Newar Traditional Medicine
Through 2011-12, thanks to the Wellcome Trust, we are working in the Central Himalayas studying the social and material networks that comprise Newar tradtional medicine. Interim results from that research will be posted here and in the blog.
Rick Stepp and Will Tuladhar-Douglas put together a panel for the 2010 Society of Ethnobiology conference in Victoria, BC. It didn't quite happen, but since then the project has taken on a life of its own, and there was a lively symposium in Gainesville on 11th-13th November 2010. The collaboration site for the symposium is here and we are working towards a special issue of the Journal for Religion, Nature and Culture as well as a workbook for the IUCN's Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas specialist group.
Immigrant Buddhist Landscapes
Initial results from work on this project, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, were presented in a paper at the May 2010 conference in Scarborough and in the press. The RSE funding finished in March 201; however, as part of the TLKY professorship we held a conference on making Buddhist landscapes. The intersections between work in Scotland and work around Toronto continue to bear fruit. At the moment I'm looking at how Emptiness Hall might be understood as an example of (quite literally) contracting a Buddhist landscape.
Tung Lin Kok Yuen (東蓮覺苑)
Will's time as the TLKY professor is largely done now, though he is still actively involved with the Global Asian Studies programme at University of Toronto and the TLKY project there.
For the GAS333H3 course, see here. For information on the Planting Seeds talk that took place on 3rd November 2010, see here. We also ran a lively symposium on social practices of place and environment in Buddhist societies on 5th-6th November: see here.
There are some scattered references to the Buddhism and Diaspora conference that happened in May 2010 but no central collection of resources.
The 2012 Association for Asian Studies conference is in Toronto and there should be strong TLKY representation there.
No conference this year, but there may well an SCHR meeting with beer in Kathmandu or Lhasa in 2012. We're not taking on any more MRes or MSc students, though.
Bats as medicine
Together with Allyson Walsh (until recently director of the Lubee Bat Sanctuary, now at San Diego Zoo), Will is gathering data for a global comparative study of bat ethnobiology, beginning with the uses of bats as medicine. Will's paper on the use of bats in Newar medicine can be found on this site.
In a fit of curiosity Will ran a short internet survey on the term ‘yam’ in English. The questionnaire is still available for folks that want to take it, but interim comments and conclusions are available here.
…was a much loved project carried out under the now-defunct Aberdeen University Virtual Worlds project between 2008-10. Together with students from the undergraduate anthropology of Buddhism class, including Amy Norman, now working on her MPhil at Oxford, and Drew Milne who is now writing his PhD on rituals and communities in virtual worlds at Aberdeen, we built a Buddhist monastery in Second Life. This was then used to role-play taking lower ordination and going on alms-rounds. The project ended because Linden Labs abandoned its support for the educational community, but since then we've looked at using OpenSim and its grid capacities.