XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS): Second CircularReturn to Announcements

By Lora Kile on May 9th, 2016

IABS 2017 Second Circular letter attachment

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends:

Preparations are well underway for the XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS), which takes place at the University of Toronto, August 20th to the 25th, 2017. On behalf of the IABS, my university, and the conference’s Planning Committee, I kindly send you this Second Circular to share the panels that will be presented, to invite individual papers for the panels and sections here proposed, and to encourage all IABS members and supporters to attend the Congress in Toronto.

General Information

This Congress is a unique opportunity for Buddhist Studies scholars from around the world to convene and celebrate the excellence of our field. As Chair of the Planning Committee, I enthusiastically encourage you to circulate this Second Circular to colleagues, students, on message boards, electronic forums and on social media. This Second Circular is sent to all current IABS members, those who have filled out the electronic ‘Mailing List’ request form on the website, and to those who wrote me directly. We strive to convene as inclusive a Congress as possible, and welcome the attendance of a diverse range of scholars, students and supporters.

I would once again kindly remind everyone that they must be a fully paid member of IABS for the year 2017 in order to attend the event, deliver a paper, or sit on a panel in Toronto. To be a member of the association in 2017, those 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, stipulated below. IABS membership can be secured through the online form at the IABS website: www.iabsinfo.net. Kindly keep in mind that on registration, to complete the process aspiring participants will be required to provide proof of payment of their IABS dues for 2017. Initial enquiries about eligibility should be sent to the association’s Secretary General, Dr. Ulrich Pagel ([email protected]).

Submission of panel proposals for the Congress has already closed, and I, along with the Planning Committee, would like to generously thank all those who took time to submit their panel proposals. Given the high volume of submissions—an IABS record—not every panel was accepted, though all were of superior quality and testify to the wide-ranging excellence of our field.

Submission of individual paper abstracts for both panels and sections (each of which is outlined below) opens May 15th, 2016, and closes October 1st, 2016. Please note that individual paper abstracts cannot be accepted after October 1st, 2016, so be sure to take note of the deadline. 


Congress registration opens October 1st, 2016, and closes just prior to the start of the proceedings, August 18th, 2017. Registration any time between these dates is permitted. Please see below for further details on how to register, as well as to the amenities covered by the fee.


Though our field spans a myriad of linguistic regions and our members represent the most diverse language backgrounds, it is IABS policy that official Congress proceedings, including papers and presentations, be conducted in an English-language medium.

As all future communication will be distributed via email, I encourage those who wish to attend or stay abreast of Congress news to fill out the electronic “Mailing List” request form found at our website: http://www.iabs2017-uoft.ca/contact/. Please write to me, Christoph Emmrich, directly, if you have any questions or concerns about future communication. My address is found at the bottom of this circular under ‘Correspondent,’ or at the above website address.

Academic Program

In following with past Congresses, the proceedings in Toronto will consist of both panel presentations and paper sections. Panels have been proposed by their respective convenors, and will consist of no more than six papers, each 20 minutes in length, each followed by a 10 minute discussion period. All told, panels will last half a day, including a coffee and tea break after the first three papers. The organizers and I will strive to ensure that papers in each panel begin and end in unison to allow participants to attend select papers from multiple panels.

Sections, in contrast, have been chosen in accordance with past Congresses and are to be compiled from individual paper submissions. They will follow the same format as panels in terms of time and duration: 20 minutes for delivery and 10 minutes of question and answer period immediately following each paper. Please be advised that in the event an insufficient number of qualified entries are made to a given section, the Planning Committee and I reserve the right to decide to cancel the said section and reassign the papers accepted to another, thematically equivalent section as well as the time slot to another section with a surplus of submissions. 


Individual Paper Proposals

I cordially invite scholars, students, and independent researchers from across the spectrum of Buddhist Studies to submit abstracts for individual papers, starting May 15th, 2016. Paper abstracts should be no more than 500 words, and preferably in both word and PDF format. In order to contribute a paper to an individual section, please upload abstracts to the Congress website at http://www.iabs2017-uoft.ca/, indicating which section the abstract will address. Please limit your selection to one section. The list of sections is found below. It has been chosen with the aim of being both representative of the traditional profile of the Congress and as inclusive as possible. Some submissions might fit under several section headers, though only one presentation per participant is permitted.

Indeed, to ensure a smooth and balanced program that allows for maximum participation, attendees are limited to act in only one official capacity at the Congress: this limit extends to presenting a paper, convening a panel, or acting as designated discussant. If one has any questions pertaining to this limit, please contact me directly at the correspondence address listed below. 


