Gene Smith Memorial - February 12, 2011

Where to from here:
Tibetan Studies after Gene Smith
and Directions for the Future

A Panel Discussion on Tibetan Studies and the work of E. Gene Smith (1936 – 2010)
E. Gene Smith, the leading scholar and librarian of Tibetan Studies, founder and Senior Research Scholar of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, and former field director for the Library of Congress in New Delhi, Jakarta and Cairo, died on December 16, 2010 at age 74.

Columbia University, Saturday, February 12th

Alak Zenkar Thubten Nyima
Member of the Board, Tibetan Buddhist Resourse Center
Tudeng Nima Rinpoche (Alak Zenkar Rinpoche) is the Director of the Paltseg Tibetan Rare Texts Research Center, TBRC board member, visiting scholar at the University of Virginia, and board member of the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture.
Gray Tuttle  
Leila Hadley Luce Assistant Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Columbia University
Gray W. Tuttle studies the history of twentieth-century Sino-Tibetan relations as well as Tibet’s relations with the China-based Manchu Qing Empire. The role of Tibetan Buddhism in these historical relations is central to all his research. His publications include Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China (2005).
Janet Gyatso
Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard University
Janet Gyatso is a specialist in Buddhist studies with concentration on Tibetan and South Asian cultural history. Her books include Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan VisionaryIn the Mirror of Memory: Reflections on Mindfulness and Remembrance in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism; and Women of Tibet. Gyatso is co-chair of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion.
Kurtis Schaeffer
Professor in the History of Religions, University of Virginia
Kurtis R. Schaeffer's work focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of Tibet. His recent publications include The Culture of the Book in Tibet (2009) and, with Leonard van der Kuijp, An Early Tibetan Survey of Buddhist Literature (2009). Schaeffer is a past co-director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group in the American Academy of Religion, and is currently leading a seminar on "Religion and the Literary in Tibet" at the AAR. He also serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
Leonard van der Kuijp
Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Harvard University
Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp’s research areas cover Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, the history of Tibetan Buddhist thought, relations between Tibet and Mongolia, and relations between Tibet and inland China. His main publications include: Contributions to the Development of Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Centuries (1983), The Kālacakra and the Patronage of Tibetan Buddhism by the Mongol Imperial Family (2004), and with K. Schaeffer, An Early Tibetan Survey of Buddhist Literature (2009).
Matthew Kapstein
Professor of Buddhist Studies, Chicago University; Directeur d’études in the division of religious studies of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.
Matthew T. Kapstein has worked primarily on the philosophical traditions of later Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, and on the relationship of these with the practical and experiential aspects of religious life, including art, ritual, meditation, and yoga. He has published a collaborative volume, Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet: Religious Revival and Cultural Identity, The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism: Conversion, Contestation and Memory;, Reason’s Traces: Identity and Interpretation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Thought; and edited The Presence of Light: Divine Radiance and Religious Experience (2004). His recent works include The Tibetans (2006), two edited volumes -- Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet (2007) and Buddhism Between Tibet and China (2009) – and The Rise of Wisdom Moon (2009).
Michael Sheehy
Senior Editor, Tibetan Buddhist Research Center
Michael R. Sheehy specializes in marginalized esoteric religious movements in Tibet with an abiding interest in Buddhist strategies for the transmission of knowledge. His research interests include the intellectual history of the Jonangpa and Shangpa lineages, interpretations of the Kalachakra Tantra, the zhentong contemplative and exegetical tradition, Dzogchen literature, and Tibetan life writing.
Pema Bhum
Director, Latse Contemporary Tibetan Cultural Library
Pema Bhum co-founded the Amnye Machen Institute, the newspaper Dmangs gtso(Democracy), and the literary magazine Ljang gzhon (Jangshon). His memoirs of the Cultural Revolution have been translated under the title Six Stars with a Crooked Neck in 2001, with a recent sequel Dran tho rdo ring ma (Stone Pillar Memoirs) in 2007.
Sarah Jacoby
Assistant Professor of Religion, Northwest University
Sarah H. Jacoby studies South Asian Religions with a specialization in Tibetan Buddhism. Her research interests include Indo-Tibetan Buddhist doctrine and ritual in practice, gender studies, Tantric literature, autobiography studies, Buddhist revelation, Buddhism in contemporary Tibet, and Eastern Tibetan area studies. His publications include a book she co-edited with Antonio Terrone entitledBuddhism Beyond the Monastery: Tantric Practices and their Performers in Tibet and the Himalayas (Brill, 2009).
Susan Meinheit
Susan Meinheit is Tibetan/Mongolian Area Specialist in the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. As curator of the Tibetan and Mongolian collections she provides reference assistance to visiting scholars, introduces the collections thru public outreach, and actively develops, expands and maintains the collections. From the time she joined LC in 1975 she was mentored by E. Gene Smith and she was instrumental in reviving the LC-New Delhi Tibetan Acquisitions Program in 1992. She holds a Masters of Science in Library Science from The Catholic University of America.
Robert Thurman
Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University.  He is also co-founder and President of Tibet House US, and President of the American Instutitute of Buddhist Studies. 


For details contact Robbie Barnett at Modern Tibetan Studies or the Khorlo Tibetan Studies Student Group at