Papers Presented

INVITED

2017

“Theory and Practice of Buddhist Warfare in Medieval China,” Workshop on Premodern Religions and War, University of Vienna, May 20, 2017.

“Buddhism and the Invention of Tea Culture in Tang Dynasty China,” Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Vienna, May 18, 2017.

Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Studies lecture, “Buddhist Aspects of Health and Wellness in Premodern Chinese Tea Culture,” University of Arizona, April 12, 2017.

Fourth Annual Sheng Yen Lecture in Chinese Buddhism, “Buddhism and the Invention of Tea Culture in Medieval China,” Florida State University, March 2, 2017.

Invited respondent, 2017 Sherman Emerging Scholar Spring Panel, Dr. John Soboslai, “Martyrdom Now,” University of North Carolina, Wilmington, February 22–23, 2017.

“Warfare in the Context of Buddhist Statecraft in Medieval China,” Buddhist Statecraft in East Asia: A Conference of Storytellers, University of Southern California, February 10–12, 2017.

2016

Invited participant, workshop on Chinese Religious Poetry, Princeton University, December 2–3, 2016.

Invited respondent, 2016 Sherman Lecture, Dr. John Soboslai, “Dying for God, Martyrdom Across the Ages,” University of North Carolina, Wilmington, October 19–20, 2016.

“Dreams of the Monastic Life: Buddhist Aesthetics in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Tea Culture,” Symposium on Seventeenth-century Chinese Painting, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 15, 2016.

“Spellbound: the Tale of a Buddhist monk and an Outcaste Girl in a Chinese Apocryphal Scripture,” University of Southern California, October 13, 2016.

“Buddhism and the Invention of Tea Culture in Medieval China,” Seattle Asian Art Museum, October 8, 206.

“Creating a Tea Aesthetic in Tang Verse,” University of Washington, October 7, 2016.

“Creating an Aesthetics of Tea in Tang Dynasty Poetry,” International symposium on the History of Tea in China, University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari, September 30, 2016.

“Tea, Wellness, and Beverage Culture in Song dynasty China — Perspectives from the City and the Monastery,” Australian National University, Canberra, May 17, 2016.

“Buddhism and the Arts of Tea in Tang times,” symposium on Tang Cosmopolitanism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, May 14, 2016.

“Creating a Tea Aesthetic in Tang Dynasty Poetry,” Art Gallery of New South Wales, May 11, 2016.

“Buddhism, Tea, and Material Culture in Premodern China,” University of California, Santa Barbara, April 14, 2016.

“The Buddhist Arts of Tea in Medieval China,” Lewis and Clark College, March 29, 2016.

“Tea and other Health Drinks in Song Dynasty China—Some Clues from the Buddhist Monastery,” Yale University, March 3, 2016.

“Seduction and Spellcraft in an Apocryphal Buddhist Scripture,” University of British Columbia, February 26, 2016.

2014

Invited Discussant, “Plants and Food in East Asian Buddhism,” 17th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Vienna, August 19, 2014.

Invited Discussant, Commemoration by Commission: Buying and Selling Memory in Late Medieval China, China Humanities Seminar, Rutgers University, February 21, 2014.

“Sex and Seduction in a Chinese Apocryphal Sutra,” China Lecture Series, Rutgers University, February 20, 2014.

2012

“Tea and Other Decoctions for ‘Nourishing Life’ in Medieval China,” Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, October 23rd, 2012.

“Self-immolation, Charisma and Spectacle in Medieval Chinese Buddhism,” Collège de France, May 16th 2012.

“Multiple Meanings of Buddhist Self-immolation, a Historical Perspective,” at symposium on Tibet is Burning. Self-Immolations in Tibet: Ritual or Political Protest? Collège de France, May 14–15th 2012

“Current Issues in Buddhist Studies,” Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California Los Angeles, April 13th 2012.

“Problems in the Study of Later Chinese Buddhist Apocrypha,” Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California Los Angeles, April 13th 2012.

“The Religious Affiliations of Tea in Medieval China,” The Ebbutt Lecture in Religious Studies, Mount Allison University, February 7th 2012.

 

2010

“Yin, Buddhism, and Medicine: Multiple Aspects of Tea in Eisai’s Kissa YōjōkiImagining the Feminine in East Asian Religions and Medicine University of Heidelberg, November 5th-7th, 2010.

“Buddhist Episodes from the Prehistory of Tea in China,” UBC Kameyama Lecture Series on Buddhist Studies, University of British Columbia, Thursday October 7th, 2010.

