as an upper division undergraduate class meeting twice a week. It will discuss the historical development of one school of East Asian Buddhism known as Pure Land. The Pure Land school is the largest form of Buddhism practiced today in China and Japan, though its study in the West has only recently been undertaken in earnest. There are literally thousands of books on this topic published in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese in the past 100 years, but limited materials are available in English. The curriculum is divided into India, China, and Japan sections, with the second half of the course focusing exclusively on Japan where this form of religious culture blossomed most dramatically, covering the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. The curriculum will begin with a reading of the core scriptures that form the basis of the belief system and then move into areas of cultural expression. The course will follow two basic trajectories over the centuries: doctrine/philosophy and culture/society. The first will require the critical reading of scriptures and their historical interpretations, the second looks at the impact of this doctrinal interpretation in society and the arts. Prerequisites: None.

Buddstd C135
C135. Tantric Traditions of Asia. The emergence of the tantras in seventh and eighth-century India marked a watershed for religious practice throughout Asia. These esoteric scriptures introduced complex new ritual technologies that transformed the religious traditions of India, from Brahmanism to Jainism and Buddhism, as well as those of Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan. This course provides an overview of tantric religion across these regions. It begins with an examination of the tantras’ origins in India and tantric Śaivism in particular. From here, the course moves to the esoteric Buddhist traditions of China and Japan, to consider how the tantric developments of India came to be understood within these distant cultures. Returning to India, we look at the later tantric developments of the Mahāyoga, Yoginī, and Kālacakra tantras. Finally, the course closes with a unit on the largely indigenous Tibetan tradition of the Great Perfection (or Dzogchen). Prerequisites: One course in Buddhist Studies or with consent of instructor.

Buddstd C140
C140. Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts. This course is an introduction to the study of medieval Buddhist literature written in Classical Chinese. We will read samples from a variety of genres, including early Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, indigenous Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, and hagiography. The course will also serve as an introduction to resource materials used in the study of Chinese Buddhist texts, and students will be expected to make use of a variety of reference tools in preparation for class. Readings in Chinese will be supplemented by a range of secondary readings in English on Mahayana doctrine and Chinese Buddhist history. Prerequisites: This course is intended for students who already have some facility in literary Chinese, and at least one semester of Classical Chinese (Chinese 110A) is prerequisite for enrollment. Prior background in Buddhist history and thought is helpful but not required.

Buddstd 154
154. Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhists view the moment of death as a rare opportunity for transformation. This course examines how Tibetans have used death and dying in the path to enlightenment. Readings will address how Tibetan funerary rituals work to assist the dying toward this end, and how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, and explorations of the dream state.

Buddstd C154
C154. Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhists view the moment of death as a rare opportunity for transformation. This course examines how Tibetans have used death and dying in the path to enlightenment. Readings will address how Tibetan funerary rituals work to assist the dying toward this end, and how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, and explorations of the dream state.

Buddstd C174
C174. Japanese Buddhism in Diaspora. This course focuses on Japanese Buddhism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in its encounter with modernity, colonialism, and immigration history.  Looking at the Japanese diaspora around the Pacific Rim, we will begin with Japanese Buddhism's relationship with the Meiji state, State Shinto, Christianity, and the West.  Regions covered include Manchuria, Korea, Hawaii, the U.S., Canada, and Brazil.  One lower-division course in Buddhist Studies or the consent of the instructor is a prerequisite for enrollment.

Buddstd 190
190. Topics in the Study of Buddhism. This course will focus on specific themes, developments, and issues in the study of Buddhism. The course is intended to supplement our regular curricular offerings, and the content will change from semester to semester.

Fall2013: "Reading Mahāyāna Buddhism." In this course we will closely read selections from four scriptures in the history of the Mahāyāna (“Great Vehicle”) traditions of Buddhism. Through close analyses of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines, the Scripture on Meditation of Direct Encounter with Buddhas of the Present, the Lotus Sutra, and the Sutra on the Land of Bliss, students will be introduced to key problems in Buddhist intellectual, social, and ritual history. Primary source readings will be paired with current scholarship on issues in Mahāyāna studies: the problem of origins; the social location of Mahāyāna teachers and students; and the role of ritual practices such as meditation, magic, relic veneration, and the worship of religious texts. Prerequisites: none.

Summer2012: "Lucid Dreaming and Enlightened Dying in Tantric Buddhism." Tibetan Buddhists view the moment of death as a rare opportunity for transformation. This course examines how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, sky gazing, extended dark retreats, and lucid dreaming. Many of these practices, and Tibetan dream yoga in particular, are rooted in the contemplative traditions of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). With its focus on the visual sphere and the lucid aspects of awareness, the Great Perfection seeks to unlock our habitual patterns of seeing to allow for a fuller range of visual experiences to emerge within the space of emptiness. To make sense of these ideas and practices, class discussion turns to modern parallels in the fields of psychology, philosophy, and film. The course ends by turning to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and how the west’s fascinations with this ancient text have produced a variety of unexpected interpretations of its significance.

Fall2011: "Religion and Society in Contemporary Japan." This course explores the development of Japanese religious traditions in the post-war period. The course is intended to serve as a general introduction to contemporary Japanese religious themes, issues, practices, as well as the challenges facing Japan's religious traditions today. We will begin with a brief look at issues of modernization, imperialism, and nationalism during the Meiji and Taisho periods--a time when the state exercised considerable control over religious institutions. We will then turn to the period of rapid political and social change that followed, which had a profound effect on all aspects of Japanese religious life. The course will examine a range of religious phenomena, including funerary practices, rituals for aborted fetuses and pets, pilgrimages, meditation, monasticism, temple succession problems and controversies, church-state relations, and so on. Readings will include primary sources in translation as well as secondary sources that provide context and supplement the lectures. The course consists of lectures, discussions, and visual resources.

Spring2011: "Buddhism and Society in Ancient Gandhāra." For one thousand years, from the time of emperor Aśoka in the 3rd century BCE until the advent of Islam in the late first millenium CE, the ancient country of Gandhāra (modern Afghanistan and Pakistan) was a cultural meeting ground and melting pot of Greek, Iranian, Central Asian and Indian influences. The Gandhāran school of art is famous for using Greek aesthetics to tell the story of the Buddha and his teaching, and the ancient Buddhist literature of Gandhāra (written in the languages Gāndhārī and Sanskrit) provides our earliest sources for the rise of the Mahāyāna and the development of the Northern schools of Buddhist philosophy. The Kusāna empire was centered in Gandhāra and united large parts of Central Asia, China and India between the first and fourth centuries CE, and it was at this time that the earliest Chinese translations of Buddhist texts were made from Gandhāran originals, turning Buddhism into a world religion. This course will begin with a brief introduction to early Indian Buddhism and an overview of the geography and the cultural and political history of Gandhāra. In the main part of the course we will draw on archeological and textual sources to see how the rulers, the Buddhist monastic community and the laity conducted their daily lives in Gandhāra. We will try to answer the question how Buddhism was practised by each of these groups, how their interaction with each other was mediated by Buddhism, and how their individual aspirations and activities combined to shape the overall development of Buddhism in this crucial period and place. At the end of the course, we will compare what we have learned about Gandhāran Buddhism with contemporary developments in early Sri Lanka, and we will ask whether aspects of the social dynamic of ancient Gandhāra are also at play in contemporary Buddhist societies in South, Southeast and East Asia. Primary readings (in English translation) and scholarly studies will be provided in the form of reading lists and on bSpace. Prerequisites: Some prior study of Buddhism or Asian culture is recommended.

Fall2010: "Religion and Society in Contemporary Japan." This course explores the development of Japanese religious traditions in the post-war period. The course is intended to serve as a general introduction to contemporary Japanese religious themes, issues, practices, as well as the challenges facing Japan's religious traditions today. We will begin with a brief look at issues of modernization, imperialism, and nationalism during the Meiji and Taisho periods--a time when the state exercised considerable control over religious institutions. We will then turn to the period of rapid political and social change that followed, which had a profound effect on all aspects of Japanese religious life. The course will examine a range of religious phenomena, including funerary practices, rituals for aborted fetuses and pets, pilgrimages, meditation, monasticism, temple succession problems and controversies, church-state relations, and so on. Readings will include primary sources in translation as well as secondary sources that provide context and supplement the lectures. Prerequisites: none.

Buddstd 198
198. Directed Group Study. Small group instruction in topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses.

Buddstd 199
199. Independent Study. Independent study in topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses.

Buddstd 200
200. Proseminar in Buddhist Studies. This seminar provides an opportunity for all students and faculty in the Group in Buddhist Studies to gather together on a regular basis to discuss recent theoretically significant works in the field of Buddhist Studies, as well as pertinent and important works in related disciplines (anthropology, art history, literature, history, philosophy, and religious studies). The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester so as to best accommodate the needs and interest of the students, but the focus will be on recent works representing the "state of the field."

Buddstd C214
C214. Seminar in Tibetan Buddhism. This course provides a place for graduate-level seminars in Tibetan Buddhism that rely primarily on secondary sources and Tibetan texts in translation.  Content will vary between semesters but will typically focus on a particular theme.  Themes will be chosen according to student interests, with an eye toward introducing students to the breadth of available western scholarship on Tibet, from classics in the field to the latest publications.

Fall2012: This year's seminar will examine the formation of Buddhist traditions in Tibet from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. After a preliminary review of the kinds of sources that are available to the Tibetan religious historian, class discussions will focus on a range of mechanisms for establishing authority, from polemical writings to lineage formation, visionary encounters and biography, to temple construction, sacred geography, and warfare. The readings will procede chronologically, and class discussions will be supplemented with selections from Tibetan art dating from the period in question. Each student will be expected to pick, in consultation with the instructor, a week (or two, depending on enrollment) in which s/he will present on a Tibetan text (either in Tibetan or in translation) relating to that week’s readings. Prerequisites: C114 ("Tibetan Buddhism"); or consent of instructor.

Buddstd C215A/B
C215A/B. Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts. A survey of the origins and development of the Abhidharma texts and commentaries in Pali and Sanskrit. Prerequisites: One year of Sanskrit; and consent of instructor.

Spring2014:The seminar this term will consist of two segments, namely an introduction to Pali language (and other varieties of Middle Indic), and a segment dedicated to reading Candrakīrti's commentary, the Pradīpoddyotana, on the Guhyasamāja tantra, in conjunction with Prof. Jacob Dalton. The Pali segment will introduce students with a good grounding in Sanskrit to reading Pali texts. We will cover the phonetic changes and grammatical features of this classical Buddhist language, and read the opening section of the Pali Vinaya, the Mahāvagga with its account of the Buddha' awakening and the subsequent events including the first sermon at Sarnath. Depending upon the interests of the students enrolled this class will also cover Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit and include reading passages from the Mahāvastu, which, similarly to the Mahāvagga, introduces the Vinaya of the Lokottaravādins with the story of the Buddha. Finally, we may also look at some other Prakrits. In the segment on the Pradīpoddyotana we will continue the readings in Sanskrit (and Tibetan) we did in the fall term 2013. This is to prepare for the international workshop on the Guhyasamāja Tantra that the Center of Buddhist Studies will host in March on campus, and for the conference "The Evolution of Tantric Ritual" that will take place in conjunction with this workshop. Students who did not participate in the seminar in the fall term are welcome to join as long as they have a firm grounding in reading Sanskrit. The Pradīpoddyotana segment will meet Wednesday 2:30-4, the Pali segment will meet after a short break afterwards on the same day, 4:15-5:45. You can take both segments or chose one of them only. In the latter case only enroll for 2 units credits.

Fall2012: The seminar is to provide a foundation for engaging with the core doctrines of scholastic Buddhism, notably its analysis of the person in terms of five skandhas. For this we will focus on an Abhidharma work by Vasubandhu, the Pañcaskandhaka. The Pañcaskandhaka is a concise text, a primer of sorts, that we will be able to read in its entirety. In addition to the recent Sanskrit edition (which is based on a manuscript that became available only in the last decade in China), we will also consult the Tibetan and Chinese translation. Once we have read through the Pañcaskandhaka we will return to select passages (notably pertaining to the vijñāna section) and read extracts of the vibhāṣā commentary by Sthiramati. We will access this commentary on the basis of the as yet unpublished edition of the Sanskrit text prepared by Jowita Kramer. This edition is likewise based on a manuscript that became available only recently in China. There is also a Tibetan translation of the commentary that we will likewise consult. While the Pancaskandhaka offers a comprehensive summary of Abhidharma doctrine from a Yogacara perspective, the reading is also intended as a platform to engage more specifically with particular aspects of Indian doctrinal Buddhism, including a comparison with the Pali Abhidhammma where useful.

Spring2012: In this class, we will be reading selections of early Buddhist court poetry (kāvya) in Sanskrit. The first half of the class will be devoted to the circle of learned monk‐poets surrounding the second‐century Kuṣāṇa emperor Kaniṣka, including Aśvaghoṣa, Mātṛceṭa and others. The specific texts to be read will partly depend on student interest, but will include Aśvaghoṣa’s epics (Buddhacarita or Saundarananda), the fragments of his dramas and Mātṛceṭa’s hymns (Varṇārhavarṇastotra or Śatapañcāśatka). In the second half of the class, we will read and compare selections from two poetic treatments of the previous lives of the Buddha: Āryaśūra’s Jātakamālā and the recently rediscovered Jātakamālā of Haribhaṭṭa. Special attention will be paid to the techniques and development of Sanskrit poetry; to the relationship of early Buddhist court poetry with contemporary Buddhist literature in Middle Indic languages; to the refashioning of Brahmanical themes by Buddhist court poets; to the tensions arising from the poet’s primary role as monastics and from their relationship to the court; and to the role of early Buddhist court poetry in the spread of Buddhism and the translation of Buddhist literature into non‐Indian languages. Readings will be provided in class. Students should have a good command of basic Sanskrit.

Spring2011: The seminar will be dedicated to two different subjects. In the first segment of the course (lasting until the beginning of March) we will study the Sanskrit text of the Svayambhūpurāṇa. This is not only a seminal text for the Newar Buddhist tradition, but it is also an important example of how narrative Buddhist literature was produced as a means to localize the Indic Buddhist tradition in a particular place (in the given case, the Kathmandu Valley). Despite its importance, the Svayambhūpurāṇa has not been properly edited, let alone translated into a western language. Without ignoring the large spectrum of versions and recensions (and the Tibetan translation by Situ Panchen Chos-kyi 'byung gnas) in which this work has been transmitted, we fill focus on the two shortest and oldest versions, which are composed in Sanskrit prose and verse respectively. In addition to an unpublished draft edition we will consult manuscripts for this. In the second segment of the seminar we will do some select readings of Mahāyāna sūtras. More precisely, we will study extracts from Śāntideva's sūtra anthology, the Śikṣāsamuccaya, and we will read some passages from the Saddharmasṃrtyupasthānasūtra. The plan is to read these Mahāyāna sūtra extracts together with Stanford Prof. Paul Harrisson and his students. This will involve some commutes to the Stanford campus that we will carefully coordinate. The seminar can be taken for two or four units credit. Hence it is possible for students to participate in only one of the two segments.

Fall2010: This seminar is taught by Buddhist Studies postdoc Dr. Stefan Baums, who recently earned his Ph.D. at the University of Washington with an edition and study of a first century BCE Gāndhārī manuscript containing a commentary on early Buddhist verses. Dr. Baums has been working with Buddhist manuscripts in Sanskrit and Gāndhārī for many years, at the Universities of Göttingen, Copenhagen and Washington and at Bukkyo University in Kyoto. In his class he will first provide an introduction to the Gāndhārī language and an overview of the Gāndhārī Buddhist (and non-Buddhist) literature that has been recovered from recently-found manuscripts. More than a hundred texts from a wide range of genres are now known, providing a unique window on the modes of textual production in early Buddhism, on the process of canonization of Buddhist texts, and on the emergence of the Mahāyāna movement and the development of Abhidharma. The main part of the class will be devoted to a close reading of Gāndhārī commentarial texts. Their concerns and exegetical techniques will be studied and compared with related Pali texts (Niddesa, Petakopadesa and the Atthakathās), and the genre of commentaries on verse anthologies will be traced from its earliest attestation in Gāndhārī into Buddhist Sanskrit literature. The linguistic and literary side of the class will also be useful for Sanskritists not specializing in Buddhism. As ususal, it is possible to take the class for two rather than four units credit.

Spring2010: Buddhism and Hagiography: Select Readings from Canonical Accounts of the Buddha's Life-Story.

