Dear Ho Centre community,
Some of you may have heard that as of September 1, I am on research leave. I’m happy to able finally to announce officially that Dr Sarah Richardson has agreed to serve as Interim Director of the Ho Centre for Buddhist Studies.
Dr Richardson (pictured above, at right) is a historian of the arts and religions of South Asia with a specialization in Buddhist visual and material practice, especially Himalayan painting. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (2016), and is currently teaching as a Lecturer in the History of Religions for the Department of Historical Studies for the University of Toronto Mississauga.
In addition to teaching and, now, working with the Centre for Buddhist Studies, Dr Richardson is working on a book manuscript, entitled Temple, Image, Text: Word Made Visual in Tibetan Religious Architecture. This will be the first in-depth study to investigate the extensively inscribed murals at an important fourteenth-century Tibetan monastery called Shalu, questioning the efficacy and design behind their combination of words and texts made visible. Mural paintings, she argues, were (and are) useful in larger cultural projects of Tibetan Buddhist knowledge production.
Dr Richardson has also spent years researching and working with the largely unpublished Tibetan painting collection housed at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). In the next few years, she hopes to curate the first exhibition of this material in the ROM’s 100-year history, so stay tuned for more news about this exciting event!
I am also happy to introduce Dr Elizabeth (Betsy) Moss (pictured right), who will be working with the Centre as Program Assistant for the next few months. Dr Moss has a PhD in Art History from the University of Toronto, with a specialization in the visual, material, and ritual contexts of Byzantine icons from the thirteenth and fourteenth century. In addition to her administrative work at the Centre, she also teaches art history and visual studies courses.
I hope you will join me in welcoming our new Interim Director and Program Assistant. We have planned a diverse and stimulating series of events this year, with our first event coming up this week. Stay tuned, and you’ll be hearing more about these soon! I myself will be devoting more time to research projects associated with my current Himalayan Borderlands project, but I’ll look forward to attending as many Centre events as I can, and to catching up with all of you when possible.
Kind wishes for a peaceful and productive year,
Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Religion
Director (on leave for 2018-19), Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies