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Duke/Korea University Conference 

Bordering the Borderless: Faces of Modern Buddhism in East Asia 

image001Co-organizers: Richard Jaffe and Hwansoo Kim (Duke University, USA), Sungtaek Cho (Korea University, Seoul Korea), and Jin Y. Park (American University, USA) 
Sponsors: Duke’s Asian Pacific Studies Institute (APSI) and Religion and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies departments; Research Institute for Korean Studies at Korea University (RIKS); The Anguk Seon Center Foundation; Young Do Cultural Center Foundation; Duke’s Office of Global Strategy and Programs; Duke’s Arts and Sciences; Triangle Center for Japanese Studies; Carolina Asia Center; Duke Korea Forum
Conference Statement
     For the past several decades, scholarship on East Asian colonialism, modernity, and imperialism has abounded. In particular, English-language works on these subjects have extensively examined the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of these forces. Recent writings have further unraveled the complex realities and the multifaceted experience of East Asian societies thrown into colonial, semi-colonial, and imperial structures. One area that has not yet found its proper place in this scholarly enterprise is the role of religion (in general) and Buddhism (in particular), despite the broad acknowledgment of their importance.
     In the case of Buddhism, a growing number of scholars of modern East Asian Buddhism have delved into the dynamic relationships between (colonial) modernity and Buddhism, modern nation-state and Buddhist reforms, nationalist and Buddhist identity, material (and intellectual) culture and Buddhism, and ethnocentric Buddhism and transnational Buddhism. In so doing, they have also pointed out that to better understand the complexity of these relationships, binary interpretations, such as nationalism versus collaboration, tradition versus modernity, and East versus West, should be overcome. They have further suggested that there were a far greater number of relationships among different communities than originally believed, not only between Buddhists and Westerners but also among Buddhists themselves, in and beyond East Asian borders. These realizations among scholars are partly attributed to the fact that primary archives in East Asian and English languages have been made more available to those working in this field. Nevertheless, there has not yet been a full and comprehensive analysis of East Asian Buddhism and its interplay with modern forces based on these sources and new perspectives.
     This conference is intended to redress this problem and to present a strong case that Buddhism, as with other religions, mattered in the unfolding events of modern East Asian history. Scholars will discuss how Buddhism acted as a powerful symbol of authority and meaning in the building of modern, colonial, and imperial states, as well as how Buddhism shaped individual, group, national, and cultural identities, space, and power. The conference seeks to examine multiple aspects of Buddhism by bringing together scholars of different countries. Scholars who are working on diverse traditions of East Asian Buddhism and who are from a range of fields and theoretical perspectives will be invited to join in this interdisciplinary conversation.
     The conference will pay special attention to the following two approaches: First, the conference will look at Buddhism from a transnational perspective to move beyond ethnocentric boundaries. Second, the presentations will illuminate how local concerns were at the same time national, transnational, and global—and vice versa. Taken together, the two approaches will complicate the historiographies of conventional scholarship on East Asian colonialism and modernity, which has tended to confine itself to one nation and to the nationalistic paradigm. The goal of employing such approaches is to effectively bring to light the dynamics of the Buddhist traditions at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, identity formation and transformation, and particularism and universalism.



 October 4 (Friday)
  • 9:00-9:30: Opening-Richard Jaffe
  • 9:30-11:30Panel 1 (20 min. each)
    • Justin Ritzinger (Uni. of Miami): “Populating the Lesser Vehicle: The Chinese Buddhist Encounter with “Hinayanists” in the Republican Period.”
    • Richard Jaffe (Duke Uni.): “Kawaguchi Ekai, India, and the Globalization of Japanese Buddhism.”
    • Brooks Jessup (Free University of Berlin): “Who Will Enter Hell?”: Chinese Buddhist Elites Under Japanese Wartime Occupation, 1937-1945.”
    • Okuyama Naoji (Koyasan Uni.): “Japanese ‘Students in India’ of the Meiji era: The Monastic Lives of Shaku Kōzen and Shaku Sōen in Colonial Ceylon.”
    • Discussant: Barbara Ambros (Uni. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • 11:30-13:00: Lunch Break
  • 1:00-12:40: Panel 2 (20 min. each)
    • Francesca Tarocco (New York Uni.): “Dharma Frames: Looking at Photography and Chinese Buddhism.”
    • Justin McDaniel (Uni. of Pennsylvania): “Chinese Collectors of Southeast Asian Buddhist Art.”
    • Hwansoo Kim (Duke Uni.): “Valorization of the Koryŏ Canon (Koryŏ taejanggyŏng) in the Context of Colonialism, 1910–1945.”
    • Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa (Uni. of Alabama):“The Buddhist Other: Internal Orientalism, Nation Building, and Pan-Asian Imaginings of Tibetan Buddhism in the Photography of Zhuang Xueben.”
    • Discussant: Levi McLaughlin (North Carolina State Uni.)
  • 3:00-4:40: Panel 3 (20 min. each)
    • Jin Park (American Uni.): “Burdens of Modernity: Formation of Buddhist Philosophy in Paek Sŏnguk and Inoue Enryō.”
    • Charles Jones (the Catholic Uni. of America): “The Establishment of Chinese Ordination Platforms in Taiwan during the Japanese period 1895-1945.”
    • Yoshinaga Shin’ichi (Maizuru National College of Technology): “English language Buddhist periodicals in Japan from Bijou of Asia to Young East.”
    • Discussant: Pierce Salguero (Penn State Uni.)
October 5 (Saturday)
  • 10:00-11:40: Panel 4 (20 min. each)
    • Hoshino Seiji (Kokugaku Uni.): “(In)Expedient Others: Visions of Asia in Modern Buddhism in Japan.”
    • Namlin Hur (Uni. of British Columbia): “A Buddhist Triangle of Progressivism in Late Nineteenth-Century Korea: Yi Tong’in, T’ak Chŏngsik, Kim Okkyun, and their Japanese Honganji Connections.”
    • Mark Nathan (University of Buffalo): “Buddhist Missions and Dharma Transmissions: Propagation as Paradigm in Modern Korean and East Asian Buddhism.”
    • Discussant: Lauren Leve (Uni. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • 12:00-13:00: Lunch Break
  • 1:00-2:00: Keynote Speech: Brian Bocking (Uni. College Cork)
  • 2:00-2:15: Afternoon Break
  • 2:15-3:30: Roundtable Discussion: Inken Prohl (Uni. Heidelberg)
  • 3:30:  Conclusion

DATE:  October 4-5, 2013
LOCATION:  Duke, McLendon Tower, Room 501
TIME:  See conference schedule.

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