Buddstd 220
220. Seminar in Buddhism and Buddhist Texts. Content varies with student interest and needs. The course will normally focus on classical Buddhist texts that exist in multiple recensions and languages, including Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan.

Spring2014: "Buddhist Philosophy, Phenomenology, and Cognitive Science: Assessing the Dialogue." This seminar will be devoted to recent work in cross-cultural philosophy that links Buddhist philosophy with cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and phenomenology. Our guiding question will be whether Buddhist philosophical psychology can be understood as a kind of phenomenology. The conviction that it can be so understood is often used as a way to argue for the relevance of Buddhist accounts of the mind, as well as Buddhist meditative practices, to cognitive science, especially to recent neuroscience attempts to explain consciousness. Yet this approach to the Buddhism-cognitive science dialogue has provoked criticism. Buddhist scholars have argued that Buddhist accounts of the mind are theoretical constructs, not phenomenological descriptions, and they have emphasized that these accounts are embedded in metaphysical and epistemological frameworks that are incompatible with “neurophysicalism,” the view that consciousness is a state of the brain. At the same time, philosophers and cognitive scientists have voiced scepticism about the validity of phenomenology for a scientific understanding of the mind. Examining these criticisms in light of our guiding question will require us to think about what exactly phenomenology is and what it could be in a modern cross-cultural context. At stake is nothing less than the fundamental issue of what it means for the human mind to examine itself and the place that Buddhist philosophy can have in this endeavor for us today. Our readings will include chapters from my forthcoming book, Waking, Dreaming, Being: New Light on the Self and Consciousness from Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy, the manuscript of Jay Garfield’s forthcoming book, Why Buddhism Matters to Philosophy, as well as a wide variety sources from Buddhist studies, Buddhist philosophy, cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and phenomenology.

Fall2013: description coming soon.

Spring2013: Select Sanskrit readings of Hevajra sādhana works by Ratnākaraśānti and others.

Fall2012: This seminar is dedicated to select readings from the Nispannayogavali focussing on particular mandalas, notably the the Vajradhatu, the Dharmadhatuvagisvara, the Sarvadurgatiparisodhana, the Cakrasamvara and a mandala in the Guhyasamaja tradition, the Pindikrama. The readings will include the treatment of the introductory section of the Nispannayogavali. In the absence of a satisfactory edition the readings will draw on manuscripts and the Tibetan translation. Class work will also include working with the parallel material in the Vajravali and with commentaries on the Nispannayogavali. Prof. Tachikawa will bring into the seminar the rich visual material he has collected over many decades. The seminar will cater principally to student with reading knowledge of Sanskrit and/or Tibetan

Fall2011: "Early Chinese Buddhist Commentaries." This seminar will be devoted to early Chinese Buddhist exegetical literature. More precisely, we will focus on some of the surviving commentaries composed during the early phase of Buddhist presence in China (2nd-3rd century CE). This largely unexplored body of exegetical texts (partly transmitted in the canon and partly recovered from manuscripts) is a first-rate source for the early developments of Chinese Buddhist thought during the crucial Han-Three Kingdoms transition. We will read a selection of these texts, analyzing their underlying historical, cultural, and social contexts, and focusing on their differences in terms of ideas and exegetical techniques, seen against the background of Indian Buddhist and Chinese indigenous traditions of hermeneutics. Given that most of these commentaries are explanations of translated scriptures, the seminar will also involve the analysis of early Chinese translations, making use of available Pali and Sanskrit parallels.

Fall2010: Professor Hartmann's seminar will meet 3-4:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One day will be dedicated to readings from the Dīrghāgama, a recently discovered (Mūla)Sarvāstivāda manuscript in Sanskrit (with many hybridisms) that corresponds closely to the Pali Dīghna-nikāya. Prof. Hartmann is the leading authority on this collection of early sūtras. In addition to the Sanskrit text, Prof. Hartmann will refer to corresponding Pali passages and the Chinese translation of the Dīrghāgama. However, Chinese is not a prerequisite for taking this segment. The other segment taught by Prof. Hartmann will be dedicated to readings from various Mahāyāna sūtras, among them the Sukhāvatīvyūha, the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra and an unknown sūtra on the benefits of producing an image of the Buddha. All readings are based on the recently discovered Sanskrit texts, and whenever possible the Tibetan and Chinese translations will be referred to. Time permitting, the Central Asian version of the Pravāranasūtra will be read as an example of a text reconstructed from multiple fragments. Again, Chinese and Tibetan are not a prerequisite for taking this segment. Since this seminar can be taken for 2 units credit it is possible to chose only one rather than both segments.

Spring2007: This course will be a survey of Buddhist poetry and poetics written in Pali, Sanskrit (“Classical” and “Buddhist Hybrid”), Prakrit, and Apabhramsha. The main question investigated will be in what sense such lyrical works can be legitimately labelled as “Buddhist” beyond any doctrinal content. To do this we will attempt a comparison with contemporaneous works written by non-Buddhist poets.

There are no formal language requirements, translations for all of the poems and rhetorical discussions will be provided. The main emphasis will be on understanding Buddhist authors’ ideas concerning the nature and purpose of poetry.

Buddstd C220
C220. Seminar in Buddhism and Buddhist Texts. Content varies with student interests.

Fall2014: "Early Buddhist Ritual LIterature." What did Buddhist ritual look like before the grand esoteric synthesis of the seventh and eighth centuries CE? To investigate the precedents of esoteric Buddhism, we must look to earlier genres of incantatory literature: vidyā (spells), rakṣā (wards), and dhāraṇī (encapsulations). The seminar will focus in detail on the Mahāmāyūrīvidyārājñī (Great Peahen, Queen of Spells) and the Amoghapāśahṛdaya (Unerring Lasso’s Heart-Spell, an early precursor to the Amoghapāśakalparāja). We will examine these texts and associated literature in a variety of languages, including Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese; competence in reading at least one of these languages is required to participate in the course. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Fall2013: "The Guhyasamāja Tantra." Seminar in Buddhism and Buddhist Texts. This seminar will focus on the innovations and ritual systems of the Guhyasamaja Tantra. Readings will be in both Sanskrit and Tibetan. Particular attention will be paid to chapters two, five, eight, and thirteen of the root tantra, and to gain a clearer understanding of how early tantric Buddhists of India and Tibet interpreted these chapters, we will also consider Candrakirti’s Pradipodyotana and other commentarial material. Secondary literature on the Guhyasamaja ritual tradition will also be consulted. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Spring2013: TBD

Fall2012: TBD

Spring2011: "An intensive introduction to research in the field of Chinese Buddhism." Topics will include: (1) the early Chinese assimilation of Buddhism; (2) the emergence of medieval Chinese Buddhist "schools" such as Chan, Tiantai, Pure Land, and the Esoteric tradition; (3) the Mogao (Dunhuang) cave site and library; (4) Song Buddhism; (5) later Chinese Buddhism. Secondary readings may be supplemented by indigenous Chinese sutra and sastra materials such as Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Visualization Sutra, Platform Sutra, Mulian Saving His Mother, etc. The course is intended for graduate students with a background in Buddhism, Chinese literature, or East Asian history or art history, who may not have a background in the study of Chinese Buddhism per se. (It is designed in part to serve as preparation for a Ph.D. qualifying exam in the area.) Permission of the instructor required.

Fall2009: This seminar will look at the Sarvatathāgata-tattvasamgraha nd its exegetical traditions.  It will focus in particular on the related practices of image consecration and generation of oneself as a deity.  After examining the relevant passages in the canonical text itself and considering how they relate to the parallel techniques described in the Tibetan Dunhuang manuscripts, before turning to the tantra's Indian commentaries, including Śākyamitra's Kosalālamkāra and the works by Buddhaguhya and Ānandagarbha.  Finally we will consider the Kriyāsamgraha and other later Nepalese and Tibetan discussions of these practices, with an eye for how these fundamental practices were reworked and reinterpreted by later exegetes. 

Spring2009: This semester the seminar will focus on Candrakirti's Prasannapada Madhyamakavrtti, Chapter 24, using both the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. This text is among the most important philosophical works in the Indian Buddhist Madhyamika tradition, and is known for the beauty of its prose as well as its lucid and historically influential approach to the notion of "emptiness." Students will also read various secondary studies of Madhyamika thought in Indian and Tibet.

Fall2008: "Chinese Buddhist Texts in the Context of Chinese Religion." This seminar will focus on the close reading of a range of Chinese religious texts drawn primarily from the Buddhist tradition. We will read examples from different genres of Buddhist materials, including biographical, doctrinal, ritual, and historical—geographical sources. In order to effectively study Chinese Buddhism it is also necessary to utilize non-canonical sources along with texts not exclusively categorized as “Buddhist.” Therefore, this seminar will also involve the introduction to and reading of epigraphical materials, Daoist texts, and relevant sections from gazetteers. One of the goals of this seminar will also be to introduce students to the wide range of research tools for studying Chinese religious texts (dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, electronic databases, etc.) now available in Chinese, Japanese, and European languages. All of the primary readings will be in classical Chinese. Prerequisites: Graduate student standing; or consent of instructor.

Fall2006: This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in Classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures, Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in Classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. The content of the course will be adjusted to accommodate the needs and interests of students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required.

Fall2005: This semester the seminar will focus on Tibetan primary sources for the study of Tibetan religion and cultural history. We will supplement our readings of the Tibetan texts with a variety of secondary works on Buddhism in Tibet and the Himalayas. Students must have reading knowledge of Tibetan. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required.

Spring2005: This semester the seminar will focus on the Vimalakirti Sutra, using the new edition of the Potala Palace Sanskrit manuscript as well as the various extant editions in Tibetan and Chinese. We will supplement our readings of the Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese texts with a variety of secondary works on early Mahayana Buddhism. Students must have reading knowledge of Sanskrit or Tibetan or Classical Chinese. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required.

Buddstd C223
C223. Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts. This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in Classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures. Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in Classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering the basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students.

Fall2013: "Early Chan Buddhism." This course will look at the early development of the Chinese Chan tradition through a variety of documents, with a focus on Dunhuang manuscripts and the writings of medieval Tang exegetes. In addition to the usual philological and historical issues, we will focus on a hermeneutic question: what epistemological "frame" is best suited for understanding these early materials? Should we approach them phenomenologically, as attempts to denote and delimit a particular experience or understanding of the world that is immediately available to us as human beings? Are they exegetical works: attempts by the Chinese to grapple with various doctrinal formulations and puzzles found in Buddhist scriptures? Are they performative: prescriptive models of "enlightened" speech and activity used to legitimize Chinese ecclesiastical authority? What other options might there be? This course is intended for graduate students with advanced facility in literary Chinese. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor required for all students, with the exception of graduate students in EALC or GBS.

Spring2013: TBD

Fall 2012: TBD

Fall 2011: This semester half of the time will be devoted to reading Chinese Buddhist materials directly related to the research interests of the Ph.D. students enrolled in the course. The other half will focus on  medieval Chinese Buddhist documents related to debates concerning the distinction between sentient and insentient things. Texts will include Chinese translations of Sanskrit Abhidharma works, as well as indigenous Chinese exegetical materials.

Spring2011: Readings with Prof. Foulk will include Indian sutras and Vinaya texts in Chinese translation, indigenous monastic rules (qingui), and Chan texts (yulu, gongan).

Spring2010: TBD

Fall2009: TBD

Spring2009: This semester the seminar will focus on Chinese Buddhist materials related to the particular research interests of the Ph.D. students enrolled in the course, with a focus on hermeneutic issues, research tools, and translation strategies. The selection of primary texts will include works on visualization practices, liturgical manuals, early Shingon materials attributed to Kukai, and an assortment of Daoist works.

Fall2008: "Early Chan Buddhism." This course will look at the early development of the Chinese Chan tradition through a variety of documents, with a focus on Dunhuang manuscripts and the writings of medieval Tang exegetes. In addition to the usual philological and historical issues, we will focus on a hermeneutic question: what epistemological "frame" is best suited for understanding these early materials? Should we approach them phenomenologically, as attempts to denote and delimit a particular experience or understanding of the world that is immediately available to us as human beings? Are they exegetical works: attempts by the Chinese to grapple with various doctrinal formulations and puzzles found in Buddhist scriptures? Are they performative: prescriptive models of "enlightened" speech and activity used to legitimize Chinese ecclesiastical authority? What other options might there be? The seminar will begin with materials not typically associated with early Chan, including Tantric scriptures and ritual manuals associated with the Tattvasamgraha tradition. The Chinese readings will be accompanied with a variety of recent secondary studies on early Chan, with a particular focus on the so-called Hongzhou school. This course is intended for graduate students with advanced facility in literary Chinese. Permission of the instructor required for all students, with the exception of graduate students in EALC or GBS.

Buddstd C224
C224. Readings in Tibetan Buddhist Texts. This graduate seminar provides an introduction to a broad range of Tibetan Buddhist texts as well as to the methods and resources for their study. Readings for the course will be drawn from a variety of genres and historical periods, including: (1) chronicles and histories, (2) biographical literature, (3) doctrinal treatises, (4) canonical texts, (5) ritual manuals, (6) pilgrimage guides, and (7) liturgical texts. The seminar is designed to be of interest to graduate students interested in premodern Tibet from any perspective (literature, religion, art, history, philosophy, law, etc.).Students are required to do all of the readings in the original classical Tibetan. The course will also introduce students to “tools and methods” for the study of Tibetan Buddhist literature, including standard lexical and bibliographic references, digital resources, and secondary literature in modern languages. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to account for the needs and interests of particular students.

Spring2014: This seminar will explore the origins and early development of Rdzogs chen (“the Great Perfection”) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The course will proceed chronologically, beginning with the tradition’s origins in the late eighth and early ninth centuries and ending with the codifying work of Klong chen rab ’byams pa in the fourteenth century. Texts considered may include a short manuscript from Dunhuang, the 9th-10th-century writings of Nupchen Sangye Yeshe, the early Snying thig tantras and their Vimalamitra-attributed commentaries, and the writings of Longchenpa. Readings will be analyzed with an eye for historical developments—philosophical, ritual, doxographical, etc.—that unfolded under the umbrella of Rdzogs chen. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Spring2013 (Section 1): The seminar will explore the development of early tantric Buddhism of the eighth through eleventh centuries. The central readings will be in classical Tibetan, some from the Dunhuang archive, though they will be supplemented by secondary sources in English. Though we will be reading in Tibetan, the focus will be on ritual developments in India. Students should have a strong ability to read classical Tibetan. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Spring2013 (Section 2): This course in intermediate and advanced classical Tibetan will involve weekly translation assignments and a term paper. Readings will be drawn from two distinct genres of Tibetan literature, correspondences (Tib. chab shog) and liturgies. The correspondences selected for this class are letters exchanged between lamas and kings and concern a particular religious crisis in eighteenth century Tibet. The assigned liturgies are adaptations made by monastic clerics of treasure texts (Tib. gter ma) and will be read with an eye to the process of domestication involved in their composition.

Fall2011: This is a reading course in classical Tibetan for students of intermediate and advanced abilities. The selected readings will cover several literary modes, including autobiographical narrative, dialogue written in the vernacular, contemplative instruction, and philosophical discourse. Many of the readings were composed in Eastern Tibet in the 19th century and reflect the religious culture of this region and era. Students will be assigned translation exercises and short research projects into the persons, places, and traditions mentioned in the readings.