“A Chinese apocryphal sutra in its eighth-century context.” United Kingdom Association of Buddhist Studies Conference: Historiography, Adaptation and Contemporary Practice, University of Leeds, July 6th and 7th, 2010.

“Tea as Beverage and Ritual Offering in Medieval Chinese Buddhist Monasteries.” Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto, January 29th 2010.

2009

“The Buddhist Arts of Tea in Medieval China.”  The 22nd Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art, University of California, Los Angeles, November 7th 2009.

Invited discussant for two panels, “Preparation for Death: Practice at the End of Life” and “Thinking about the Dead,” at multidisciplinary symposium on Buddhists at the End of Life, University of California, Santa Cruz, May 1st–3rd 2009.

Invited participant, Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies inaugural symposium, University of Calgary, April 4th 2009.

2008

Invited discussant for panel “Enlivenment of Religious Images” at symposium on The Chinese Art of Enlivenment, Harvard University, October 24th—25th 2008.

“The Chinese Sources of an Apocryphal Sutra: Another Look at the Pseudo-Śūramgama sūtra,” invited lecture, sponsored by the Harvard Buddhist Studies Forum, Harvard University, May 5th 2008.

“‘Do not point to any shape and call it the Dao:’ Heterodoxy and Images in Medieval China,” presented at conference on Images in Motion: New Perspectives on Buddhist Arts, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, February 9th–10th 2008.

2007

“Hybrid Cosmologies in the Śūramgama Sūtra,” presented at conference on Text, Translation, and Transmission, University of California, Berkeley, October 18th–20th 2007.

“Buddhist Laymen and Tea during the Tang Dynasty,” invited lecture, sponsored by the Buddhist Studies Seminar, Columbia University, April 12th 2007.

“Buddhist Laymen and Tea during the Tang Dynasty,” invited lecture, sponsored by East Asian Studies and the Buddhist Studies Workshop, Princeton University, April 11th 2007.

2006

“The Sense of Smell in Medieval China: Some Preliminary Remarks,” presented at conference on The Senses of Religion: Knowledge, Miracles, Worship and Sensory Experience in the World’s Religions, Yale University, October 27th-29th 2006.

2005

“Mr. Tea versus Mr. Alcohol: Battling Commodities in Medieval China,” Second Annual Alumni Lecture, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California Los Angeles, May 3rd 2005.

Invited discussant for two papers at annual Buddhist Studies Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University, April 22nd-24th 2005.

“Magic and the Military in Medieval China,” presented at Yale University Council on East Asian Studies Workshop on Manipulating Magic: Sages, Sorcerers and Scholars, Yale University, April 15th-17th 2005.

2004

“One Mountain, Two Traditions: Zhongnan shan in Sui and Tang Times,” presented at International Symposium on Images, Relics and Legends: Formation and Transformation of Buddhist Sacred Sites in China, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 15-16th October 2004.

“Chinese Buddhist Martyrs? Some Reflections on Typologies of Self-immolation,” presented at conference on Imagined Worlds of Martyrdom, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, April 29th 2004.

“Buddhism, Alcohol and Tea in Medieval China,” presented at conference on Food and Religion in Traditional China, University of Cambridge, April 2nd 2004.

2003

“Burning Buddhist Monks: Some Reflections on Self-immolation and Conflict,” invited lecture, University of Washington, December 17th 2003.

“‘On Drinking Tea and Nourishing Life,’ Kissa Yōjōki by the Japanese monk Eisai (1141-1215),” Text Reading Seminar presented at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, June 13th 2003.

“The Silent Samgha: Some Observations on Mute Sheep Monks,” presented at conference on Monasticism in Asian Perspectives, University of British Columbia, February 21st-22nd 2003.

2002

“Self-immolation and Peace? Some Examples from the History of Chinese Buddhism,” presented at conference on “Buddhism and Peace,” University of British Columbia, May 25th-26th 2002.

“Fire and the Sword: Some Connections between Self-immolation and Religious Persecution in the History of Chinese Buddhism,” presented at conference on “Death and Dying in Buddhist Cultures,” Princeton University, May 17th-19th 2002.

2001

“Spontaneous Human Combustion: Some Remarks on a Phenomenon in Chinese Religion,” presented at conference on “The Moment of Death: Cross Cultural Perspectives,” McMaster University and University of Toronto, October 12th 2001.

1999

“Self-immolation, Religious Persecution, and the Founding of the Tang Dynasty,” invited lecture, Italian School of East Asian Studies, Kyoto, November 12th 1999.