The following are the sections proposed for the XVIIIth IABS Congress:

Āgama and Nikāya Studies

Abhidharma Studies

Buddhism and Gender

Buddhism and Its Relation to Other Religions

Buddhism and Its Relation to Science

Buddhism and Society

Buddhism and the Śramaṇas

Buddhist Art and Architecture

Buddhist Hermeneutics, Scholasticism, and Commentarial Techniques

Buddhist Literature

Buddhist Music

Buddhist Places

Buddhist Sciences

Contemporary Buddhism

Early Buddhism

Epigraphy, Manuscripts, and Codicology

Epistemology and Logic in Buddhism

Information Technologies in Buddhist Studies

Mahāyāna Buddhism

Mahāyāna Sūtras

Śrāvakayāna Buddhism, incl. Theravāda

Tantric Buddhism

The Canonical Languages of Buddhism

Vinaya Studies


Panels, unlike sections, are organized by their respective convenor(s), who are responsible for their academic standard, thematic cohesion, and timely submission. Should you wish to contribute a paper towards the conference that in your eyes may fit one of the announced panels, you should contact the convenor(s) directly through the email addresses provided below, before submitting a paper proposal to one of the sections. All decisions regarding acceptance of paper proposals are made by the convenor(s). Once panels have been filled, their convenor(s) can close the panels and direct further submissions to paper sections instead. We welcome convenors to also present on their respective panels (this being the only exception to the one-capacity rule stated above), but also request them to ensure that no more than six papers constitute any one panel and to remind their panelists that they may not commit to joining other panels. Convenors should email a complete package of paper abstracts directly to me no later than October 1st, 2016.

Below is a list of accepted panels for the XVIIIth IABS Congress in Toronto:




A New Study of Ratnākaraśānti’s Prajñāpāramitopadeśa

Katsura, Shoryu

Hong, Luo

[email protected]


Approaches to the Bodhicaryāvatāra

Gold, Jonathan C.

[email protected]

Bell Inscriptions Across the Buddhist World

Doney, Lewis

Bretfeld, Sven

[email protected]

[email protected]

Brahmin Buddhists

Walser, Joseph

[email protected]

Buddhism from the Margins: Using Manuscript Sources to Re-examine the Rituals and Routines of Medieval and Early Modern Buddhist Communities in Japan, Korea, and China

Keyworth, George A.

[email protected]

Buddhism in the Sātavāhana Empire: The Languages of the Sātavāhanas and the Languages of Buddhism

Ollett, Andrew

[email protected]

Buddhist Conceptions of History

Thompson, Luke

[email protected]

Buddhist Cosmology and Astral Science

Mak, Bill M.

[email protected]

Buddhist Landscapes Made and Remade

Carbine, Jason A.

[email protected]

Buddhist Studies and the Scientific Study of Meditation

Braun, Erik

McMahan, David

[email protected]

[email protected]

Buddhist Tourism: Sacred Sites within Global Networks

Bruntz, Courtney

Schedneck, Brooke

[email protected]

[email protected]

Buddhist Ways of Reading

Heim, Maria

Gummer, Natalie

[email protected]

[email protected]

Concepts and Techniques of Prognostication

Guggenmos, Esther-Maria

Scheuermann, Rolf

[email protected]

[email protected]

Conventional Reality, Conventional Truth

McClintock, Sara

[email protected]

Deeds of a Buddha

Tournier, Vincent

Luczanits, Christian

Sernesi, Marta

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Dhāraṇī Literature and Textual Cultures

Davidson, Ronald M.

[email protected]

Discipline, Agency, Inquiry: Vinaya Reception in Women’s Monastic Communities Past and Present

Langenberg, Amy Paris

[email protected]

Does Candrakīrti Offer Any Epistemology (pramāṇa)?