Spring2011: "Tibetan Histories." This seminar will provide an introduction to different genres of Tibetan historical sources.  The course will proceed chronologically, from the early imperial period to the twentieth century.  Genres consulted with include topical histories (lo rgyus), religious histories (chos ‘byung), clan histories (gdung rabs), monastic histories (gdan rabs), biographies (rnam thar), and more.  Students may also be asked to supplement these primary sources with readings in relevant secondary scholarship.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Fall2010: "Tibetan Histories." The seminar will provide an introduction to the available Tibetan historical sources. The course will proceed chronologically, from the early imperial period to the twentieth century. Genres consulted with include topical histories (lo rgyus), religious histories (chos ‘byung), clan histories (gdung rabs), monastic histories (gdan rabs), biographies (rnam thar), and more. Students will also be asked to supplement these primary sources with readings in relevant secondary scholarship. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Spring2010: "Tibetan Buddhist Art." The seminar will focus on specific aspects of Tibetan Buddhist art which are not yet well defined in the available literature. In particular it will deal with the main phases of the development of Tibetan art, the development of Tibetan Buddhist iconography and the interrelationship of iconographic types, the relationship of distinctive iconographic subjects to particular schools or transmission linages and their changes over time, the relationship of different types of textual sources to imagery and the definition of Tibetan artistic schools in art historical terms. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Buddstd C225
C225. Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts. This graduate seminar serves as an introduction to a broad range of Japanese Buddhist literature belonging to different historical periods and genres, including (1) liturgical texts; (2) monastic records, rules, and ritual manuals; (3) doctrinal treatises; (4) biographies of monks; and (5) histories of Buddhism in Japan. The seminar is designed to be of interest to a range of graduate students working on premodern Japanese culture (literature, philosophy, intellectual history, religion, art, etc.). Students are required to do all the readings in the original languages, which are classical Chinese (kanbun) and classical Japanese. The seminar will also serve as a "tools and methods" course, covering basic reference works for the study of Japanese Buddhism as well as secondary scholarship in Japanese. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to accommodate the needs and interests of the students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

Spring2014: The focus will be on Japanese writings on Buddhism from the Meiji period through early Showa periods, looking primarily at examples of how modernity affected Japanese Buddhist thought. Probable topics: defining the place of the Buddhist priest in modern society, government led attempts to fuse Buddhism and Shinto (daikyoin), consideration of non-monastics in defining sectarian traditions (shugaku), redefining the two-truth doctrine in political terms (shinzoku nitai), demythologization (hishinwaka), the impact of German philosophy and Christian theology on Zen and Pure Land thinkers (= Kyoto School), the issue of the Mahayana scriptures not being the word of the historical Buddha, and the appeal of the Tannisho as the most representative text of modern religious thinking. This class can be taken for either 2 or 4 credits. A research paper and presentation on one's research topic are required for 4 credits. Prerequisites: This class will be open to undergraduates who have either completed will be concurrently enrolled in J100B (advanced Japanese), and at least one semester of classical Japanese (Japan 120) is also required.

Buddstd C240
C240. Readings in Chan and Zen Buddhist Literature. This graduate seminar is an intensive introduction to primary sources used in the study of Chan and Zen Buddhism. It is designed to be of interest to a range of graduate students working on premodern Chinese and Japanese culture (literature, philosophy, intellectual history, religion, art, etc.). The seminar will also introduce students to Asian and Western language reference tools for the study of East Asian Buddhist texts, including web resources. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students.

Buddstd 298
298. Directed Study for Graduate Students. Special tutorial or seminar on selected topics not covered by available courses or seminars.

Buddstd 299
299. Thesis Preparation and Related Research.

Buddstd 601
601. Individual Study for Master's Students. Individual study for the comprehensive or language requirements in consultation with the graduate adviser. Units may not used to meet either unit or residence requirements for a master's degree.

Buddstd 602
602. Individual Study for Doctoral Students. Individual study in consultation with the major field adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for qualified students to prepare for various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D.


Chinese (CHINESE)

Chinese C140
C140. Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts. This course is an introduction to the study of medieval Buddhist literature written in Classical Chinese. We will read samples from a variety of genres, including early Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, indigenous Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, and hagiography. The course will also serve as an introduction to resource materials used in the study of Chinese Buddhist texts, and students will be expected to make use of a variety of reference tools in preparation for class. Readings in Chinese will be supplemented by a range of secondary readings in English on Mahayana doctrine and Chinese Buddhist history. Prerequisites: This course is intended for students who already have some facility in literary Chinese, and at least one semester of Classical Chinese (Chinese 110A) is prerequisite for enrollment. Prior background in Buddhist history and thought is helpful but not required.

Chinese 182
182. Death and Funerary Practice in China. This course examines funerary practices in Chinese history, as a means to explore views of the body, the function of ritual, and conceptions of the afterlife. We will consider the history of burial practice and tomb ornamentation, and the role of imperial tombs in the construction of authority. We will devote particular attention to the way in which the disposition of the corpse functioned as a liminal space onto which debates about cultural values could be projected. Such debates include discussions about the appropriate degree of mourning rites in Warring States thought, filiality and cremation in Confucian discourse, mummification and auto-cremation in Buddhism, and issues surrounding burial in contemporary China.

Chinese C185
C185. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy. A survey of the history of Chinese philosophy from late Chou times through the Ch'ing dynasty. Treated in some depth are a number of major Chinese thinkers including Confucius, Mencius, Hsun Tzu, Mo Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Tung Chung-shu, Chu Hsi, Wang Yang-ming, and Tai Chen. One of the major themes presented in the course is the development of Chinese ethical theory and the role of language in moral education. Also listed as Philosophy C167.

Fall2006: This course will acquaint students with key thinkers from the Zhou dynasty through the end of the Qing dynasty. While the course is arranged chronologically, we will also take up more thematic considerations, such as the development of statecraft, the idea of the self, and the discourse on kinship. Much of class time will be devoted to careful readings of primary sources in translation, with attention to major themes and modes of argument.

Chinese C223
C223. Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts. This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in Classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures. Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in Classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering the basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students.

Fall2013: "Early Chan Buddhism." This course will look at the early development of the Chinese Chan tradition through a variety of documents, with a focus on Dunhuang manuscripts and the writings of medieval Tang exegetes. In addition to the usual philological and historical issues, we will focus on a hermeneutic question: what epistemological "frame" is best suited for understanding these early materials? Should we approach them phenomenologically, as attempts to denote and delimit a particular experience or understanding of the world that is immediately available to us as human beings? Are they exegetical works: attempts by the Chinese to grapple with various doctrinal formulations and puzzles found in Buddhist scriptures? Are they performative: prescriptive models of "enlightened" speech and activity used to legitimize Chinese ecclesiastical authority? What other options might there be? This course is intended for graduate students with advanced facility in literary Chinese. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor required for all students, with the exception of graduate students in EALC or GBS

Spring2013: TBD

Fall2012: TBD

Fall2011: This semester half of the time will be devoted to reading Chinese Buddhist materials directly related to the research interests of the Ph.D. students enrolled in the course. The other half will focus on  medieval Chinese Buddhist documents related to debates concerning the distinction between sentient and insentient things. Texts will include Chinese translations of Sanskrit Abhidharma works, as well as indigenous Chinese exegetical materials.

Spring2011: Readings with Prof. Foulk will include Indian sutras and Vinaya texts in Chinese translation, indigenous monastic rules (qingui), and Chan texts (yulu, gongan).

Fall2009: TBD

Spring2009: This semester the seminar will focus on Chinese Buddhist materials related to the particular research interests of the Ph.D. students enrolled in the course, with a focus on hermeneutic issues, research tools, and translation strategies. The selection of primary texts will include works on visualization practices, liturgical manuals, early Shingon materials attributed to Kukai, and an assortment of Daoist works.

Fall2008: "Early Chan Buddhism." This course will look at the early development of the Chinese Chan tradition through a variety of documents, with a focus on Dunhuang manuscripts and the writings of medieval Tang exegetes. In addition to the usual philological and historical issues, we will focus on a hermeneutic question: what epistemological "frame" is best suited for understanding these early materials? Should we approach them phenomenologically, as attempts to denote and delimit a particular experience or understanding of the world that is immediately available to us as human beings? Are they exegetical works: attempts by the Chinese to grapple with various doctrinal formulations and puzzles found in Buddhist scriptures? Are they performative: prescriptive models of "enlightened" speech and activity used to legitimize Chinese ecclesiastical authority? What other options might there be? The seminar will begin with materials not typically associated with early Chan, including Tantric scriptures and ritual manuals associated with the Tattvasamgraha tradition. The Chinese readings will be accompanied with a variety of recent secondary studies on early Chan, with a particular focus on the so-called Hongzhou school. This course is intended for graduate students with advanced facility in literary Chinese. Permission of the instructor required for all students, with the exception of graduate students in EALC or GBS.


East Asian Languages and Cultures (EA LANG)

EA Lang C50
C50. Introduction to the Study of Buddhism. This course will provide a basic understanding of the teachings and practices of Buddhism. The central issues will be situated within their broader Indian historical contexts, and the readings follow a generally chronological order. The course begins with the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the founding of the Buddhist monastic order. The course then progresses to the cosmological and philosophical developments of the Mahayana, followed by the ritual and mythological innovations of the Buddhist tantras. The final section takes a brief look at how Buddhism moved into other regions such as Tibet, China, and Japan. Prerequisites: None.

EA Lang C120
C120. Buddhism on the Silk Road. This course will discuss the social, economic, and cultural aspects of Buddhism as it moved along the ancient Eurasian trading network referred to as the “Silk Road”. Instead of relying solely on textual sources, the course will focus on material culture as it offers evidence concerning the spread of Buddhism. Through an examination of the Buddhist archaeological remains of the Silk Road, the course will address specific topics, such as the symbiotic relationship between Buddhism and commerce; doctrinal divergence; ideological shifts in the iconography of the Buddha; patronage (royal, religious and lay); Buddhism and political power; and art and conversion.

EA Lang C122
C122. Buddhist Meditation: Historical, Doctrinal, and Ethnographic Perspectives. This course will explore the nature and function of Buddhist meditation as it developed within various Buddhist traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia. Emphasis will be on the historical evolution, doctrinal foundations, and the monastic and extra-monastic regimens associated with Buddhist meditation practices. We will make use of a wide variety of primary and secondary readings as well as visual materials (including films) to attempt to place the historical and doctrinal accounts within their cultural and institutional contexts.

EA Lang C124
C124. Buddhism in Film. This course will examine contemporary Buddhism, its history, and basic concepts through a critical analysis of a series of films. Students will be asked to explore the tension between East and West, tradition and progress, fantasy and reality as it unfolds in different representations of Buddhism.

EA Lang C126
C126. Buddhism and the Environment. A thematic course on Buddhist perspectives on nature and Buddhist responses to environmental issues. The first half of the course focuses on East Asian Buddhist cosmological and doctrinal perspectives on the place of the human in nature and the relationship between the salvific goals of Buddhism and nature. The second half of the course examines Buddhist ethics, economics, and activism in relation to environmental issues in contemporary Southeast Asia, East Asia, and America.

EA Lang C128
C128. Buddhism and Contemporary Society. A study of the Buddhist tradition as it is found today in Asia. The course will focus on specific living traditions of East, South, and/or Southeast Asia. Themes to be addressed may include: contemporary Buddhist ritual practices; funerary and mortuary customs; the relationship between Buddhism and other local religious traditions; the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state; Buddhist monasticism and its relationship to the laity; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist "modernism"; and so on.

Spring2014: While including the monastic Theravada traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the Mahāyāna tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, which here—uniquely in South Asia—has survived till the present day. We will approach this tradition by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Exploring continuities and ruptures, Nepalese Buddhism will be contrasted with Theravada Buddhism. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider the recent introduction of Theravada Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field—the Kathmandu valley where Buddhism exists alongside Hinduism and indigenous traditions—but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society. Prerequisites: None.

Fall2012: While considering the monastic Theravāda traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the Mahāyāna tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Whereas in India Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among till the present day among the Newars, the indigenous population of the Kathmandu Valley. This survival allows for the unique chance to study Indic Mahāyāna Buddhism (and the manifold forms of tantric practice it includes) "on the ground" as a vibrant and dynamic religious tradition that concretely shapes and structures the lives of people and the culture and society they inhabit, and that in turn is transformed by the adaptation to this culture and society. We will approach the Newar Buddhist tradition and the dynamics of adaptation by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Particular attention will be paid to the complex relations between Newar Buddhism and the Hindu and autochthonous religious traditions it coexists with. Exploring continuities and differences, Newar Buddhism will also be contrasted with Theravāda Buddhism. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider he recent introduction of Theravāda Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society.

Fall2010: This class will focus on the Newar Buddhist tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. While in India itself Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among the Newars till the present day in Nepal. This allows for the unique chance to study Indic Mahāyāna Buddhism (and the manifold forms of tantric practice it includes) "on the ground" as a vibrant and dynamic religious tradition that concretely shapes and structures the lives of people and the culture and society they inhabit, and that in turn is transformed by the adaptation to this culture and society. We will approach the Newar Buddhist tradition and the dynamics of adaptation by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Particular attention will be paid to the complex relations between Newar Buddhism and the Hindu and autochthonous religious traditions it coexists with. Another important topic will be the recent introduction of Theravāda Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. The exploration of Newar Buddhism will be tied to other Buddhist and Indic religious traditions and their practice in society. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Indic Buddhism and how its functions in society.

The treatment of the Newar Buddhist tradition will be brought to life by the extensive presentation of visual materials including documentaries, and rare and fascinating video footage. Instead of set books there will be an extensive reader, which will be available on the day that classes start at University Copy on 2425 Channing Way.

Fall2008: "Buddhism in Contemporary Japan." A critical survey of key issues in the contemporary forms of Buddhism in Japan.  The course covers: Buddhist emergence into modernity, the rise of new lay-oriented Buddhist movements, the breakdown of traditional parishioner-temple relations, the role of pilgrimage sites and routes, and the internationalization of Buddhism.  We will read primary texts of contemporary Japanese Buddhist leaders, secondary literature on the history and sociology of contemporary Japanese Buddhism, and watch films about or on the role of Buddhism among individuals and organizations. Prerequisites: None.

Fall2006: This semester the class will focus on the contemporary practice of Indic Buddhism in Nepal and Sri Lanka, the two areas in South Asia where Buddhism has survived uninterruptedly to the present. We will approach these two traditions by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, Buddhist "modernism," the practice of meditation, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle rituals, and the relationship to the respective local Hindu traditions. As far as possible we will do so in a comparative vein, in order to explore differences and commonalities between the Theravada tradition preserved in Sri Lanka and the Mahayana tradition preserved in the Kathmandu Valley.

EA Lang C130
C130. Zen Buddhism. This course will introduce students to the Zen Buddhist traditions of China and Japan, drawing on a variety of disciplinary perspectives (history, anthropology, philosophy, and so on). The course will also explore a range of hermeneutic problems (problems involved in interpretation) entailed in understanding a sophisticated religious tradition that emerged in a time and culture very different from our own.

EA Lang C132
C132. Pure Land Buddhism. This course is designed as an upper division undergraduate class meeting twice a week. It will discuss the historical development of one school of East Asian Buddhism known as Pure Land. The Pure Land school is the largest form of Buddhism practiced today in China and Japan, though its study in the West has only recently been undertaken in earnest. There are literally thousands of books on this topic published in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese in the past 100 years, but limited materials are available in English. The curriculum is divided into India, China, and Japan sections, with the second half of the course focusing exclusively on Japan where this form of religious culture blossomed most dramatically, covering the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. The curriculum will begin with a reading of the core scriptures that form the basis of the belief system and then move into areas of cultural expression. The course will follow two basic trajectories over the centuries: doctrine/philosophy and culture/society. The first will require the critical reading of scriptures and their historical interpretations, the second looks at the impact of this doctrinal interpretation in society and the arts. Prerequisites: None.

EA Lang C135
C135. Tantric Traditions of Asia. The emergence of the tantras in seventh and eighth-century India marked a watershed for religious practice throughout Asia. These esoteric scriptures introduced complex new ritual technologies that transformed the religious traditions of India, from Brahmanism to Jainism and Buddhism, as well as those of Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan. This course provides an overview of tantric religion across these regions. It begins with an examination of the tantras’ origins in India and tantric Śaivism in particular. From here, the course moves to the esoteric Buddhist traditions of China and Japan, to consider how the tantric developments of India came to be understood within these distant cultures. Returning to India, we look at the later tantric developments of the Mahāyoga, Yoginī, and Kālacakra tantras. Finally, the course closes with a unit on the largely indigenous Tibetan tradition of the Great Perfection (or Dzogchen). Prerequisites: One course in Buddhist Studies or with consent of instructor.

EA Lang C220
C220. Seminar in Buddhism and Buddhist Texts. Content varies with student interests.

