Course Memo

TOPICS IN BUDDHISM IN THE WEST: CENTERING AND DECENTERING IDENTITY. This course will explore the intersections of identity in the context of American Buddhism. How have different Buddhist thinkers foregrounded social or cultural identities and their embodied challenges in the American context? How have Buddhist drawn from doctrinal positions such as “no-self” to engage or dis-engage with racism, sexism, trans- and homophobia both within and outside the sangha? Over the course of the semester, we will look at specific case studies, do close reading of contemporary Buddhist writing, and engage larger theoretical issues in the inter-related fields of critical race theory, post-colonial theory, and feminist/womanist theory. We examine key Buddhist concepts such as dukkha, anatta, anitya, and sunyata as they related to the discussion of Buddhism, practice, and the understanding of the sangha. This course is co-taught by PhD student Angela Lintz Small with a Newhall Award and Scott Mitchell. [Auditors with faculty permission]