XVIIIth Congress, Int’l Assoc of Buddhist Studies 2017, Toronto

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XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
August 20 to August 25, 2017, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

FIRST CIRCULAR: April 30, 2015

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends:

On August 20th to the 25th, 2017, the XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies will take place at the University of Toronto, in one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic cities. It is with excitement that on behalf of the IABS, my university, and the conference’s planning committee, I send you this first circular to warmly invite all IABS members and supporters to the congress in Toronto.

General Information

The XVIIIth Congress represents a recurring opportunity for Buddhist studies scholars from around the world to come together and celebrate the achievements of our field. Since the diversity of the field is ever increasing, the congress is also a good moment for new members to join our community. Colleagues who do not currently hold membership should apply through the online form at the IABS website at www.iabsinfo.net. Initial enquiries about eligibility should be sent to the association’s Secretary General, Dr. Ulrich Pagel (up1@soas.ac.uk).

The International Association of Buddhist Studies is grateful for the support of its members, without which it would not exist. Membership comes with both privileges and duties. The Planning Committee would like to remind all prospective participants that they must be a fully paid member for the year 2017 in order to attend the event, deliver a paper or sit on a panel. To be a member of the association in 2017, colleagues wishing to participate in the congress will need to pay their IABS dues by December 31, 2016. All participants will also need to pay a congress registration fee used to help us cover the cost of hosting the event. The exact amount will be announced in the Second Circular.

Further Circulars, Information, and Website

Further circulars and information will be relayed via email. So please visit the conference website at http://www.iabs2017-uoft.ca and complete the electronic “Mailing List” request form, to be found on the website’s “Contact” page, as soon as possible. In order to attract to the congress scholars who do not hold current IABS membership, please forward this First Circular to anybody who might be interested in joining us in Toronto.

Academic Program

The aim of this Congress is to foster dialogue in the field, generate unique directions in research and come together to support the personal achievements of inspirational members. In order to meet these aims and contribute to the success of both ongoing and new research projects, the Planning Committee wishes to reaffirm the following format of proceedings:

(i) So that a range of scholars and research will be represented, only one paper per participant is permitted.

(ii) Each day will consist of four periods lasting an hour and a half each. During these periods of time several panels convene simultaneously. Five or six papers maximum will comprise each panel or section, with each paper allotted no more than 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes for questions and discussion will be afforded for each paper.

(iii) General topics will be provided by the Planning Committee after input from current IABS members. Papers will be grouped by section according to the general topics announced in the Second Circular, April 2016.

(iv) All panels will be limited to half a day, save for special circumstances. Convenors organizing the panels will personally contact selected contributors.

Call for Initial Panel Proposals

With the interests and expertise of our members in mind, the Planning Committee would like to invite initial panel proposals from scholars and colleagues reflecting the wide and evolving range of Buddhist studies. Please provide a brief, 200 word description of the proposed topic for the panel you wish to convene. Include along with your description a tentative list of potential contributors for the panel (not counted within the 200 word limit). After the selected panel topics have been presented in the Second Circular, interested parties should contact the panel convenor directly to inquire about joining.

The initial panel proposals should be sent to Christoph Emmrich, Chair, Planning Committee of the XVIIIth IABS Congress, University of Toronto, Dept. for the Study of Religion, at christoph.emmrich@utoronto.ca. The deadline for the initial panel proposals is January 31, 2016.

Individual Paper Proposals

The Planning Committee will provide a list of themes in the Second Circular, along with a call for individual papers accordingly.

Posters and Exhibits

We welcome both posters and exhibits from members for this congress. The Second Circular will contain guidelines for special sessions of poster and exhibit presentations where members can engage one another in a less formal setting.

Visa Requirements

Please be advised that members should inquire into visa regulations between Canada and their home country as soon as possible. The planning committee is not able to procure visas for international attendees. Members may inquire through commercial travel agents, or with the Canadian consulate in your home country/region.


The University of Toronto is surrounded by a wide selection of culinary treasures, cultural sites and world class lodgings. Available accommodations range from discount dormitory style at $45/night, to midrange and boutique hotels, even bed and breakfast style rooms near campus. A full list of accommodations will be made available with the Second Circular.

Conference/Travel Grants

We regret that there is no financial assistance available directly from the Planning Committee, yet we encourage members to immediately pursue external grants, bursaries and stipends. The Planning Committee strives to ensure an affordable and enjoyable experience for all participants, scholars and students alike. The registration deadline and fee will be stated in the next circular.

The Team of the XVIIIth IABS Congress

I am delighted to present to you the conference’s Planning Committee. It will be generously assisted by the academic coordinator and his emerging team, as well as local administrative staff and volunteers.

Planning Committee President: Anne MacDonald, University of Vienna
Planning Committee Chair: Christoph Emmrich, University of Toronto
Planning Committee Members: Wendi Adamek, University of Calgary; James Apple, University of Calgary; Dan Arnold, University of Chicago; James Benn, McMaster University; Lara Braitstein, McGill University; Chen Shen, Royal Ontario Museum; Jinhua Chen, University of British Columbia; Shayne Clarke, McMaster University; Deepali Dewan, Royal Ontario Museum; David Drewes, University of Manitoba; Frances Garrett, University of Toronto; Amanda Goodman, University of Toronto; Nam-Lin Hur, University of British Columbia; Chiara Letizia, Université de Québec; Jessica Main, University of British Columbia; Jason Neelis, Wilfrid Laurier University; Mark Rowe, McMaster University; Jeff Wilson, University of Waterloo

Planning Committee Advisory Board: Collett Cox, University of Washington; Birgit Kellner, University of Heidelberg; Ulrich Pagel, University of London; Tom Tillemans, University of Lausanne

Academic Coordination: Anthony Scott, University of Toronto

Allow me to conclude by wishing you a productive time ahead and by expressing my hope that my colleagues and I will see you in Toronto in 2017.

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