Fall2014: "Early Buddhist Ritual LIterature." What did Buddhist ritual look like before the grand esoteric synthesis of the seventh and eighth centuries CE? To investigate the precedents of esoteric Buddhism, we must look to earlier genres of incantatory literature: vidyā (spells), rakṣā (wards), and dhāraṇī (encapsulations). The seminar will focus in detail on the Mahāmāyūrīvidyārājñī (Great Peahen, Queen of Spells) and the Amoghapāśahṛdaya (Unerring Lasso’s Heart-Spell, an early precursor to the Amoghapāśakalparāja). We will examine these texts and associated literature in a variety of languages, including Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese; competence in reading at least one of these languages is required to participate in the course. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Fall2013: "The Guhyasamāja Tantra." Seminar in Buddhism and Buddhist Texts. This seminar will focus on the innovations and ritual systems of the Guhyasamaja Tantra. Readings will be in both Sanskrit and Tibetan. Particular attention will be paid to chapters two, five, eight, and thirteen of the root tantra, and to gain a clearer understanding of how early tantric Buddhists of India and Tibet interpreted these chapters, we will also consider Candrakirti’s Pradipodyotana and other commentarial material. Secondary literature on the Guhyasamaja ritual tradition will also be consulted. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Fall2012: TBD

Spring2011: An intensive introduction to research in the field of Chinese Buddhism. Topics will include: (1) the early Chinese assimilation of Buddhism; (2) the emergence of medieval Chinese Buddhist "schools" such as Chan, Tiantai, Pure Land, and the Esoteric tradition; (3) the Mogao (Dunhuang) cave site and library; (4) Song Buddhism; (5) later Chinese Buddhism. Secondary readings may be supplemented by indigenous Chinese sutra and sastra materials such as Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Visualization Sutra, Platform Sutra, Mulian Saving His Mother, etc. The course is intended for graduate students with a background in Buddhism, Chinese literature, or East Asian history or art history, who may not have a background in the study of Chinese Buddhism per se. (It is designed in part to serve as preparation for a Ph.D. qualifying exam in the area.) Permission of the instructor required.

Fall2009: This seminar will look at the Sarvatathāgata-tattvasamgraha and its exegetical traditions.  It will focus in particular on the related practices of image consecration and generation of oneself as a deity.  After examining the relevant passages in the canonical text itself and considering how they relate to the parallel techniques described in the Tibetan Dunhuang manuscripts, before turning to the tantra's Indian commentaries, including Śākyamitra's Kosalālamkāra and the works by Buddhaguhya and Ānandagarbha.  Finally we will consider the Kriyāsamgraha and other later Nepalese and Tibetan discussions of these practices, with an eye for how these fundamental practices were reworked and reinterpreted by later exegetes. 

Spring2009: This semester the seminar will focus on Candrakirti's Prasannapada Madhyamakavrtti, Chapter 24, using both the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. This text is among the most important philosophical works in the Indian Buddhist Madhyamika tradition, and is known for the beauty of its prose as well as its lucid and historically influential approach to the notion of "emptiness." Students will also read various secondary studies of Madhyamika thought in Indian and Tibet.

Fall2008: "Chinese Buddhist Texts in the Context of Chinese Religion." This seminar will focus on the close reading of a range of Chinese religious texts drawn primarily from the Buddhist tradition. We will read examples from different genres of Buddhist materials, including biographical, doctrinal, ritual, and historical—geographical sources. In order to effectively study Chinese Buddhism it is also necessary to utilize non-canonical sources along with texts not exclusively categorized as “Buddhist.” Therefore, this seminar will also involve the introduction to and reading of epigraphical materials, Daoist texts, and relevant sections from gazetteers. One of the goals of this seminar will also be to introduce students to the wide range of research tools for studying Chinese religious texts (dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, electronic databases, etc.) now available in Chinese, Japanese, and European languages. All of the primary readings will be in classical Chinese. Prerequisites: Graduate student standing; or consent of instructor.

Spring2008: Description not available.

Fall2006: This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in Classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures, Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in Classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. The content of the course will be adjusted to accommodate the needs and interests of students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required.

Fall2005: This semester the seminar will focus on Tibetan primary sources for the study of Tibetan religion and cultural history. We will supplement our readings of the Tibetan texts with a variety of secondary works on Buddhism in Tibet and the Himalayas. Students must have reading knowledge of Tibetan. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required.

Spring2005: This semester the seminar will focus on the Vimalakirti Sutra, using the new edition of the Potala Palace Sanskrit manuscript as well as the various extant editions in Tibetan and Chinese. We will supplement our readings of the Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese texts with a variety of secondary works on early Mahayana Buddhism. Students must have reading knowledge of Sanskrit or Tibetan or Classical Chinese. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required.

EA Lang C240
C240. Readings in Chan and Zen Buddhist Literature. This graduate seminar is an intensive introduction to primary sources used in the study of Chan and Zen Buddhism. It is designed to be of interest to a range of graduate students working on premodern Chinese and Japanese culture (literature, philosophy, intellectual history, religion, art, etc.). The seminar will also introduce students to Asian and Western language reference tools for the study of East Asian Buddhist texts, including web resources. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students.

 


History (HISTORY)

History 280F Asia (For M.A. Candidates)
History 280G
Asia (For Ph.D. Candidates)
280F/280G. Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of Asia.

Spring2009: Japanese Buddhism, it has been said, was only discovered or invented as a “religion” in the modern era, as part of the process by which religion itself came to be conceived as a component of the modern order.  This seminar is intended to test this claim. We propose to explore the multiple relationships of Buddhism to modernity, focusing on the Restoration era through 1945.  Readings will consider the transformations, adaptations, and metamorphoses of Buddhist thought, practice, and institutional life involved in the process of its emergence as a “religion” in Japan—not just alongside (and in response to) Christianity and Shintô, but also in relation to broader “secular” trends in politics and culture.  Our concerns will encompass new Buddhist-inflected notions of the self and forms of literary experimentation, clerical and lay social life and activity, the propagation of Buddhism to the West, colonial missionizing, and Buddhist involvement in Japan’s war effort.  Prerequisites: Although English-language texts will be used, it is envisioned that students with sufficient reading ability will engage primarily with key texts in Japanese. Students interested in enrolling should contact Professors Barshay and Williams prior to the beginning of the semester.

 


History of Art (HISTART)

Histart 30
30. Art of India and Southeast Asia. This course surveys the arts of South and Southeast Asia from 2000 BC to the present, including painting, sculpture and architecture. It treats prehistoric material (Indus Valley, Don Song), Buddhist sculpture, Hindu temples and their images, and miniature painting. Art will be considered in relation to its religious, political, and social contexts. The course will normally focus on major monuments, seen from multiple viewpoints, or upon problems and issues that relate the art of this area to traditions of other parts of the world (or differentiate it from them). No previous background is presumed, and students will be introduced to basic art-historical methods of viewing and analysis. Prerequisites: None.

Fall2006: We will survey the art of the Indian subcontinent, from 1700 BCE to the present, beginning with the modern works on display in the Berkeley Art Museum (closing Sept. 17) and then proceeding chronologically from the most ancient. This course attempts to present the diverse history of Indian visual culture, including the skills of slow looking and of understanding a complex history in which the present continues to interact with the past. (NB This year the course will NOT include Southeast Asia as indicated in the General Catalogue.)

Histart 34
34. Arts of China. An introduction to the arts of China, designed for newcomers to the history of art or to the study of Chinese culture. Lectures will survey six millennia of Chinese art thematically and chronologically, including the burial arts of the Neolithic period through the Tang dynasty (4th M. BCE-10th C. CE), Buddhist and Daoist ritual arts, and painting and calligraphy. Lectures, readings, and discussions will introduce students to various systems of Chinese thought, modes of visual analysis, and art historical method.

Histart 35
35. Art and Architecture in Japan. This course is an introduction to art and architecture in Japan. It is intended for newcomers to the history of art and/or to the study of Japanese history and culture. Lectures will proceed chronologically, beginning with the archaeological objects and tumuli of neolithic Japan and ending with the popular graphic arts of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries and modern transformations of art.

Fall2012: This course examines art and architecture in Japan, ancient to contemporary, crossing into multiple categories of visual, material, and built culture in diverse social, political, and religious contexts. Why do images of the Buddha seem to look alike, and what does seeing a Buddha mean; what distinguishes Buddhist architecture; why are rough earthenware tea bowls among the most treasured artistic objects in Japan; what’s up with the representation of “Geisha;” how can a building (Ise Shrine) be simultaneously the oldest and newest architecture in Japan; how has modernity made Japanese art “Japanese”? What do works of Japanese art and architecture demand of us, what do they reveal?

Fall2009: This introductory survey poses a challenge: to look and think critically about the art and architecture of Japan. I’m not going to require you to memorize the names and dates of countless works, feed you answers about what they mean, or accept the sound-bite substitutes for knowledge that one finds often on line. You will be asked interrogate rather than absorb passively; take issue with representation, rhetoric, and built environments rather than accept popular notions of Japanese art, Japan, and Asia. We will consider a range of artistic/architectural categories and styles across a broad historical span: objects and structures of the Neolithic and Tumuli eras; pictorial and calligraphic works related to the brush arts and Buddhism; figural and landscape works of the medieval to early modern eras (narrative paintings, portraits, and woodblock prints); ceramic and lacquer arts; Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, castles; modern and contemporary art in a global context; and so on. We will engage: visuality, material and spatial presences, and social-political rhetoric. We will ask: why do images of the Buddha seem to look alike (do they really?); why are rough earthenware tea bowls among the most treasured artistic objects in Japan; what’s up with the representation of Geisha; and are manga and anime the only things that matter in Japanese visual culture? The course requires active participation and stresses writing.

Histart 131A
131A. Sacred Arts of China. The history of the art of painting in China from the third century C.E. through the late imperial period. The course takes a chronological and thematic approach to the classical tradition of Chinese painting and other arts of the brush expressed in a variety of elite and popular genres, considering them in the context of aesthetic and narrative theory, biography, economic history, social life, and politics.

Spring2011: This course is a survey of Chinese painting and theories of visual representation from the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.) to the end of the Song (960-1279). We will trace the transformation of pictorial art and, to a lesser extent, sculpture in Buddhist and secular traditions. Lectures, readings and discussions will focus on major tomb and devotional cave sites, figural scroll paintings and classic landscapes, the descriptive and expressive use of the brush in both painting and calligraphy, the character of Chinese pictorial space, and the relationship between word and image. We will pay close attention to early theories of art and to religious, intellectual, and material culture. We will also consider the implications of applying Western-derived modes of analysis to Chinese art. Writing assignments will be based on direct encounters with works of art at the Berkeley Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, both of which have major collections of art from this period.

Fall2006: A survey of Chinese painting and theories of visual representation from the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.) to the end of the Sung (960-1279), tracing the transformation of pictorial art in sacred (mainly Buddhist) and secular traditions. Lectures, readings and discussions will treat figural and landscape styles, the descriptive and expressive use of the brush in both painting and calligraphy, the character of Chinese pictorial space and the relationship between word and image, in the context of contemporaneous theories of art and religious, intellectual, and material culture. Emphasis will also be placed on understanding the implications of applying Western-derived modes of analysis to Chinese art, as well as on direct experience with works of art at the Berkeley Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Histart 134
134. The Arts of the Japanese Temple. This course introduces the art and architecture of Buddhist temples in Japan. Whether as a monastic center, private devotional chapel, or popular urban nexus, the temple has comprised one of the key religious environments of Japan and has had an enduring impact upon the development of architecture and the visual arts. We will examine selected temple sites and assess their individual histories and art histories keeping an eye on broader themes: what were the architectural and artistic requirements of temples; how did precinct siting and architectural form reflect and condition religious activity; how did iconography help practitioners to visualize the divine; what functions did specific icons, relics, and other numinous objects play in the ritual and visual life of the temple; and how were programs and ensembles of art and architecture developed to meet the needs of particular communities? The course will also consider elite patronage and popular pilgrimage, the dispersal of religious icons into museum and private collections during the 19th and 20th centuries, and the preservation and conservation of temple buildings and objects. Emphasis will also be placed on direct study of works of Buddhist art exhibited at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Histart 134A
134A. Buddhist Temple Art & Architecture in Japan. Primarily the architecture and sculpture of Japanese Buddhist temples, 7th to 13th centuries.

Histart 134B
134B. Buddhist Icons in Japan. This course introduces the study of Buddhist icons in Japan, principally paintings and sculpture but also texts, within broader Buddhist ritual and visual cultures from ca. 500 CE to the early 20th century.

Spring2012 and Fall2014: This course introduces the study of Buddhist icons in Japan within broader visual cultures in Asia. We will consider exemplary and unusual images of the Buddha and other deities; miraculous and secret icons; iconotexts and relics; and art historical praxis. What are we to make, for instance, of legends that claim that the first image of the Buddha Śākyamuni (J. Shakamuni), carved during his lifetime in South Asia, resides in Japan? What about speaking and moving statues? Why are sculptures "stuffed" with texts and other items? How is Buddhist soteriology represented, and what benefits accrue to practitioners who encounter, view, and make offerings to icons? What drives the replication of particular iconic forms; why might deities shape/identity-shift? What is the "modern gaze," and how does it change what we see when we look at Buddhist icons?

Histart 134C
134B. Buddhist Art in the Modern/Contemporary World. This course explores representations of the Buddha and other Buddhist detities in the modern and contemporary world, including pre-modern works of painting and sculpture, images made by contemporary artists, and images within popular culture.

Summer2012: This course considers Buddhist images/objects in diverse situations and communities of the Modern and Postmodern world (in Asia, the West, and trans-­‐national contexts). Buddhist art works are a mainstay of art histories of Asia and prominent in museum collections, and representations of the Buddha, bodhisattvas, and meditating monks abound in popular culture. Although they are all around us, these images/objects often resist easy categorization (are they living images of the divine, museum treasures, metaphors for Asian culture, marketing devices, all of the above?) They provoke fascinating questions: how have traditional understandings of Buddhist religious images adjusted to or resisted the modern world; how have ancient icons consecrated in sacred sites in Asia come to be re-­‐situated into museums (what happens when museum visitors view them?); and what functions do Buddhist images have in entertainment, commercial, and virtual cultures? How have Buddhist works and imageries fared under colonialism and during periods of internal revolution and global conflict? To explore these questions we will read thought-­‐provoking texts, study Buddhist images/objects in local contexts (temple, museum, street art, boutique, etc.), consider Buddhas in film/Buddhist film, critique the museum as a site of representing cultures, explore on-­‐line, and so on. There is no prerequisite for this course other than a willingness to look, explore, and engage in informed and open-­‐minded discussion.

Histart 136A
136A. The Art of India: Indus Valley Through 550 A.D. A survey of Indian art from the Indus civilization through 550 A.D. This class will focus on Buddhist architecture and sculpture with emphasis on the development of (pictorial) narrative, the evolution of style and iconography and some problems of dating.

Histart 136B
136B. The Art of India: 500-1350 A.D. A survey of Hindu sculpture and architecture in India from the sixth to fourteenth centuries.

Spring2009: We will look mainly at architecture and the sculpture it houses, plus the small amount of wall painting that survives.  The buildings are largely Hindu temples, although Buddhist, Jain, and Muslim remains will also be included.  I seek to give a sense of shared principles and belief systems, and at the same time to convey the diversity of the built, carved, and cast forms on the Indian sub-continent during this long, rich period.

Histart 136C
136C. The Art of India: 1350 A.D. to the Present. This course will consider the diverse forms of painting between 1200 and 1900 in South Asia. Many were part of illustrated books made for Hindu Rajas and Mughal Emperors. The challenge of the course is to understand these seemingly incompatible traditions and the ways in which they have interacted, not only in major courts but also in urban and village settings, concluding with the hybrid visual cultures of British India. Indigenous aesthetic systems and the role of individual painters will be considered.

Fall2009: This course will consider the rich diversity of paintings in South Asia made mainly for books and albums to be viewed in private. These include texts of the Buddhists and Jains (originating in palm-leaf manuscripts), the detailed images of the Mughals (illustrating their own history and Persian tales) Rajput pictures (of devotional, courtly, and romantic subjects), and various mélanges of the colonial period. The time-frame is the 12th through 19th centuries.

Histart 137
137. The Art of Southeast Asia. A survey of the arts of Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Laos, and Burma (a.k.a. Myanmar). We will look first at indigenous traditions of the distant past and their modern survivals. Then we will consider the spectacular Buddhist and Hindu monuments (e.g. Borobudur, Angkor, Pagan) loosely in chronological order by sub-region, from the 5th through the 18th centuries. A sense of the interaction between the local tradition and imported ideas and techniques is a goal of the course.

Histart 190A, Section 1
190A.1. Special Topics in Asian Art

Spring2010: Description not available.

Spring2009: "Buddhist images in the modern/contemporary world" This course will explore the visual forms, places, and powers of Buddhist imagery in diverse situations and communities of the modern and contemporary world (in Asia, the West, and trans-national contexts). Images of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and meditating monks abound in art history courses, museum galleries, and popular culture. They defy easy categorization (are they living images of the divine, museum treasures, metaphors for meditation and Asian culture, marketing devices, or all of the above)? At the very least, they provoke a number of questions: How have traditional understandings of Buddhist icons and iconographies adjusted to or resisted new contexts and communities of reception in the modern world; how have ancient icons consecrated in sacred sites in Asia come to be re-situated into museums; what does seeing an image of the Buddha mean today in our increasingly virtual culture; and how have Buddhist images fared under colonialism and amid global capitalism and international geopolitical conflict?