Westerhoff, Jan

Thakchoe, Sonam

[email protected]

[email protected]

Early Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhāra: New Discoveries and Research

Baums, Stefan

Strauch, Ingo

[email protected]

[email protected]

Images and Practices of Buddhist Kingship across Asia

Berkwitz, Stephen

Dotson, Brandon

[email protected]

[email protected]

Insights into Gandhāran Buddhist Narratives through Art and Texts

Neelis, Jason

[email protected]

Literatures of Contemplation

Quintman, Andrew

Schaeffer, Kurtis

[email protected]

[email protected]

Monastic Espionage in East Asia: Medieval Period

Chen, Jinhua

[email protected]

Monastic Espionage in East Asia in the Age of Isolationism, 14th to 19th Century

Bingenheimer, Marcus

[email protected]

Monastic Espionage in East Asia: Modern Period

Brose, Benjamin

[email protected]

New Approaches to Wŏnhyo and His Thought – A Panel in Commemoration of the  1400th Anniversary of His Birth

Cho, Eun-su

Buswell, Robert

[email protected]

[email protected]

New Research on Newar Buddhism

Bühnemann, Gudrun

[email protected]

New Trajectories in the Study of Buddhism and Law

Lammerts, D. Christian

Schonthal, Ben

[email protected]

[email protected]

Recent Approaches in Vinaya Studies

Borgland, Jens W.

[email protected]

Recent Research on the Dīrghāgama

Melzer, Gudrun

Choi, Jinkyoung

[email protected]

[email protected]

Reconstructing the History of Late Indian Buddhism (Part III)

Relationship between Tantric and Non-tantric Doctrines

Kyuma, Taiken

[email protected]

Ritual, Doctrine, and Monasticism: Buddhist Practices in Dunhuang

Liu, Cuilan

Chen, Huaiyu

[email protected]

[email protected]

Stories Behind the Story: Revisiting the Buddha’s Hagiography

Sasson, Vanessa

[email protected]

The Avadānaśataka: The Uses of Narrative

Appleton, Naomi

Muldoon-Hules, Karen

[email protected]

[email protected]

The Buddha’s Footprint in Asian Cultures

Handlin, Lilian

[email protected]

The Manuscript Tradition of the Pāli Texts in South and Southeast Asia

Yamanaka, Yukio

[email protected]

The Roles of Iconic Imagery in South Asian Buddhist Architectural Contexts: Reconstructions and New Perspectives

Morrissey, Nicolas

[email protected]

Transmission and Transformation of Buddhist Logic and Epistemology in East Asia (I): Around Dignāga’s Logic and Fallacies of Debate

Ono, Mitoi

Inami, Masahiro

[email protected]

Transmission and Transformation of Buddhist Logic and Epistemology in East Asia (II): Around Yogācāra and Madhyamaka Texts in Chinese Translations

Moriyama, Shinya

Moro, Shigeki

[email protected]

Transparent, Translucent, or Opaque: Chinese Translations of Indic Texts as Windows onto Indian Buddhism

Witkowski, Nicholas

[email protected]

Travel, Transmission, and Affiliation: Lineage in the Buddhist Crossroads of Inner Asia

King, Matthew W.

[email protected]

Vinaya Commentaries

Clarke, Shayne

[email protected]

What Makes a Monastery a Great Monastery? Textual, Art Historical, and Archaeological Evidence from India to [the Borders of] China

Forte, Erika

[email protected]

Yogācāra Across Asia: India, Tibet, and East Asia

Yao, Zhihua

Bayer, Achim

[email protected]

[email protected]

Zones of Contact: Facets of Buddhist Interactions in Eastern Central Asia During the 9th-14th Centuries

Meinert, Carmen

[email protected]


Conference Schedule





Sunday, August 20, 2017



Opening Reception

Monday, August 21, 2017

Panels and Sections

Panels and Sections

Evening Presentations

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Panels and Sections

Panels and Sections

Evening Presentations

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Panels and Sections

Panels and Sections

Evening Presentations

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Panels and Sections



Friday, August 25, 2017

Panels and Sections

Panels and Sections

Closing Reception


Registration Fee

To assist the organizers in hosting the event, we have set the Congress fee at $330 CAD. This fee includes attendance, coffee, tea and hot lunch during the academic programming, meals at both the Opening and Closing Receptions, as well as printing costs for paper programs. Not included in this fee are meals outside of the academic program and Opening and Closing Receptions, such as breakfasts and dinners, as well as travel, accommodation, excursions, and special events.

Those registering before March 31st, 2017 will enjoy a discounted fee of $300 CAD, while graduate students are entitled to a rate of $250 CAD with confirmation of enrollment status. Students from countries with low currency exchange rates when compared to the Canadian Dollar may request a fee reduction by writing to me directly at the address provided below. Decisions on fee reduction will be made on a case-by-case basis, and I regret that only a limited number of such reductions can be granted.


Fee payment will be made online through our website, where, as mentioned above, you will be expected to provide proof of payment of your IABS membership fee for 2017. Please visit the website on October 1st, 2016 to complete your online Congress registration.   

