Visitors & Affiliates

Brian Baumann (2015-2020) - Mongolian Language Program Lecturer

Brian holds a PhD in Mongolian Studies from Indiana University. His pursuit of Mongolian Studies stems from a two-year tenure in Mongolia with the Peace Corps, 1991-93. His dissertation concerns a specific text, a manual of Mongolian Buddhist astral science, which he transcribes, translates, and analyses in terms of the art and science to the making of an almanac and the function almanacs serve in Mongolian Buddhist tradition. Currently he is working on a book project concerning a Mongolian verse treatise on salvation in Sa skya pa tradition.


Ester Bianchi (Spring 2020) - Glorisun Visiting Professor

Ester Bianchi holds a Ph.D. in ‘Indian and East-Asian Civilization’ from the University of Venice (co-tutorial Ph.D. received from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Section des Sciences Religieuses of Paris). She is associate professor of Chinese Religions and Philosophy and of Society and Culture of China, coordinator of the Double Degree in “World Religions and Philosophy” (with the Department of Religious Studies of Fu-Jen University, Taipei), and member of the research group “Culture, Languages, Practices (CLIPRA) at the Philosophy Department of the University of Perugia (Italy). She is also external associated researcher of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités CNRS-EPHE (since 2012) and Research fellow of the Wutai International Institute of Buddhism and East Asian Cultures (since 2016). Her studies focus on the religions of China, particularly on Buddhism, both in imperial and in modern and contemporary time; her research is centered on Sino-Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhist monasticism, the revival of Buddhist monastic discipline and, more recently, the spread of Theravāda Buddhist Model in modern Chinese Buddhism.

Detailed scientific curriculum:

Nancy Lin (2017-2021) - Visiting Scholar

Nancy Lin (M.A., Columbia University; Ph.D., UC Berkeley) specializes in Buddhist traditions of Tibet and the Himalaya. Her research focuses on courtly Buddhist culture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially the production of poetry, visual objects, and personae. Her current questions largely cluster around the dynamics of worldliness and renunciation, aesthetics and ethos, and wisdom and eloquence. Other interests include rebirth lineages and narratives, Tibetan engagement with Indic Buddhist and literary traditions, and cross-cultural interactions with Inner Asia and the Qing court. She was previously an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College, and has held faculty positions at UC Santa Cruz and Vanderbilt University.


Jan Nattier (Fall 2019) - Tianzhu Visiting Professor

Jan Nattier did her undergraduate work in comparative religion (specializing in Buddhism) at Indiana University, where she also began graduate training in the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University under the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies (specializing in classical Mongolian and Tibetan). She has taught at Macalester College, the University of Hawaii, Stanford University, Indiana University, and the University of Tokyo, in addition to serving as a member of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Soka University). Her monographs include Once Upon a Future Time: Studies in a Buddhist Philosophy of Decline (Asian Humanities Press, 1991), A Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path according to the Inquiry of Ugra (Ugraparipṛcchāsūtra) (University of Hawai'i Press, 2003), and A Guide to the Earliest Chinese Buddhist Translations (Soka University, 2008). Jan was the Numata Visiting Professor in Fall 2015