Spring2008: "Buddhist Icons and Art in Japan." This course introduces topics in the study of Buddhist art in Japan from the sixth century to the present within broader Buddhist religious traditions and visual cultures. We will look at and discuss exemplary and unusual images of the Buddha and other deities, consider diverse narrative accounts of images, attempt to unpack their multivalent meanings and ritual functions, and explore art historical praxis. What are we to make, for instance, of legends that tell us that the first image of the Buddha Sakyamuni, supposedly carved during his lifetime in ancient India, now resides in Japan? How and why have Japanese painters and sculptors represented the Buddha and other deities in particular ways? What benefits accrued to viewers through the act of looking at such images? What are the ritual functions of mandara, and why do many sculptures have texts and things placed inside them? How are Buddhist concepts such as rebirth and salvation represented? What roles do relics and portraits have in Buddhist visual culture? Why is Japan filled with images, illustrated scriptures, and temples if Buddhist teachings implore us to grasp the fundamental emptiness of all visual and material things? Prerequisites: None.

Histart 190A, Section 2 (Spring 2005)
190A.2. Special Topics in Asian Art: "Himalayan Art." The art produced in the different regions of the Himalayas is almost exclusively religious and to a large extend an expression of Tibetan Buddhism. The course introduces the sources and main periods of Himalayan art from the earliest examples (7th century) to the present according a western as well as an indigenous perspective. It also focuses on the relationship of the art to the religious practice prevalent at the time of its production. Analyzing exemplary art works of different periods in greater detail, the course also introduces to art historical methodology (e.g. the discussion of style, composition, iconography, ornament, or technique). Prerequisites: None.

Histart N190A
N190A. Special Topics in Asian Art

Summer2010: "Buddhist Images in the Modern/Contemporary World." The course will localize broad questions in case studies including the Giant Buddhas of Bamiyan; the “Buddha bikini scandal;” looting and repatriation; the museumification of Buddhist icons; contemporary art and Buddhist imagery; corporate profit and devotional benefit; sand Mandala; and so on. Our goal is not to arrive at a single definition or theory but to find methods of study that allow for sensitivity to religious imagery and critical awareness of the open-ended impact and reception of images.

Summer2006: "Icons, Art Masterpieces, and Bikini's: Buddhist art and imagery in the Temple, Museum, and Pop Culture." This Upper Division lecture course will explore the visual forms, places, and powers of Buddhist images in diverse situations and communities of the Modern and Postmodern world (in Asia, the West, and trans-national contexts). Premodern Buddhist images are a mainstay of art histories of Asia and museum collections, and representations of the Buddha, bodhisattvas, and meditating monks abound in popular culture (from advertisements of commercial products to Rave flyers and beyond). Although they are all around us today, such images seem to resist easy categorization (are they living images of the divine, museum treasures, metaphors for meditation and Asian culture, marketing devices, or all of the above?) And they provoke numerous questions: How have traditional understandings of Buddhist icons and iconographies adjusted to or resisted new contexts and communities of reception in the modern world; how have ancient icons consecrated in sacred sites in Asia come to be re-situated into museums (and what happens when museum visitors view them?); what does seeing an image of the Buddha mean today in our increasingly virtual culture; and how have Buddhist images fared under colonialism and amid global capitalism and international geopolitical conflict?

Histart 192A, Section 1 (Fall 2012)
192A.1. Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Art History: "Visual Cultures of Zen Buddhism in Medieval and Early Modern Japan." This seminar examines the visual cultures associated with medieval-to-early modern Zen Buddhism in Japan, situating the production, materiality, expressive forms, and functions of painting, calligraphy, and sculpture within the East Asian interregional context of Buddhism and art making and circulation. Taking advantage of recent publications on Zen Buddhism and Zen art, the seminar introduces key works and situates them within critical debates surrounding, among other topics, portraiture and the Zen figural pantheon, calligraphy and inscriptional practices, ritual functions, and sectarian orthodoxy. Many of these works are considered “masterworks” of Japanese art; our task is to consider them not strictly in terms of their “star status” in the modern canon but as far more complex and potent visual embodiments of soteriology, cultural praxis, and self-fashioning (which turn out, often, to be far more fascinating than our modern interpretations suggest). Readings will be geared toward acquiring historical-contextual knowledge as well as a grasp of the (sometimes polemical/contentious) history of the subject of Zen art and the current “state of the field.” Participants will be expected to be thoroughly prepared for each session (based upon reading, looking, and thinking) and to lead/contribute to discussion. Weekly writing assignments will build toward a final research and writing project. As feasible, we will study selected works held in the collections of the Berkeley Art Museum and Asian Art Museum, SF. Prior study of art history, Asian studies, Buddhist Studies is not required but will be helpful (students without such background will be expected to “dive in” immediately and deeply). Note: This course will not consider “Zen rock gardens” or architecture; nor is it an examination of modernist or contemporary art with Zen associations/appropriations (and student projects may not focus on these topics).

Histart 192A, Section 1 (Spring 2010)
192A.1. Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Art History: "Zen Art." Description not available.

Histart 192A, Section 1 (Fall 2009)
192A.1. Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Art History: "Problems of Archaeological Conservation in South and Southeast Asia." The great monuments of the past are threatened by weather, by the forces of worldwide appreciation and by the art market.  Unexcavated sites are in even greater jeopardy.  Is the solution protection by UNESCO as World Heritage sites?  What is our responsibility as students of art history?  We will consider together some of the sites that have caught the attention of journalists. Students should have familiarity with a monument in some part of the region, either from courses or from travel.  This is not a seminar on the nuts and bolts of conservation, but rather on theoretical and ethical issues raised in effectively protecting remains of the past on the other side of the globe.

Histart 192A, Section 1 (Fall 2006)
192A.1. Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Art History: "Encircling Emptiness:'Zen Art' in Question and in Context." This undergraduate seminar will interrogate commonly held concepts of "Zen art" and consider what happens when we look through popular conceptions to historically and culturally specific objects and Zen monastic communities in medieval and early modern Japan and East Asia. We will ask questions such as: What sorts of paintings, sculptures, and calligraphies have been part of Zen communities and monastery/temple sites; how have inter-regionalism and the established corpus of Mahayana Buddhist pictorial themes contributed to the visual arts of Zen; how has the profusion of such objects operated in relationship to the doctrinal ideal of Emptiness and non-reliance upon mediating words and images; how do poetry and inter-textual cultures operate in "Zen art;" and where and when do we locate possible discourses on Zen and the visual arts? Along the way, we will investigate representations of classic Zen personae, such as Bodhidharma; consider portraiture and landscape painting as a potent visual settings for the expression of awakening and community; explore monastic environments and the ornamentation of ritual space; consider the role of monks as art connoisseurs; and tempt discussion of painting and calligraphy as spaces of "performance" as much as categories of visual art.

Histart 192A, Section 1 (Fall 2004)
192A.1. Undergraduate Seminar in Japanese Art History: "Seeing Buddhist Icons in Modern/Postmodern Worlds." This seminar will explore the visual imagery, places, and powers of Buddhist icons in diverse situations and communities of the Modern and Late Modern world (in Asia, the West, and trans-national contexts). Premodern Buddhist images are a mainstay of art histories of Asia and museum collections, and representations of the Buddha, bodhisattvas, and meditating monks abound in popular culture (from advertisements of commercial products to Rave flyers and beyond). Although they are all around us today, it seems, Buddhist icons seem to resist easy categorization (are they living images of the divine, museum treasures, metaphors for meditation and Asian culture, marketing devices, all of the above, etcetera?) And they provoke numerous questions. How have traditional understandings of icons adjusted to or resisted new contexts and communities of reception in the modern world; how have ancient icons consecrated in sacred sites in Asia come to be re-situated into museums (and what happens when this has transpired); and what does seeing an icon mean today in our increasingly virtual culture? How have Buddhist images fared under colonialism and during periods of internal revolution and international geopolitical conflict? How has art history (mis)understood Buddhist icons? Does the modern conservation of sacred sites and images constitute a solution or problem? When should icons be removed from their original sites or, alternatively, be repatriated to them? Prerequisites: Students from diverse majors and programs are welcome but attendance is mandatory and the work load and participation requirements significant.

Histart 192A, Section 2 (Fall 2008)
192A.2. Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Art History: "Art of Afghanistan under the Kushans: Global and Local Forms." We will make use of the exhibition Treasures of Afghanistan (scheduled to open at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, in October 2008).  The over-arching topic of the seminar will be globalization from the 3rd c. BCE till the 3rd c. CE.  How did the Greek diaspora in Bactria, Central Asian overlords in northern South Asia, and Mediterranean trade interact with Indic and Buddhist traditions? Students unfamiliar with Indian art in this period are encouraged to audit HA 136a for 4 weeks. 

Histart 192A, Section 2 (Fall 2004)
192A.2. Undergraduate Seminar in Tibetan Art History: "Himalayan Art." Of the once enormous corpus of art produced in the Himalayas, the art of the western Himalayas forms a clearly distinctive body with a history of more than 700 years. The seminar aims at introducing western Himalayan art and its topics from its very beginnings in the late 10th century to its gradual disappearance beginning in the late 16th century and considers major monuments in the region as well as portable art such as scroll paintings (thangkas) and bronzes.

The seminar will be organized in a highly interactive fashion. On the basis of introductory summaries and reading assignments the participants are expected to critically review and discuss the considered topics. The goal of the seminar is to produce a handbook of western Himalayan art containing at least two short contributions by each participant that summarize a topic and collect bibliographic references for it.

Histart 230
230. Seminar in Chinese Art. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Spring2011: "Dunhuang." This graduate seminar will focus on Dunhuang, the richest Buddhist site in China. Over the course of the semester, we will trace shifts in the design and construction of its nearly 400 devotional caves over several centuries, from the Northern Liang through the Yuan dynasties (4th-14th centuries) and think about how this single site could serve such a diverse, evolving Buddhist community. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which Dunhuang’s caves were experienced as complete sculptural and pictorial environments meant to answer practical programmatic needs and to enable new forms of Buddhist practice. We will also consider some of the vast body of ephemeral material—pictorial and textual—removed from the site’s famous Manuscript Cave and now in collections in Britain, France, India, China, and elsewhere. Students from the History of Art and related fields (East Asian Languages, History, Buddhist Studies) are all welcome.

Spring2010: "Across Boundaries: Problems in Art and Translation."

Histart 234
234. Seminar in Japanese Art. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Spring2013: Whereas the study of Buddhism in relation to modernity has produced multiple books and articles, the elephants in the room, so to speak, are the diverse visual presences of "Buddhist modernism" (Trans-Buddhism, global Buddhism, etc.): pictorial imageries and three-dimensional objects, in multiple materials/media and registers of circulation and consumption, and in varied spaces of modern and contemporary Buddhism and popular culture. Arguably, these visual works not merely accompany Buddhist modernity, and what follows, but embody and empower particular formations and "deployments" of "Buddhism." This graduate seminar will work to interrogate the visual cultures linked to, and generative of Buddhism and modernity, starting from a sequence of case studies and histories that draw attention to pictures, statuary, photographs, and films with visual images that reference Buddhism and that are implicated in, and instrumental to, Empire, racist ideology, inter-religious conflict, and global war, or may constitute counter-representations against hegemonic power and orientalism. Such works, when acknowledged and examined, unsettle normative perceptions and representations of Buddhism as contemplative, meditative, therapeutic, and philosophical, and may problematize the notion of "Buddha mind" in modern and contemporary art. Depending on the interests of participants, we may take up the works of modern and contemporary artists within monastic and lay communities. Student proposed topics are also welcome.

Fall2009: This seminar, built around the exhibition “Lords of the Samurai” at the Asian Art Museum, SF (June 12-September 20), considers the collection of the Hosokawa family within histories of collecting in Japan and East Asia and histories of particular media, genre, and representation/embodiment. As this suggests, our strategy will be to consider triangulations between the Hosokawa, collecting history, and collected objects, rather than linear or binary relationships. The matter thus requires not merely consideration of individual collectors but also cultures of collecting, patronage, and specific objects and texts about objects and collections. We will ask how particular objects created (and re-created) the collection as well as how the collection created objects.

Histart 236
236. Seminar in the Art of India. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Spring2011: "Narration in the Arts of South and Southeast Asia." Many stories are told pictorially in the paintings and sculpture of India, Indonesia, and other parts of this huge region. Subjects range from fables and stories of previous births of the Buddha to Hindu epics and Persian picaresque romances and “real” histories. Does the narrative structure differ from that of Western images? Do they follow consistent patterns, and do these correspond to verbal narrative? While background in the arts of South & Southeast Asia is not a pre-requisite for students, anyone without some knowledge of the culture of the region should expect to do extra work to fill in.

Spring2010: "Reading textiles from sculpture and painting in South and Southeast Asia." We have little archaeological evidence about textiles of the past in these regions, although recently textiles clearly are important ritual objects as well as commodities. To what extent and with what preconceptions and methods can we identify particular textiles from carved and painted images?

Spring2009: It has been asserted that vision plays a particular role in the religions of India and that this leads to some qualities in the arts of the area. This seminar will address darshan (literally eye contact with a divinity) and other theoretical arenas for visualization, considering their relationship to Western concepts of the gaze, imagination, etc..  We will simultaneously consider whether and how these ideas play out in sculpture and paintings of a wide variety of kinds.

Histart 290
290. Special Topics in Fields of Art History: "Tibetan Buddhist Art." The art produced in the different regions of the Himalayas is almost exclusively religious and to a large extend an expression of Tibetan Buddhism. The course introduces the sources and main periods of Himalayan art from the earliest examples (7th century) to the present according a western as well as an indigenous perspective. It also focuses on the relationship of the art to the religious practice prevalent at the time of its production. Analyzing exemplary art works of different periods in greater detail, the course also introduces to art historical methodology (e.g. the discussion of style, composition, iconography, ornament, or technique).


Japanese (JAPAN)

Japan C115
C115. Japanese Buddhism. A critical survey of major themes in the history of Japanese Buddhism. The course covers: the transmission of Buddhism from China and Korea to Japan; the subsequent evolution in Japan of the Tendai, Shingon, Pure Land, Nichiren, and Zen schools of Buddhism during the medieval period; the interaction between Buddhism, "Shinto," and "folk religion"; the relationship between Buddhism and the state, especially during the Edo period; Buddhist perspectives on nature, healing, and pilgrimage; and Buddhist modernism of the Meiji period. Prerequisites:  None.

Japan 144
144. Edo Literature. Critical reading and translation of important literary texts from the Edo period, including poetic diaries, merchant fiction, and joruri drama. Prerequisites:  Japanese 100A and Japanese 120.

Spring2011 and Spring2010: This seminar is intended to develop reading skills for working with Edo (pre-modern) materials across several genres and different styles of writing, i.e., classical Chinese (kanbun) and classical Japanese (kana), for those who are working on pre-modern Japanese disciplines. We will start by reading selections from two texts in Zen Buddhist tradition and popular culture, respectively: 1) /A Record of Sendai's Comments on the Poems of Cold Mountain/ ("Kanzan-shi sendai-kimon") written in 1746 by Hakuin Ekaku, his commentary on the poems of the Chinese semi-legendary Zen figure Han-shan; and 2) /Katto-shu-/, written in 1813, a collection of essays about the origins or histories of a wider range of cultural events, manners, and customs. Our readings might be extended to parts of Hakuin's other famous and widely read work entitled /Oradegama/ which was written in both kanbun and kana. One of the goals of this seminar will also be to help students familiarize with research tools such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and indexes for studying Edo writing materials and to help them understand a broad range of pre-modern Japanese literature and historical archives. All of the primary manuscripts used in this class will be in kanbun and kana, and will be distributed during the first class. Prerequisites: Japanese 146; or consent of instructor.

Japan C174
C174. Japanese Buddhism in Diaspora. This course focuses on Japanese Buddhism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in its encounter with modernity, colonialism, and immigration history. Looking at the Japanese diaspora around the Pacific Rim, we will begin with Japanese Buddhism's relationship with the Meiji state, State Shinto, Christianity, and the West. Regions covered include Manchuria, Korea, Hawaii, the U.S., Canada, and Brazil.