Posters and Exhibits

In addition to panels and paper sections, we welcome the submission of project presentations from scholars and organizations who wish to display their work to the Congress at large. We regret that only a limited number of presentations can be selected. Please write to me directly to inquire about presenting your project at the XVIIIth IABS Congress.

Exhibitors providing professional services or products such as books are also invited to contact me directly to inquire about renting space during the Congress proceedings.  

Visa Requirements

As the Congress will attract scholars and students from all over the world, it is not possible for the organising team to advise or assist with securing visas to Canada, since the process varies widely depending on the country of origin of each attendee. Potential attendees are encouraged to consult the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in their home country or country of residence as early as possible. Travel agencies are also possible sources of information on the visa process. We can, however, provide letters indicating that an individual is in fact registered to attend or present at the Congress. Please write to me directly if you wish to request such a letter.


I wish to gently remind everyone that Congress attendees are responsible for covering all travel to and from Toronto. Currently we are trying to secure a discounted rate for travel by air, and updated information will appear on the website once registration begins, October 1st, 2016. Please check the website after this date for update travel information.  


Congress participants are responsible to secure their own accommodation and pay all attendant costs. Below is a list of accommodations near the University of Toronto, St. George Campus, some of which have granted discounted rates to Congress attendees. When booking, please inform them of your attendance at the XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 2017. A range of options has been provided to suit the different needs of our Congress attendees. Please be advised that the University is located in downtown Toronto, and August is one of the busiest times of the year, so kindly book early if possible. 



Single Occupancy

Double Occupancy

Admiral St. George: BB and Guesthouse

305 St. George St. / 416-921-1899


$95/1 Bedroom

$125/Big room


Annex Quest House

83 Spadina Road / 416-922-1934







Howard Johnson Hotel: Toronto-Yorkville

89 Avenue Road / 416-964-1220

$95/1 Double Bed

$143/King Bed

$109/2 Double Beds

Comfort Hotel Downtown

15 Charles St. E. / 416-924-1222

From $119


Eaton Chelsea

33 Gerrard Street West

1-800-243-5732 / 416-595-1975

From $169*

From $169*

Holiday Inn Toronto: Downtown

30 Carlton Street / 416-977-6655

$177/1 Bed Executive

$177/ 2 Double Beds

Beverley Place

226 Beverley St / 416-977-0077

$180/Single, $290/Queen


High End



The Grande: Hotel and Suites

225 Jarvis Street / 416-863-9000

$229 Grand Deluxe*


$389 Two Bed Junior

Park Hyatt Toronto

4 Avenue Road / 416-925-1234

From $309/Night


Intercontinental Toronto-Yorkville

220 Bloor Street West / 416-960-5200




Windsor Arms Hotel

18 St. Thomas Street / 416-971-9666

$325/Junior Suite*

$395/Junior Suite 2 Beds

The Hazelton Hotel

118 Yorkville Ave / 416-963-6300

From $525/Night


Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

60 Yorkville Avenue / 416-964-0411

From $565/Night



*Special discounts for Congress attendees. Some of these rates will expire as the date of the Congress moves closer, so make sure to book at least a month in advance of the proceedings.

An updated list of accommodations will be available on the Congress website after registration begins, so please check the website regularly after this date. The Third Circular, due in April, 2017, will also contain more information about accommodations. 

Conference Travel Grants

Unfortunately we are not able to provide any grants or scholarships to participants or presenters for this Congress.


I urge you to consult our website regularly for updates and practical information about the upcoming Congress at http://www.iabs2017-uoft.ca/. We will be sure to update it regularly.

Third Circular

In a year from now, April 2017, I will send forth the Third Circular, the final notice before the Congress proceedings in August of that same year. The Third Circular will include a detailed academic program, further information about evening events and excursions, as well as up to date travel and accommodation information.

I truly look forward to seeing everyone in Toronto, 2017.

My warmest regards

Christoph Emmrich


Planning Committee of the XVIIIth IABS Congress


Anne MacDonald


Christoph Emmrich



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


Alicia Turner, York University


Jeff Wilson, University of Waterloo

 Advisory Board:

Collett Cox, University of Washington


Birgit Kellner, Austrian Academy of Sciences


Ulrich Pagel, University of London


Tom Tillemans, University of Lausanne


 Academic Coordination:

Anthony Scott, University of Toronto





Dr. Christoph Emmrich, Associate Professor

Chair, Planning Committee of the XVIIIth IABS Congress

University of Toronto, Department for the Study of Religion

170 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8


E-mail: [email protected]