In the Department for the Study of Religion’s new Research Partnership Program, seven undergraduates and Master’s Degree students are working with faculty and senior graduate students on their research. East Asian Studies major Sophie Zheng, for example, is helping Buddhist Studies doctoral students Ben Wood and Sarah Richardson study Chinese language articles on the Tibetan temple of Shalu, and Religion major Marianna Siniakova is compiling bibliographic sources in Russian on Mongolian Buddhism with doctoral student Matt King. Religion major Daigengna Duoer is working with Professor Amanda Goodman, gathering information from Dunhuang manuscript catalogs of the Stein Collection, the Pelliot Collection and the Beijing Collection.
Religion major Jasveen Puri’s work with PhD candidate Smita Kothari involves translating and transcribing interviews from the Hindi language that Smita conducted during her ethnographic study of a sect in Jainism known as the Terapantha. The study explores notions of charity and meditation practices within this sect and how they relate to social issues, such as ecology, economy and social justice.
MA student Sean Hillman is working with Professor Will Tuladhar-Douglas, an anthropologist who does extensive field-work with the Newari of Kathmandu Valley. Based in Aberdeen, Dr. Tuladhar-Douglas is currently the TLKY Distinguished Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies for 2010 at the University of Toronto. His current project looks at agricultural, landscaping and architectural practices among immigrant Buddhists in the GTA, and the research team is investigating immigrant participation in community gardens, with an emphasis on the culturally-specific herbs/foods used by mothers.