Japan C225
C225. Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts. This graduate seminar serves as an introduction to a broad range of Japanese Buddhist literature belonging to different historical periods and genres, including (1) liturgical texts; (2) monastic records, rules, and ritual manuals; (3) doctrinal treatises; (4) biographies of monks; and (5) histories of Buddhism in Japan. The seminar is designed to be of interest to a range of graduate students working on premodern Japanese culture (literature, philosophy, intellectual history, religion, art, etc.). Students are required to do all the readings in the original languages, which are classical Chinese (kanbun) and classical Japanese. The seminar will also serve as a "tools and methods" course, covering basic reference works for the study of Japanese Buddhism as well as secondary scholarship in Japanese. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to accommodate the needs and interests of the students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

Spring2014: The focus will be on Japanese writings on Buddhism from the Meiji period through early Showa periods, looking primarily at examples of how modernity affected Japanese Buddhist thought. Probable topics: defining the place of the Buddhist priest in modern society, government led attempts to fuse Buddhism and Shinto (daikyoin), consideration of non-monastics in defining sectarian traditions (shugaku), redefining the two-truth doctrine in political terms (shinzoku nitai), demythologization (hishinwaka), the impact of German philosophy and Christian theology on Zen and Pure Land thinkers (= Kyoto School), the issue of the Mahayana scriptures not being the word of the historical Buddha, and the appeal of the Tannisho as the most representative text of modern religious thinking. This class can be taken for either 2 or 4 credits. A research paper and presentation on one's research topic are required for 4 credits. Prerequisites: This class will be open to undergraduates who have either completed will be concurrently enrolled in J100B (advanced Japanese), and at least one semester of classical Japanese (Japan 120) is also required.

Letters and Science (L & S)

L & S 124
124. Consciousness: Buddhist and Neuroscientific Perspectives. Twenty-five years ago the Dalai Lama suggested that a dialogue between Buddhist practitioners and Western scientists interested in the nature of consciousness and its relationship to the world might lead to new ideas and be of benefit to both the Buddhist and scientific communities.  While science and religion are not generally considered to be natural collaborators, the dialogue that ensued quickly gained momentum and catalyzed new strands of research, most notably in the area of the neuroscience of meditation and emotion.  Coming from our two disciplinary perspectives (Buddhist studies and neuroscience) we have found ourselves intrigued, excited, and at the same time critical of the Buddhism/science dialogues. We will, in our own way, carry on this dialogue among ourselves, first by laying the necessary groundwork in our respective fields, and then by exploring areas of convergence and divergence around certain themes. The process will include reflection on fundamental epistemological and metaphysical commitments in both traditional Buddhist thought and contemporary biological sciences.

The first half of the semester will present, in alternating weekly lectures, basic concepts and assumptions in the fields of Buddhism and neuroscience as they relate to the study of mind and consciousness. On the Buddhist side this will include lectures on the origins and fundamental tenets of Buddhism, including Buddhist cosmology, soteriology, and metaphysics; Buddhist philosophy of mind, self, and consciousness; and Buddhist meditation theory. On the science side this will include central concepts of contemporary neuroscience, as they have developed within the historical trajectory of Western science, including evolutionary biology, chemistry, and physics; nervous-system structure and function and approaches to linking brain physiology to notions of mind, self, and consciousness; and Western science perspectives on the mind-matter relation more generally.  The second half of the semester will explore areas of convergence and divergence, focusing on such themes as: (1) varying accounts of the emergence of self and mind (both evolutionary and phenomenological perspectives), (2) the problem of free will and determinism, (3) the origins of life and the distinction between sentience and insentience, (4) death, and (5) the meaning of life.

L & S 160D
160D. Philosophy and Values: “Thinking about Not Thinking: Approaches to Buddhist Meditation.” This course will introduce students to the vast body of literature bearing on the subject of meditation, from both within and without the Buddhist tradition. It is not a course on how to meditate, but rather a multi-disciplinary introduction to the subject that will juxtapose historical, ethnographic, doctrinal, psychological, and philosophical perspectives.

We will begin with an introduction to the study of Buddhism, focusing on cosmology, doctrine, and institutional history. In the process, we will historicize and critique popular new-age depictions of Buddhism that situate meditation in the context of psychotherapy, self-help, mysticism, and so on. The course will include excursions into the disciplines of anthropology, ritual theory, philosophy of mind, developmental psychology, cognitive science, and religious studies. The objective is for students to gain a sophisticated understanding not only of Buddhism and meditation, but also of the theoretical tools that scholars use to make sense of religion and “religious experience” writ large.


Philosophy (PHILOS)

Philos C167
C185. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy. A survey of the history of Chinese philosophy from late Chou times through the Ch'ing dynasty. Treated in some depth are a number of major Chinese thinkers including Confucius, Mencius, Hsun Tzu, Mo Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Tung Chung-shu, Chu Hsi, Wang Yang-ming, and Tai Chen. One of the major themes presented in the course is the development of Chinese ethical theory and the role of language in moral education. Also listed as Chinese C185.

Fall2006: This course will acquaint students with key thinkers from the Zhou dynasty through the end of the Qing dynasty. While the course is arranged chronologically, we will also take up more thematic considerations, such as the development of statecraft, the idea of the self, and the discourse on kinship. Much of class time will be devoted to careful readings of primary sources in translation, with attention to major themes and modes of argument.


Psychology (PSYCH)

Psych 106
106. Psychology of Dreams. Dreaming is a necessary, universal nightly activity of the human mind and brain. It provides a special opportunity for study of the workings of the mind since dreams occur in the absence of both sensory input and the ordinary logic of waking consciousness. It also provides an opportunity for hands on study of the subject matter since we all dream This class will cover some of the major psychological theories, interpretations, and uses that have been made of dreams. These include: overview of the biology of dreaming, Freud, Jung, Existentialism, Gestalt, cognitive approaches to dreaming, artistry dream work, group/cultural dream work, practical dream work, lucid dreaming, dream incubation, dreaming while awake, techniques such as active imagination, and some introduction to Eastern approaches to dreaming and dream yoga. Students will be encouraged to keep dream diaries to provide an experiential component to the class and so that they may apply the class topics and do research using the material they generate themselves.

Psych 107
107. Buddhist Psychology. Buddhist psychology examines and describes minds based on ordinary life situations as those experienced by people. It provides a contrast to present western psychologies, which treat mind as an external object to be studied by the methods of the natural sciences, and a contrast to philosophical approaches which derive theories of mind from intellectual inference. The basic laboratory technique is mindfulness meditation. Lectures and readings will present basic aspects of the three main historical interpretations of Buddhist psychology, drawing primarily on sources within Buddhist and other meditation traditions but also on some material from the social sciences.

Psych 290P
290P. Special Topics Seminar.

Spring2011: "Clinical and Other Applications of Eastern Thought and Meditation." Eastern systems of understanding present portraits of the human that are very different from traditional western folk and scientific views. This seminar will explore some Buddhist, Taoist, and, to some extent, Hindu systems, and we will sample a few of the meditation practices that underlie them. We will look at possible implications for a wide range of issues, beginning with the relatively concrete on which work in the west has already been done (stress, health, mindfulness), proceeding to formulations which suggest different views of the body, emotions, cognition, personality, "value" or other topics students wish to examine, and hopefully expanding to include a taste of how all these issues fit within the original systems.

Spring2009: "Clinical and Other Applications of Eastern Thought and Meditation."

Spring2007: "Psychology of Dreams."

Fall2006: "Clinical and Other Applications of Eastern Thought and Meditation."

Psych 290Q
290Q. Cognition Seminar.

Fall2010: "Narrative, the Self, and Autobiographical Memory." There is a current interdisciplinary movement which views narrative as the core of the development and maintenance of "the self," the self-concept, and of autobiographical memory. This seminar will examine such issues from multiple perspectives. Topics include: the nature of narrative and techniques of narrative analysis; earliest development of the self narrative; culture, cognitive, and parental factors in the development of self narrative styles; self concept, self schemas and autobiographical memory, cross-cultural differences in self and in narrative; clinical implications of the narrative view; and literary versus psychological approaches to the self and memory. Students will gain experience in collecting and analyzing one or more narratives and will have a chance to present and discuss these in class.


Religious Studies (RELIGST)

Religst 90A
90A. Introductory Topics in Religious Studies.Selected introductory topics in the study of religion.

Fall2013: "Interpreting Religion." In this course we will examine major scholarly efforts to interpret religion made over the past century. What, if anything, is the essence of religion? What are the origins of religion? What are its purposes and functions? Why has religion persisted into the twenty-first century? These questions are pertinent to many disciplines – including history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, psychology, as well as religious studies – and we will explore them from multiple angles. The course readings cover both the classical theories developed by luminaries of twentieth-century religious studies and several recent theoretical works. We will explore the broader historical contexts of each theory, and the complicated ways each theory of religion both invents its object of study and promises to be an adequate method for its analysis. For majors and non-majors alike, this course will provide students with a toolbox of analytical perspectives and primary sources with which to pursue studies and critiques of religious phenomena.

Religst C161
C161. Religion in Early India. Designed as a two-semester sequence, these courses are an introduction to the religions that have their origin on the Indian subcontinent--Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and tribal religions--as well as those that originated in other regions such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Organizing this material chronologically rather than teaching it by separate religious traditions facilitates comparisons and promotes an understanding not only of the differences among these religions but also some of their commonalities in philosophy, theology, and praxis.

Spring2013: This class introduces to the early history of Indian religions, starting with the Vedic period in the second millennium B.C.E., continuing with the emergence of Buddhism, Jainism and the Vedanta of the Upanishads, and ending around the end of the first millennium C.E., when new forms of devotional religiosity came to the fore. Rather than covering only a single religious tradition, we will study the principal religious traditions of early India collectively. This will include the Vedas, Buddhism and Jainism, and the many religious currents subsumed under the label of Hinduism. This embracive approach will allow us to explore similarities and differences, and study the continuities and ruptures between the different traditions that collectively constitute the endlessly fascinating field of Indian religion. Even though we will approach these traditions mainly through the lens of their literatures (which we will read in excerpts in English translation), we will also make use of visual materials, including films, in order to get a sense of the broad variety of Indian religious phenomena. Given the vast area to be covered by this course, our approach will by need be selective. That is to say, while we will trace the broad contours of Indian religion from the earliest beginnings to the beginning of the medieval ear. we will concentrate on select themes such as meditation and other spiritual techniques of liberation, Hinduism and Society, the Bhagavad Gita, or the way rituals pattern the lives of Hindus.

Spring2012: This class will explore the religious traditions of South Asia from earliest times up to the middle ages. The first half of the class will present a historical survey, covering prehistory and the Indus Valley Civilization; the Vedic period, Brahmanic culture, and the thought of the Upaniṣads; the origins and development of Buddhism, Jainism, the Ājīvikas, and other renunciant traditions; the early development of Hinduism; and the spread of South Asian religions to Southeast, Central and East Asia. In the second half of the class, we will focus on key concepts and central topics in the religions of early South Asia, including the doctrine of karma; the notion of dharma; paths to liberation and salvific figures; the institutional development of South Asian religions; the role of ritual; and the engagement of the modern world with early South Asian religion. Throughout the class, close attention will be paid to primary sources (both ancient texts in English translation and archeological data) and the evidence that they provide for religious thought and practice in early South Asia. Classtime will be spent in equal measure on lectures and in interactive discussions, including student presentations on their readings and their final research papers.

Religst 190
190. Topics in Religion. Selected topics or problems in the study of religion.

Spring2011 and Spring2012: "Sacred Buddhist Biography in Japan." This course explores a particular narrative genre in the history of Japanese Buddhism: sacred biography. We will concentrate on the biographical and autobiographical writings of founders and reformers of major schools of Japanese Buddhism as well as other important figures in Japanese Buddhist history. How and why are these figures remembered? How does the crafting of their biographical writings serve to exemplify their respective traditions? While the focus of this course will be on the religious, institutional, and social significance of biographical writing in Japanese religions, we will also take some time to look at the role of biography and autobiography in other religious traditions as well.

Fall2005: "Heaven, Pure Land, and Paradise in Asian Religions." This course will explore a variety of Asian religious through a focus on the conceptions of heaven, pure land, and paradise found in their cosmological, literary, artistic, and ritual traditions. The course is designed to both introduce students to the religious traditions of Asia and to offer a thorough grounding in methodological issues central to the study of Asian religions. Specific topics to be addressed include the place of heaven in ancient Indian and Chinese cosmologies, Daoist legends of immortality and earthly paradise, the Buddhist Pure Land scriptures, deathbed rituals for rebirth in a pure land, Pure Land Buddhism in Japanese history, and perfect worlds in Tibet's tantric Buddhism. All of these specific topics will be addressed in relation to broader questions regarding the relationship of doctrine to practice, the concepts of "faith" and "belief" in cross-cultural contexts, approaches to ritual and myth in religious studies, and the historical and political dimensions of religious life. Readings will include Asian religious texts in translation and relevant secondary literature.


Sanskrit (SANSKR)

Sanskr 206
206. Middle Indic.Introduction to Middle Indic. An intensive study of texts in one or more of the Prakrit dialects, Pali, or Apabhramsa.

Fall2011: After an introduction to the language history and literature of Pali and the other Middle Indo‐Aryan languages, this class will consist of readings in Pali and Prakrit literary texts from related genres. While the determination of the specific texts to be read will depend on student interests and be finalized in the first meeting, the instructor suggests reading extracts from the Therīgāthā (a Buddhist canonical collection of lyrical poetry by female renunciants) followed by the Sattasaī (a compilation of love poems, many of them also written by women, in Māhārāṣṭrī Prakrit). Other possibilities for Pali/Prakrit comparative readings include Buddhist and Jain canonical prose or narrative literature. Readings will be provided in class. Students should have a good command of basic Sanskrit.

Spring2008:description not available.


South Asian (S ASIAN)

S Asian 1A
1A. Introduction to the Civilization of Early India. This course offers a broad historical and cultural survey of the civilizations of the Indian subcontinent from the earliest period known to archaeology to the advent of Islam as a major cultural and political force around the 13th century CE. Attention will be paid to the geography and ethnography of the region, its political history, and to the religious, philosophical, literary, scientific, and artistic movements that have shaped it and contributed to its development as a unique, diverse, and fascinating world civilization. Lectures, readings, and class discussions will center on salient texts, broadly defined, that have characterized major cultural, religious, and political formations from the earliest antiquity to the late medieval period. This course is open to all interested students and is required for those majoring or minoring in South Asian Studies.

S Asian 108
108. Psychology and Traditional India. Lectures and discussion of psychological and psychoanalytic approaches to some of the characteristic cultural and social aspects of ancient and traditional India. Readings in translation and important secondary works on the psychology of Indian culture, and selected works from the psychoanalytic literature.

S Asian C114
C114. Tibetan Buddhism. This course is an introduction to the history, institutions, doctrines, and ritual practices of Buddhism in Tibet. The course will progress along two parallel tracks, one chronological and the other thematic, providing on the one hand a sense of the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism, and on the other a general overview of some central themes.  Along the historical track, the course proceeds from Buddhism's initial arrival into Tibet through to the present day, with each week addressing another period in this history.  At the same time, each week will focus on a given theme that relates to the historical period in question.  Themes include tantric myth, 'treasure' (terma) revelation, hidden valleys, the Dalai Lamas, exile, and more. Prerequisites: None.

S Asian C127
C127. Religion in Early India. Designed as a two-semester sequence, these courses are an introduction to the religions that have their origin on the Indian subcontinent--Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and tribal religions--as well as those that originated in other regions such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Organizing this material chronologically rather than teaching it by separate religious traditions facilitates comparisons and promotes an understanding not only of the differences among these religions but also some of their commonalities in philosophy, theology, and praxis. Also listed as Religious Studies C161.

Spring2013: This class introduces to the early history of Indian religions, starting with the Vedic period in the second millennium B.C.E., continuing with the emergence of Buddhism, Jainism and the Vedanta of the Upanishads, and ending around the end of the first millennium C.E., when new forms of devotional religiosity came to the fore. Rather than covering only a single religious tradition, we will study the principal religious traditions of early India collectively. This will include the Vedas, Buddhism and Jainism, and the many religious currents subsumed under the label of Hinduism. This embracive approach will allow us to explore similarities and differences, and study the continuities and ruptures between the different traditions that collectively constitute the endlessly fascinating field of Indian religion. Even though we will approach these traditions mainly through the lens of their literatures (which we will read in excerpts in English translation), we will also make use of visual materials, including films, in order to get a sense of the broad variety of Indian religious phenomena. Given the vast area to be covered by this course, our approach will by need be selective. That is to say, while we will trace the broad contours of Indian religion from the earliest beginnings to the beginning of the medieval ear. we will concentrate on select themes such as meditation and other spiritual techniques of liberation, Hinduism and Society, the Bhagavad Gita, or the way rituals pattern the lives of Hindus.

