All events are free and open to the public

Fall Term 2016

Thursday - Friday, September 29–30, 2016
Thunder from the Steppes: New Perspectives on the Mongol Empire
180 Doe Library

Sponsors: Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley Mongolia Initiative

Thursday, September 29, 4pm - 6 pm Keynote Address
Friday, September 30, 9 am - 6 pm

The Mongol Empire orients history between Asia and Europe, ancient and modern, rural and urban, settled and nomadic, scientific and faith-based, and soteriological and aristocratic worlds. This conference invites new research on the Mongol empire in an effort to re-situate and re-evaluate the study and the significance of the Mongol empire in a global context. Organized by the UC Berkeley Mongolia Initiative.

Speakers include:
 •  Reuven Amitai, Hebrew University of Jeruselem
 •  Christopher Atwood, University of Pennsylvania
 •  Brian Baumann, UC Berkeley
 •  Dashdondog Bayarsaikhan, National University of Mongolia
 •  Michal Biran, Hebrew University of Jeruselem
 •  Bettine Birge, University of Southern California
 •  Nicola Di Cosmo, Institute for Advanced Study
 •  Johan Elverskog, Southern Methodist University
 •  Matthew Mosca, University of Washington
 •  Roxann Prazniak, University of Oregon
 •  Morris Rossabi, Columbia University
 •  Uranchimeg Tsultem, UC Berkeley
 •  Leonard Van Der Kuijp, Harvard University

Event Contact: ieas@berkeley.edu, 510‑642‑2809

Thursday, October 6, 2016, 5 pm
Khmer Śaivism
Alexis Sanderson, Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford
180 Doe Memorial Library, UC Berkeley

Image for Khmer Śaivism

Of Śaivism, Pāñcarātrika Vaiṣṇavism and Mahāyāna Buddhism, the three Indic religions that flourished among the ruling and priestly élites of the Khmers up to the 14th century Śaivism was predominant. Indian Śaivism was not static or homogeneous, and Khmer Śaivism reflects some of this diversity and development over time. This talk will consider evidence among the Khmers for Śaivas of the Atimārga and Mantramārga, as well as the lay Śivadharma. It will also engage with the granting of Saiddhāntika Śaiva initiation to the Khmer monarch, as well as evidence that the Khmer version of Indian Śaivism includes elements that appear to have no Indian prototypes.

Alexis Sanderson was Lecturer in Sanskrit in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College from 1977 to 1992. From 1992 to 2015 he occupied the Chair of Eastern Religions and Ethics in the same university, and as the holder of that post became a Fellow of All Souls College. His field is early medieval religion in India and Southeast Asia, focusing on the history of Śaivism, its relations with the state, and its influence on Buddhism and Vaishnavism.


Friday, October 28, 2016, 3 - 6:30 pm
2016 Toshihide Numata Book Award Presentation and Symposium
Toll Room, Alumni House, UC Berkeley

Book cover - Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet

Buddhist Bodies, Medical Bodies, Human Bodies
A symposium in celebration of this year's award winner Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet by Janet Gyatso.

3:10-3:15 Introductory remarks
Robert Sharf (University of California, Berkeley)

3:15-3:20 Award Presentation
George Tanabe (Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai)

3:20-4:15 Keynote
"Categories, Mentalities, Individuals: Historiography in a Buddhological Vein"
Janet Gyatso (Harvard Divinity School)

4:15-4:30 Break

4:30-6:30 Symposium
Chair: Robert Sharf (University of California, Berkeley)
Discussants: Janet Gyatso (Harvard Divinity School) and Jacob Dalton (University of California, Berkeley)

"Bodies, Biologies, and the Anthropology of Tibetan Medicine"
Vincanne Adams (University of California, San Francisco)

"Empirical Bodies in Science and Buddhism"
Evan Thompson (University of British Columbia)

"Teaching the View vs. Teaching the Methods: Medical Pedagogy at the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Court"
Stacey Van Vleet (University of California, Berkeley)

Friday-Sunday, November 4–6, 2016
Conceptuality and Non-Conceptuality in Buddhist Thought
Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Locations: Friday, November 4: 1995 University, 5th floor, IEAS Conference Room
Saturday-Sunday, November 5-6: 370 Dwinelle Hall

Image for Conceptuality and Nonconceptuality in Buddhist Thought

This conference will explore the different ways that Buddhist scholastic traditions (Sarvāstivāda, Madhyamaka, Yogācāra, Pramāṇavāda) engaged with the issue of "conceptuality" and "non-conceptuality" in their analyses of mind, perception, thinking, and insight. In exploring this topic, participants are invited to focus on one or more key terms or notions, such as saṃjñā, manovijñāna, manas, vitarka/vicāra, manojalpa, prajñapti, and pratyakṣa, as well as pairs like vikalpa versus nirvikalpa (or avikalpaka), svalakṣaṇa versus sāmānyalakṣaṇa, dravya-svalakṣaṇa versus āyatana-svalakṣaṇa, and so on. Finally, participants are encouraged to address the relevance of these notions in the light of contemporary philosophical discussions of conceptual and non-conceptual perception and experience.


Friday, November 4, 2016
1995 University, 5th floor, IEAS Conference Room

Panel 1 — 4 to 7 pm: Conceptuality and Experience
Chair: Robert Sharf (UC Berkeley)

Dan Arnold (University of Chicago): "Perception and the Perceptible: Candrakīrti on the Difference an Adjective Makes"

Evan Thompson (University of British Columbia): "What's in a Concept? Conceptualizing the Conceptual in Buddhist Philosophy and Cognitive Science"

Sonam Kachru (University of Virginia): "Who's Afraid of Non-Conceptual Content? Rehabilitating Dignāga's Criterion for what is Perceptually Evident"

Saturday, November 5, 2016
370 Dwinelle Hall

Panel 2 — 9 to noon: Yogācāra
Chair: Alexander von Rospatt (UC Berkeley)

Nobuyoshi Yamabe (Waseda University): "The Position of Conceptualization in the Context of the Yogācāra Bīja Theory"

Jowita Kramer (Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich): "Conceptuality in Yogācāra Thought"

Roy Tzohar (Tel Aviv University): "Enjoy the Silence: The Relation between Non-Conceptual Awareness and Inexpressibility According to Some Yogācāra Sources"

Panel 3 — 2 to 4: Sūtra and Abhidharma
Chair: Collett Cox (University of Washington)

Qian Lin (UC Berkeley): "The Mahānidāna-sūtra and Conceptual Thinking in Early Buddhism"

Ching Keng (National Chengchi University, Taiwan): "Does the Cognition of Blueness-cum-Yellowness Involve Vikalpa?"

Panel 4 — 4:30 to 6:30: The Ultimate and the Epistemic Role of Experience
Chair: Sara L. McClintock (Emory University)

Jonardon Ganeri (New York University): "Mindedness, Saññā, and the Epistemic Role of Experience"

Jay Garfield (Smith College): "Thinking Beyond Thought: Tsongkhapa and Mipham on the Conceptualized Ultimate"

Sunday, November 6, 2016
370 Dwinelle Hall

Panel 5 — 9 am to noon: Pramāṇavāda
Chair: Jowita Kramer (Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich)

Patrick McAllister (Austrian Academy of Sciences): "A Buddhist Account of the Simultaneity of Perceptual and Conceptual Awareness Events"

Vincent Eltschinger (École Pratique des Hautes Études): "Dharmakīrti, Apoha, and the Two Truths"

Toru Funayama (Kyoto University): "Non-Conceptuality through Repetition of Conceptual Meditation: Kamalaśīla's Theory of Yogic Perception"

Download the abstracts here.