Public Seminar: Undoing Whiteness in American Buddhist Modernism

Undoing Whiteness in American Buddhist Modernism: Critical, Contextual, and Collective Turns

5 November 2018

Parramatta South Campus, PS-EA.1.04

10:30-12:00

Speaker: Associate Prof Ann Gleig (University of Central Florida)

This paper explores the ways in which whiteness has functioned in the construction of Buddhist modernism in North America. Drawing on ethnography and textual analysis, it outlines key attempts by Buddhists of Color, and their white allies, to expose and overcome such whiteness before turning to a detailed examination of the pioneering work of Zenju Earthlyn Manuel from the Soto Zen lineage and Larry Yang from the Insight Community to forge an alternative Buddhist hermeneutics of multiculturalism and difference. In conclusion, it situates their work as reflecting critical, collective, and contextual turns in North American Buddhism that signify a wider shift from Buddhist modernism to Buddhism in a postmodern and post-colonial climate.

Ann Gleig is an Associate Professor of religion and cultural studies at the University of Central Florida. Her area of specialization is Buddhism in America and her forthcoming monograph American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity will be published by Yale University Press in February 2019.

RSVP: 29 October 2018

Alan Nixon: a.nixon@westernsydney.edu.au