Spring2012: This class will explore the religious traditions of South Asia from earliest times up to the middle ages. The first half of the class will present a historical survey, covering prehistory and the Indus Valley Civilization; the Vedic period, Brahmanic culture, and the thought of the Upaniṣads; the origins and development of Buddhism, Jainism, the Ājīvikas, and other renunciant traditions; the early development of Hinduism; and the spread of South Asian religions to Southeast, Central and East Asia. In the second half of the class, we will focus on key concepts and central topics in the religions of early South Asia, including the doctrine of karma; the notion of dharma; paths to liberation and salvific figures; the institutional development of South Asian religions; the role of ritual; and the engagement of the modern world with early South Asian religion. Throughout the class, close attention will be paid to primary sources (both ancient texts in English translation and archeological data) and the evidence that they provide for religious thought and practice in early South Asia. Classtime will be spent in equal measure on lectures and in interactive discussions, including student presentations on their readings and their final research papers.

S Asian C154
C154. Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhists view the moment of death as a rare opportunity for transformation. This course examines how Tibetans have used death and dying in the path to enlightenment. Readings will address how Tibetan funerary rituals work to assist the dying toward this end, and how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, and explorations of the dream state.

S Asian C214
C214. Seminar in Tibetan Buddhism. This course provides a place for graduate-level seminars in Tibetan Buddhism that rely primarily on secondary sources and Tibetan texts in translation.  Content will vary between semesters but will typically focus on a particular theme.  Themes will be chosen according to student interests, with an eye toward introducing students to the breadth of available western scholarship on Tibet, from classics in the field to the latest publications.

Fall2012: This year's seminar will examine the formation of Buddhist traditions in Tibet from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. After a preliminary review of the kinds of sources that are available to the Tibetan religious historian, class discussions will focus on a range of mechanisms for establishing authority, from polemical writings to lineage formation, visionary encounters and biography, to temple construction, sacred geography, and warfare. The readings will procede chronologically, and class discussions will be supplemented with selections from Tibetan art dating from the period in question. Each student will be expected to pick, in consultation with the instructor, a week (or two, depending on enrollment) in which s/he will present on a Tibetan text (either in Tibetan or in translation) relating to that week’s readings. Prerequisites: C114 ("Tibetan Buddhism"); or consent of instructor.

S Asian C215A/B
C215A/B. Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts. A survey of the origins and development of the Abhidharma texts and commentaries in Pali and Sanskrit. Prerequisites: One year of Sanskrit; and consent of instructor.

Spring2014:The seminar this term will consist of two segments, namely an introduction to Pali language (and other varieties of Middle Indic), and a segment dedicated to reading Candrakīrti's commentary, the Pradīpoddyotana, on the Guhyasamāja tantra, in conjunction with Prof. Jacob Dalton. The Pali segment will introduce students with a good grounding in Sanskrit to reading Pali texts. We will cover the phonetic changes and grammatical features of this classical Buddhist language, and read the opening section of the Pali Vinaya, the Mahāvagga with its account of the Buddha' awakening and the subsequent events including the first sermon at Sarnath. Depending upon the interests of the students enrolled this class will also cover Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit and include reading passages from the Mahāvastu, which, similarly to the Mahāvagga, introduces the Vinaya of the Lokottaravādins with the story of the Buddha. Finally, we may also look at some other Prakrits. In the segment on the Pradīpoddyotana we will continue the readings in Sanskrit (and Tibetan) we did in the fall term 2013. This is to prepare for the international workshop on the Guhyasamāja Tantra that the Center of Buddhist Studies will host in March on campus, and for the conference "The Evolution of Tantric Ritual" that will take place in conjunction with this workshop. Students who did not participate in the seminar in the fall term are welcome to join as long as they have a firm grounding in reading Sanskrit. The Pradīpoddyotana segment will meet Wednesday 2:30-4, the Pali segment will meet after a short break afterwards on the same day, 4:15-5:45. You can take both segments or chose one of them only. In the latter case only enroll for 2 units credits.

Spring2013: Description coming soon.

Fall2012: The seminar is to provide a foundation for engaging with the core doctrines of scholastic Buddhism, notably its analysis of the person in terms of five skandhas. For this we will focus on an Abhidharma work by Vasubandhu, the Pañcaskandhaka. The Pañcaskandhaka is a concise text, a primer of sorts, that we will be able to read in its entirety. In addition to the recent Sanskrit edition (which is based on a manuscript that became available only in the last decade in China), we will also consult the Tibetan and Chinese translation. Once we have read through the Pañcaskandhaka we will return to select passages (notably pertaining to the vijñāna section) and read extracts of the vibhāṣā commentary by Sthiramati. We will access this commentary on the basis of the as yet unpublished edition of the Sanskrit text prepared by Jowita Kramer. This edition is likewise based on a manuscript that became available only recently in China. There is also a Tibetan translation of the commentary that we will likewise consult. While the Pancaskandhaka offers a comprehensive summary of Abhidharma doctrine from a Yogacara perspective, the reading is also intended as a platform to engage more specifically with particular aspects of Indian doctrinal Buddhism, including a comparison with the Pali Abhidhammma where useful.

Spring2012: In this class, we will be reading selections of early Buddhist court poetry (kāvya) in Sanskrit. The first half of the class will be devoted to the circle of learned monk‐poets surrounding the second‐century Kuṣāṇa emperor Kaniṣka, including Aśvaghoṣa, Mātṛceṭa and others. The specific texts to be read will partly depend on student interest, but will include Aśvaghoṣa’s epics (Buddhacarita or Saundarananda), the fragments of his dramas and Mātṛceṭa’s hymns (Varṇārhavarṇastotra or Śatapañcāśatka). In the second half of the class, we will read and compare selections from two poetic treatments of the previous lives of the Buddha: Āryaśūra’s Jātakamālā and the recently rediscovered Jātakamālā of Haribhaṭṭa. Special attention will be paid to the techniques and development of Sanskrit poetry; to the relationship of early Buddhist court poetry with contemporary Buddhist literature in Middle Indic languages; to the refashioning of Brahmanical themes by Buddhist court poets; to the tensions arising from the poet’s primary role as monastics and from their relationship to the court; and to the role of early Buddhist court poetry in the spread of Buddhism and the translation of Buddhist literature into non‐Indian languages. Readings will be provided in class. Students should have a good command of basic Sanskrit.

Spring2011: The seminar will be dedicated to two different subjects. In the first segment of the course (lasting until the beginning of March) we will study the Sanskrit text of the Svayambhūpurāṇa. This is not only a seminal text for the Newar Buddhist tradition, but it is also an important example of how narrative Buddhist literature was produced as a means to localize the Indic Buddhist tradition in a particular place (in the given case, the Kathmandu Valley). Despite its importance, the Svayambhūpurāṇa has not been properly edited, let alone translated into a western language. Without ignoring the large spectrum of versions and recensions (and the Tibetan translation by Situ Panchen Chos-kyi 'byung gnas) in which this work has been transmitted, we fill focus on the two shortest and oldest versions, which are composed in Sanskrit prose and verse respectively. In addition to an unpublished draft edition we will consult manuscripts for this. In the second segment of the seminar we will do some select readings of Mahāyāna sūtras. More precisely, we will study extracts from Śāntideva's sūtra anthology, the Śikṣāsamuccaya, and we will read some passages from the Saddharmasṃrtyupasthānasūtra. The plan is to read these Mahāyāna sūtra extracts together with Stanford Prof. Paul Harrisson and his students. This will involve some commutes to the Stanford campus that we will carefully coordinate. The seminar can be taken for two or four units credit. Hence it is possible for students to participate in only one of the two segments.

Spring2010: Buddhism and Hagiography: Select Readings from Canonical Accounts of the Buddha's Life-Story.

Fall2009: My grdauate seminar this fall is designed as an introduction to the tantric tradition (vajrayānā) of Buddhism. We will start with the Sarvatathāgatatattvasamgraha, the foundational text of the Yogatantra tradition. We will read a passage on the sādhana technique used by the practitioner to generate himself as the Buddhist deity Vajrasattva. Then we will read texts that deal with the principal mandala of this tradition, the so-called Vajradhātu-mandala. This will lead us to consider texts dealing with the installation and consecration of  images. We will focus on the Kriyāsamgrahapañjikā by Kuladatta, but also read parts of Abhayākaragupta's Vajrāvalī. Since this tradition is still followed to this day among the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, I will give a few lectures in which I explain how this ritual has been modified by the Newars and how it is performed in practice nowadays. For this I will draw on my research in Nepal and make use of audio-visual material. Furthermore, a Newar vajrācārya priest and academic from Kathmandu (who is currently a Fulbright fellow in the U.S.) will visit the campus in November. He will demonstrate how to construct a Vajradhātumandala and talk about its ritual uses. His two-day visit and the interaction with him will allow us to have some first-hand contact with the only tantric tradition of Buddhism surviving in its original South Asian setting with Sanskrit as sacred language. I also intend to use the seminar to read tantric texts, such as the Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa, that display a different orientation and predominantly deal with more mundane and this-wordly matters such as wealth, health, power, progeny, etc. A prominent concern is also the acquisition of supra-normal powers, the warding off evil, the treatment of possession and so on.

It is planned that our seminar will meet regularly with Jake Dalton's graduate seminar, who will read the same Sanskrit texts we do in Tibetan translation. Jake has done extensive research on the Dunhang archives, which preserve a relatively early stage of tantric literature. We stand to learn very much from collaborating with him.

Fall2007: This fall the graduate seminar “Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts” will be dedicated to the canonical Vinaya Literature of both the Malasarvastivadins and the Theravadins. We will read representative extracts from the canons of both schools in Sanskrit and in Pali. In addition, we will engage with some of the most important academic publications on the Vinaya. The course is also to serve as an introduction to Pali for those who only know Sanskrit (a sound knowledge of which is, as always, a perquisite for taking this course). This will enable students to seize upon the opportunity and take the graduate seminar on Pali Literature that will be taught in spring 08 by Dr. Rupert Gethin, one of the foremost authorities in this field, when he will be visiting as Numata Professor for Buddhist Studies.

Spring2006: “The Svayambhu Purana.” The Svayambhupurana is not only a seminal text for the Newar Buddhist tradition, but it is also an important example of how narrative Buddhist literature was produced as a means to localize the Indic Buddhist tradition in a particular place (in the given case, the Kathmandu Valley). Despite its importance, the Svayambhupurana has not been properly edited, let alone translated into a western language. Without ignoring the large spectrum of versions and recensions in which this work has been transmitted, we fill focus on the two shortest and oldest versions, which are composed in good Sanskrit prose and verse respectively. In the process we will also make use of Situ Panchen Chos-kyi 'byung gnas' Tibetan translation of the prose version. The reading seminar will serve more generally as an introduction to both narrative Buddhist literature in the tradition of the avadanas, and to particular aspect of Vajrayana Buddhism in the Newar tradition.

Spring2005: The lecture part of the seminar will give a very brief overview over the extant Buddhist narrative literature of India composed between the 1st and 11th centuries AD. It will then focus on four outstanding writers in this field whose works are currently been edited or re-edited at Marburg: Aryasura (before 400 AD), Haribhatta (not later than 400 AD), Gopadatta (before 800 AD), and Ksemendra (11th century AD). We will analyze both form and content of the works, with a special emphasis on their sources and the development of the prosimetric or "mixed" form, the so-called campu genre. The reading part of the seminar will consist of selected specimens from the works of the aforementioned authors. The Sanskrit texts will be accompanied by their Tibetan translations.

S Asian C224
C224. Readings in Tibetan Buddhist Texts. This graduate seminar provides an introduction to a broad range of Tibetan Buddhist texts as well as to the methods and resources for their study. Readings for the course will be drawn from a variety of genres and historical periods, including: (1) chronicles and histories, (2) biographical literature, (3) doctrinal treatises, (4) canonical texts, (5) ritual manuals, (6) pilgrimage guides, and (7) liturgical texts. The seminar is designed to be of interest to graduate students interested in premodern Tibet from any perspective (literature, religion, art, history, philosophy, law, etc.).Students are required to do all of the readings in the original classical Tibetan. The course will also introduce students to "tools and methods" for the study of Tibetan Buddhist literature, including standard lexical and bibliographic references, digital resources, and secondary literature in modern languages. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to account for the needs and interests of particular students.

Spring2014: This seminar will explore the origins and early development of Rdzogs chen (“the Great Perfection”) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The course will proceed chronologically, beginning with the tradition’s origins in the late eighth and early ninth centuries and ending with the codifying work of Klong chen rab ’byams pa in the fourteenth century. Texts considered may include a short manuscript from Dunhuang, the 9th-10th-century writings of Nupchen Sangye Yeshe, the early Snying thig tantras and their Vimalamitra-attributed commentaries, and the writings of Longchenpa. Readings will be analyzed with an eye for historical developments—philosophical, ritual, doxographical, etc.—that unfolded under the umbrella of Rdzogs chen. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Spring2013 (Section 1): The seminar will explore the development of early tantric Buddhism of the eighth through eleventh centuries. The central readings will be in classical Tibetan, some from the Dunhuang archive, though they will be supplemented by secondary sources in English. Though we will be reading in Tibetan, the focus will be on ritual developments in India. Students should have a strong ability to read classical Tibetan. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Spring2013 (Section 2): This course in intermediate and advanced classical Tibetan will involve weekly translation assignments and a term paper. Readings will be drawn from two distinct genres of Tibetan literature, correspondences (Tib. chab shog) and liturgies. The correspondences selected for this class are letters exchanged between lamas and kings and concern a particular religious crisis in eighteenth century Tibet. The assigned liturgies are adaptations made by monastic clerics of treasure texts (Tib. gter ma) and will be read with an eye to the process of domestication involved in their composition.

Fall2011: This is a reading course in classical Tibetan for students of intermediate and advanced abilities. The selected readings will cover several literary modes, including autobiographical narrative, dialogue written in the vernacular, contemplative instruction, and philosophical discourse. Many of the readings were composed in Eastern Tibet in the 19th century and reflect the religious culture of this region and era. Students will be assigned translation exercises and short research projects into the persons, places, and traditions mentioned in the readings.

Spring2011: "Tibetan Histories." This seminar will provide an introduction to different genres of Tibetan historical sources.  The course will proceed chronologically, from the early imperial period to the twentieth century.  Genres consulted with include topical histories (lo rgyus), religious histories (chos ‘byung), clan histories (gdung rabs), monastic histories (gdan rabs), biographies (rnam thar), and more.  Students may also be asked to supplement these primary sources with readings in relevant secondary scholarship.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Fall2010: "Tibetan Histories." The seminar will provide an introduction to the available Tibetan historical sources. The course will proceed chronologically, from the early imperial period to the twentieth century. Genres consulted with include topical histories (lo rgyus), religious histories (chos ‘byung), clan histories (gdung rabs), monastic histories (gdan rabs), biographies (rnam thar), and more. Students will also be asked to supplement these primary sources with readings in relevant secondary scholarship. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Spring2010: "Tibetan Buddhist Art." The seminar will focus on specific aspects of Tibetan Buddhist art which are not yet well defined in the available literature. In particular it will deal with the main phases of the development of Tibetan art, the development of Tibetan Buddhist iconography and the interrelationship of iconographic types, the relationship of distinctive iconographic subjects to particular schools or transmission linages and their changes over time, the relationship of different types of textual sources to imagery and the definition of Tibetan artistic schools in art historical terms. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.


South and Southeast Asian Studies (S,SEASN)


S,Seasn C52

C52. Introduction to the Study of Buddhism. This course will provide a basic understanding of the teachings and practices of Buddhism. The central issues will be situated within their broader Indian historical contexts, and the readings follow a generally chronological order. The course begins with the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the founding of the Buddhist monastic order. The course then progresses to the cosmological and philosophical developments of the Mahayana, followed by the ritual and mythological innovations of the Buddhist tantras. The final section takes a brief look at how Buddhism moved into other regions such as Tibet, China, and Japan. Prerequisites: None.

S,Seasn 120
120. Topics in South and Southeast Asian Studies.

Spring2008: "Buddhism in Modern Southeast Asia."

