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Janet Gyatso - Keynote


Janet Gyatso is a specialist in Buddhist studies with concentration on Tibetan and South Asian religious culture. Her books include Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary; In the Mirror of Memory: Reflections on Mindfulness and Remembrance in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism; and Women of Tibet. Her current book project is on traditional medical science in Tibet, its relation to modernity, and its relation to Buddhism. She has also been writing on conceptions of sex and gender in Buddhist monasticism and in Tibetan medicine. Previous topics of her scholarship have included visionary revelation in Buddhism; issues concerning lineage, memory, and authorship; philosophical questions on the status of experience; and autobiographical writing in Tibet.

Professor Gyatso was president of the International Association of Tibetan Studies from 2000 to 2006, and is now co-chair of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion. She teaches lecture courses and advanced seminars on Buddhist history, ritual, and ideas, and on Tibetan literary practices and religious history. She is also spearheading a new initiative for the teaching of Buddhist ministry at the Divinity School. In both teaching and writing she draws on cultural and literary theory, and is concerned to widen the spectrum of intellectual resources for the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist history. She leads an ongoing reading group for graduate students in Buddhist studies, and is the faculty director of the Buddhist Studies Forum. She has also chaired the Committee for the Study of Women and Gender. She is helping to develop a track for the training of Buddhist lay ministers and leaders in the master of divinity program at the Divinity School. Professor Gyatso taught at Amherst College before coming to Harvard as the Divinity School's first Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies.


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