Economics and Capitalism in the Study of Buddhism: AAR seminar, 2018/Denver

AAR has opened submissions for proposals for its 2018 meeting in Denver. This will be the fourth of five years of meetings for the seminar.

The seminar has announced the following topic (go here for online information from AAR: <;) and for links to submission process.

Statement of Purpose:

The seminar will allow an extended and focused examination of the historical background of Buddhism in networks of exchange, under colonialism—the previous global socio-economic system—and the present-day effects of global, or late, capitalism with its ability to transcend traditional national boundaries. In the same way that previous eras saw transcontinental and transoceanic patterns of trade as agencies in the transmission and transformation of Buddhism, there is an integral connection between the ability of contemporary consumer capitalism to make a presence in societies over the entirety of the globe and the technological changes that have contributed to increasingly globalized systems of communication and travel. There are two major areas of inquiry that the seminar explores. The first is the economic formation of Buddhism as an institution, such as the ways that Buddhism is represented, commodified, and marketed in capitalist society. The second area of inquiry is the ways that economic relations and capitalism have influenced the conception of Buddhism as an object of academic study.

Call for Papers:

The seminar in Economics and Capitalism in the Study of Buddhism has developed three themes for paper topics for 2018:

• Economics of Buddhist Utopias: Then and Now

• Creative Imaginations in Asia’s Past, Present, and Future

• How Buddhists Have Responded to Capitalist Situations, Realities of Wealth and Excess, and Altering Institutions

These represent a wide range of possible topics for study, reflecting the multidimensional character of the seminar’s topic. We solicit submissions from a wide range of scholarly specializations.

PAPERS (this is AAR code for the online submission system, a secret teaching)
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection


  • Fabio Rambelli,
  • Richard K. Payne,

Steering Committee

  • Charles D. Orzech, Colby College
  • Courtney Bruntz,
  • James Mark Shields,
  • Kin Cheung, Moravian College
  • Megan Bryson, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


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