“Deliverance by Fire? Some Observations on Taoist Auto-cremation,” invited lecture, Stanford University, May 10th 1999, and Stanford Japan Center, Kyoto, September 27th 1999.

“Written in Flames: Self-immolation in Sixth-century Sichuan,” presented at conference on “Body, Form and Practice in East Asian Buddhism,” Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, April 24th 1999.

1998

“Written in Flames: Self-immolation in Sixth-century Sichuan,” presented at UCLA China Studies Workshop, May 27th 1998.

“The Biography of a Sixth-century Self-immolator,” Text Reading Seminar, presented at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, May 15th 1998.

“Where Text Meets Flesh: Burning the Body as an ‘Apocryphal Practice’ in Chinese Buddhism,” versions presented at UCLA China Studies Workshop, May 1997, and at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, September 1997.

 

CONTRIBUTED

Chair, Panel on  “Iconography, Hagiography, and Ideology: New Approaches to Chinese Religions,” Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Toronto, March 18, 2017.

Discussant, Panel A19-121, “Envisioning Salvation: Eschatology and Utopias in Medieval China, Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Antonio TX, November 18th–22nd 2016.

Discussant, Panel A25-211, “Self-Immolations in the Tibetan Buddhist World,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Baltimore MD, November 23rd–27th 2013.

Discussant, Session 465 “Approaches to Legitimacy in Early Medieval China,” Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Honolulu HI, April 2nd 2011.

Discussant for panel on “The Lotus in the Sea of Fire: The Burning Monk Thich Quang Duc,” Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Chicago, IL, March 26th 2009.

“The Influence of Buddhist Literature on Medieval Chinese Concepts of Wit and Humour,” presented at the XVth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Atlanta, GA, June 27th 2008.

“Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks: Hagiographic Collection or Monastic Manifesto?” presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Philadelphia, PA, November 21st 2005.

“Buddhist and Taoist Attitudes to Food in Medieval China,” presented at 11th Annual Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference, “Feast, Famine, and Fasting: Food and Material Consumption in Medieval and Renaissance Culture,” Tempe, AZ, February 19th 2005.

“The Silent Samgha: Some Observations on Mute Sheep Monks,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Tempe, AZ, October 11th 2003.

“Self-cultivation and Self-immolation: Preparing the Body for Auto-cremation in Chinese Buddhism,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Diego, CA, March 9th 2000.

“Is Self-Immolation a ‘Good Practice?’ Yongming Yanshou’s Endorsement of Relinquishing the Body in his Wanshan Tonggui ji,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, CA, November 25th 1997.

 

CONFERENCES AND PANELS ORGANISED

Graduate Program Training Initiative Workshop, sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, McMaster University April 29th–30th 2011.

Buddhism’s Occult Technologies, McMaster University, April 11-13, 2008, sponsored by the University of Toronto/McMaster University Yehan Numata Buddhist Studies Program.

[In collaboration with University of Toronto] Whither Buddhist Studies? A Workshop on Buddhist Studies Doctoral Education in North America, Toronto, Ontario, April 6th–7th 2007.

Panel on “New Directions in the Study of East Asian Buddhism,” Annual Meeting of Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Tempe, Arizona, October 11th 2003.

One-day symposium on “Absence made Tangible: The Relics of the Buddha in India, China and Japan,” held at UCLA, January 27th 2001. Sponsored by UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies.

One-day conference on “Body, Form and Practice in East Asian Buddhism,” held at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, April 24th 1999.

 

CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION

Chair, Panel A18-264 “Hell, Nature, and Rhetoric in Chinese Buddhism” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago, IL, November 23rd–26th 2012.

Chair, Panel 19-210 “Bodies Present and Absent in Premodern Chinese Religious Practice,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco CA, November 19th–22nd 2011.

Chair, Panel 30-314 “Crossing Boundaries in Chinese Religions,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta GA, October 29th–November 1st 2010.

Chair, Panel 5 “Diaspora and Reconfiguration: New forms of Religiosity emerging from Contact and Exchange,” Tung Lin Kok Yuen Conference on Buddhism and Diaspora, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, May 14th–16th 2010.

Chair, Session 282 “Functioning of Baojuan texts in Chinese Popular Religion,” Annual Meeting of Association of Asian Studies, Philadelphia PA, March 25th–28th 2010.

Chair and discussant, “Spirituality and the Evolution of Rituals in Asia,” Annual Meeting of Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, October 9th 2003.