S,Seasn C135
C135. Tantric Traditions of Asia. The emergence of the tantras in seventh and eighth-century India marked a watershed for religious practice throughout Asia. These esoteric scriptures introduced complex new ritual technologies that transformed the religious traditions of India, from Brahmanism to Jainism and Buddhism, as well as those of Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan. This course provides an overview of tantric religion across these regions. It begins with an examination of the tantras’ origins in India and tantric Śaivism in particular. From here, the course moves to the esoteric Buddhist traditions of China and Japan, to consider how the tantric developments of India came to be understood within these distant cultures. Returning to India, we look at the later tantric developments of the Mahāyoga, Yoginī, and Kālacakra tantras. Finally, the course closes with a unit on the largely indigenous Tibetan tradition of the Great Perfection (or Dzogchen). Prerequisites: One course in Buddhist Studies or with consent of instructor.

S,Seasn C145
C145. Buddhism and Contemporary Society. A study of the Buddhist tradition as it is found today in Asia. The course will focus on specific living traditions of East, South, and/or Southeast Asia. Themes to be addressed may include: contemporary Buddhist ritual practices; funerary and mortuary customs; the relationship between Buddhism and other local religious traditions; the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state; Buddhist monasticism and its relationship to the laity; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist "modernism"; and so on.

Spring2014: While including the monastic Theravada traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the Mahāyāna tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, which here—uniquely in South Asia—has survived till the present day. We will approach this tradition by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Exploring continuities and ruptures, Nepalese Buddhism will be contrasted with Theravada Buddhism. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider the recent introduction of Theravada Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field—the Kathmandu valley where Buddhism exists alongside Hinduism and indigenous traditions—but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society. Prerequisites: None.

Fall2012: While considering the monastic Theravāda traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the Mahāyāna tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Whereas in India Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among till the present day among the Newars, the indigenous population of the Kathmandu Valley. This survival allows for the unique chance to study Indic Mahāyāna Buddhism (and the manifold forms of tantric practice it includes) "on the ground" as a vibrant and dynamic religious tradition that concretely shapes and structures the lives of people and the culture and society they inhabit, and that in turn is transformed by the adaptation to this culture and society. We will approach the Newar Buddhist tradition and the dynamics of adaptation by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Particular attention will be paid to the complex relations between Newar Buddhism and the Hindu and autochthonous religious traditions it coexists with. Exploring continuities and differences, Newar Buddhism will also be contrasted with Theravāda Buddhism. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider he recent introduction of Theravāda Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society.

Fall2010: This class will focus on the Newar Buddhist tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. While in India itself Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among the Newars till the present day in Nepal. This allows for the unique chance to study Indic Mahāyāna Buddhism (and the manifold forms of tantric practice it includes) "on the ground" as a vibrant and dynamic religious tradition that concretely shapes and structures the lives of people and the culture and society they inhabit, and that in turn is transformed by the adaptation to this culture and society. We will approach the Newar Buddhist tradition and the dynamics of adaptation by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Particular attention will be paid to the complex relations between Newar Buddhism and the Hindu and autochthonous religious traditions it coexists with. Another important topic will be the recent introduction of Theravāda Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. The exploration of Newar Buddhism will be tied to other Buddhist and Indic religious traditions and their practice in society. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Indic Buddhism and how its functions in society.

The treatment of the Newar Buddhist tradition will be brought to life by the extensive presentation of visual materials including documentaries, and rare and fascinating video footage. Instead of set books there will be an extensive reader, which will be available on the day that classes start at University Copy on 2425 Channing Way.

Fall2008: "Buddhism in Contemporary Japan." A critical survey of key issues in the contemporary forms of Buddhism in Japan.  The course covers: Buddhist emergence into modernity, the rise of new lay-oriented Buddhist movements, the breakdown of traditional parishioner-temple relations, the role of pilgrimage sites and routes, and the internationalization of Buddhism.  We will read primary texts of contemporary Japanese Buddhist leaders, secondary literature on the history and sociology of contemporary Japanese Buddhism, and watch films about or on the role of Buddhism among individuals and organizations. Prerequisites: None.

Fall2006: This semester the class will focus on the contemporary practice of Indic Buddhism in Nepal and Sri Lanka, the two areas in South Asia where Buddhism has survived uninterruptedly to the present. We will approach these two traditions by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, Buddhist "modernism," the practice of meditation, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle rituals, and the relationship to the respective local Hindu traditions. As far as possible we will do so in a comparative vein, in order to explore differences and commonalities between the Theravada tradition preserved in Sri Lanka and the Mahayana tradition preserved in the Kathmandu Valley.

S,Seasn 190
190. Seminar in South and Southeast Asian Studies: "The Practice of Buddhism in Nepal." This seminar will deal with various aspects of contemporary Buddhism among the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. This is the sole Mahayana tradition that has survived in its original South-Asian setting with Sanskrit as sacred language. It is closely related to the form of Buddhism that was prevalent in Northern India until its demise in the 13th century. Particularly salient features are the pronounced tantric ritualism and the close interaction with Hindu traditions.

This is not a survey course that covers Newar Buddhism in its entirety. Rather, we will approach this tradition mainly through the lens of rituals, by focussing on specific themes such the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities and, in particular, life-cycle rituals. The use of Video footage from Nepal will be an essential element in this. Students will choose individual projects that may also focus on related topics such as Hindu rites of passage or relevant aspects of Singhalese Buddhism. In this way the seminar will introduce students not only to Newar Buddhism, but also more generally to particular aspects of Indic religious practice.

Prerequisites: Students are expected to have basic knowledge of Buddhism and/or Hinduism. If this knowledge has not been acquired by way of previous coursework, they are to consult with the instructor prior to enrolling for the course.

S,Seasn C220
C220. Seminar in Buddhism and Buddhist Texts. Content varies with student interests.

Fall2014: "Early Buddhist Ritual LIterature." What did Buddhist ritual look like before the grand esoteric synthesis of the seventh and eighth centuries CE? To investigate the precedents of esoteric Buddhism, we must look to earlier genres of incantatory literature: vidyā (spells), rakṣā (wards), and dhāraṇī (encapsulations). The seminar will focus in detail on the Mahāmāyūrīvidyārājñī (Great Peahen, Queen of Spells) and the Amoghapāśahṛdaya (Unerring Lasso’s Heart-Spell, an early precursor to the Amoghapāśakalparāja). We will examine these texts and associated literature in a variety of languages, including Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese; competence in reading at least one of these languages is required to participate in the course. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Fall2013: "The Guhyasamāja Tantra." Seminar in Buddhism and Buddhist Texts. This seminar will focus on the innovations and ritual systems of the Guhyasamaja Tantra. Readings will be in both Sanskrit and Tibetan. Particular attention will be paid to chapters two, five, eight, and thirteen of the root tantra, and to gain a clearer understanding of how early tantric Buddhists of India and Tibet interpreted these chapters, we will also consider Candrakirti’s Pradipodyotana and other commentarial material. Secondary literature on the Guhyasamaja ritual tradition will also be consulted. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

S,Seasn 250
250. Seminar in South and Southeast Asian Studies

Spring2012: "Buddhist Movements in Modern Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka." Buddhism has inspired a wide spectrum of religious, textual, and political movements in modern Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka, ranging from millenarian movements and scriptural reform projects to the secular nationalism of Young Men’s Buddhist Associations. This interdisciplinary course explores the individuals, beliefs, influences, practices, and institutional developments that shaped, led and framed such movements in 19th and 20th century Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka with a particular emphasis on the contested terrains of text, monument, and material culture. We will examine the tensions between purist prescriptions, colonial categorizations, European heritage conventions and popular practice as played out in Laos, Burma, Siam/Thailand and Cambodia. We will examine diverse articulations of sacred space; tensions between modernization projects to centralize and nationalize Buddhist learning and forest-based dhutanga practices involving cross-boundary mobility, and the transnational traction between M. K. Gandhi and Buddhist resistance movements in Southeast Asia. Our focus areas are Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and Thailand, between circa 1850 and 1950.

Fall2011: "Ideologies and Artefacts: Perspectives on the Buddhism of Greater Jambudvipas l." The course will study the Buddhism of Greater Jambudvipa -- here India and Southeast Asia -- through epigraphy, artefacts, and texts. It will scrutinize prevailing conventions and categories and question current historical and social models. Themes to be explored include the quest for blessings, benefits, and protection -- and the media of rituals, images, relics, and the built environment. The primary focus will be the pre-modern Buddhism of Siam, presented in the context of ideologies and concerns that are shared by other Buddhisms. The texts to be read will be in Pali.


Tibetan (TIBETAN)

Tibetan 1A
1A. Elementary Tibetan. A beginning Tibetan class developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern Tibetan (Lhasa dialect).

Tibetan 1B
1B. Elementary Tibetan. A beginning Tibetan class developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern Tibetan (Lhasa dialect).

Tibetan 10A
10A. Intermediate Tibetan. This course, a continuation of 1A-1B (Elementary Tibetan), is designed to further develop the student's skills in modern standard Tibetan. The emphasis is on communication skills in vernacular Tibetan, as well as grammar, reading, and writing.

Tibetan 10B
10B. Intermediate Tibetan. This course, a continuation of 1A-1B (Elementary Tibetan), is designed to further develop the student's skills in modern standard Tibetan. The emphasis is on communication skills in vernacular Tibetan, as well as grammar, reading, and writing.

Tibetan 100S
100S. Advanced Tibetan Conversation. This course is designed for advanced students of Tibetan language.  Its goal is to provide an opportunity for students to further develop their colloquial Tibetan conversation skills.  More sophisticated linguistic forms are used and reinforced while dealing with various socio-cultural topics, with a particular focus on Buddhist-related subjects toward the end of the term.  Primary emphasis will be on the Lhasa dialect of Tibetan, though some variant dialects may also be introduced. Prerequisite: Tibetan 10B or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

Tibetan 110A
110A. Intensive Readings in Tibetan. This course is an intensive introduction to reading classical Tibetan literature. Following an introduction to basic grammar, the course moves quickly into selected readings from Buddhist texts in Tibetan. It typically builds on basic skills acquired in 1A-1B (elementary Tibetan), though with consent it may be taken independently.

Tibetan 110B
110B. Intensive Readings in Tibetan. This course is an intensive introduction to reading classical Tibetan literature. Following an introduction to basic grammar, the course moves quickly into selected readings from Buddhist texts in Tibetan. It typically builds on basic skills acquired in 1A-1B (elementary Tibetan), though with consent it may be taken independently.

Tibetan C114
C114. Tibetan Buddhism. This course is an introduction to the history, institutions, doctrines, and ritual practices of Buddhism in Tibet. The course will progress along two parallel tracks, one chronological and the other thematic, providing on the one hand a sense of the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism, and on the other a general overview of some central themes.  Along the historical track, the course proceeds from Buddhism's initial arrival into Tibet through to the present day, with each week addressing another period in this history.  At the same time, each week will focus on a given theme that relates to the historical period in question.  Themes include tantric myth, 'treasure' (terma) revelation, hidden valleys, the Dalai Lamas, exile, and more. Prerequisites: None.

Tibetan C154
C154. Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhists view the moment of death as a rare opportunity for transformation. This course examines how Tibetans have used death and dying in the path to enlightenment. Readings will address how Tibetan funerary rituals work to assist the dying toward this end, and how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, and explorations of the dream state.

Tibetan C214
C214. Seminar in Tibetan Buddhism. This course provides a place for graduate-level seminars in Tibetan Buddhism that rely primarily on secondary sources and Tibetan texts in translation.  Content will vary between semesters but will typically focus on a particular theme.  Themes will be chosen according to student interests, with an eye toward introducing students to the breadth of available western scholarship on Tibet, from classics in the field to the latest publications.

Fall2012: This year's seminar will examine the formation of Buddhist traditions in Tibet from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. After a preliminary review of the kinds of sources that are available to the Tibetan religious historian, class discussions will focus on a range of mechanisms for establishing authority, from polemical writings to lineage formation, visionary encounters and biography, to temple construction, sacred geography, and warfare. The readings will procede chronologically, and class discussions will be supplemented with selections from Tibetan art dating from the period in question. Each student will be expected to pick, in consultation with the instructor, a week (or two, depending on enrollment) in which s/he will present on a Tibetan text (either in Tibetan or in translation) relating to that week’s readings. Prerequisites: C114 ("Tibetan Buddhism"); or consent of instructor.

Tibetan C224
C224. Readings in Tibetan Buddhist Texts. This graduate seminar provides an introduction to a broad range of Tibetan Buddhist texts as well as to the methods and resources for their study. Readings for the course will be drawn from a variety of genres and historical periods, including: (1) chronicles and histories, (2) biographical literature, (3) doctrinal treatises, (4) canonical texts, (5) ritual manuals, (6) pilgrimage guides, and (7) liturgical texts. The seminar is designed to be of interest to graduate students interested in premodern Tibet from any perspective (literature, religion, art, history, philosophy, law, etc.).Students are required to do all of the readings in the original classical Tibetan. The course will also introduce students to "tools and methods" for the study of Tibetan Buddhist literature, including standard lexical and bibliographic references, digital resources, and secondary literature in modern languages. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to account for the needs and interests of particular students.

Spring2014: This seminar will explore the origins and early development of Rdzogs chen (“the Great Perfection”) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The course will proceed chronologically, beginning with the tradition’s origins in the late eighth and early ninth centuries and ending with the codifying work of Klong chen rab ’byams pa in the fourteenth century. Texts considered may include a short manuscript from Dunhuang, the 9th-10th-century writings of Nupchen Sangye Yeshe, the early Snying thig tantras and their Vimalamitra-attributed commentaries, and the writings of Longchenpa. Readings will be analyzed with an eye for historical developments—philosophical, ritual, doxographical, etc.—that unfolded under the umbrella of Rdzogs chen. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Spring2013 (Section 1): The seminar will explore the development of early tantric Buddhism of the eighth through eleventh centuries. The central readings will be in classical Tibetan, some from the Dunhuang archive, though they will be supplemented by secondary sources in English. Though we will be reading in Tibetan, the focus will be on ritual developments in India. Students should have a strong ability to read classical Tibetan. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Spring2013 (Section 2): This course in intermediate and advanced classical Tibetan will involve weekly translation assignments and a term paper. Readings will be drawn from two distinct genres of Tibetan literature, correspondences (Tib. chab shog) and liturgies. The correspondences selected for this class are letters exchanged between lamas and kings and concern a particular religious crisis in eighteenth century Tibet. The assigned liturgies are adaptations made by monastic clerics of treasure texts (Tib. gter ma) and will be read with an eye to the process of domestication involved in their composition.

Fall2011: This is a reading course in classical Tibetan for students of intermediate and advanced abilities. The selected readings will cover several literary modes, including autobiographical narrative, dialogue written in the vernacular, contemplative instruction, and philosophical discourse. Many of the readings were composed in Eastern Tibet in the 19th century and reflect the religious culture of this region and era. Students will be assigned translation exercises and short research projects into the persons, places, and traditions mentioned in the readings.

Spring2011: "Tibetan Histories." This seminar will provide an introduction to different genres of Tibetan historical sources.  The course will proceed chronologically, from the early imperial period to the twentieth century.  Genres consulted with include topical histories (lo rgyus), religious histories (chos ‘byung), clan histories (gdung rabs), monastic histories (gdan rabs), biographies (rnam thar), and more.  Students may also be asked to supplement these primary sources with readings in relevant secondary scholarship.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Fall2010: "Tibetan Histories." The seminar will provide an introduction to the available Tibetan historical sources. The course will proceed chronologically, from the early imperial period to the twentieth century. Genres consulted with include topical histories (lo rgyus), religious histories (chos ‘byung), clan histories (gdung rabs), monastic histories (gdan rabs), biographies (rnam thar), and more. Students will also be asked to supplement these primary sources with readings in relevant secondary scholarship. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Spring2010: "Tibetan Buddhist Art." The seminar will focus on specific aspects of Tibetan Buddhist art which are not yet well defined in the available literature. In particular it will deal with the main phases of the development of Tibetan art, the development of Tibetan Buddhist iconography and the interrelationship of iconographic types, the relationship of distinctive iconographic subjects to particular schools or transmission linages and their changes over time, the relationship of different types of textual sources to imagery and the definition of Tibetan artistic schools in art historical terms. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Tibetan 298
298. Directed Study for Graduate Students. Special tutorial or seminar on selected topics not covered by available courses or seminars.

Tibetan 299
299. Thesis Preparation and Related Research.

Tibetan 601
601. Individual Study for Master's Students. Individual study for the comprehensive or language requirements in consultation with the graduate adviser. Units may not be used to meet either unit or residence requirements for a master's degree.

Tibetan 602
602. Individual Study for Doctoral Students. Individual study in consultation with the major field adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for qualified students to prepare for various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D.