The focus of my research involves Tibetan and Indian Buddhist philosophy, and religious traditions of the Himalayas. I am currently revising a book manuscript which focuses on the ways in which Tibetan Buddhist traditions understand the relationship between analytical reasoning and nonconceptual meditative states, and places these traditions in dialogue with some contemporary discussions in analytic philosophy. Specifically, this work concerns the 15th-century scholar Gorampa Sonam Senge and the unique ways in which he connects philosophy and meditation in his text, Synopsis of Madhyamaka (dbu ma’i spyi don). In his interpretation of Buddhist theory and practice, Gorampa argues that the aim of philosophy is to eventually undermine philosophy itself. I argue that this view, in addition to challenging and explicitly criticizing the founder of what later became the dominant religious and political sect in Tibet, also complicates ongoing discussions in Western analytic philosophy concerning ontological commitments, the role of logic, and ways of knowing.

Talking about technology and pedagogy at Emory University, 2018 (photo taken by Anandi Silva Knuppel)

In addition to this book project, I am also translating the Synopsis of Madhyamaka from Tibetan to English, in collaboration with Dr. Khenpo Ngawang Jorden and the Chödung Karmo Translation Group. The 450-page Synopsis is an encyclopedic text, outlining the history and development of Buddhist philosophical views in India and Tibet.

I have published several articles on Tibetan philosophy,  and have given conference presentations and public lectures on Buddhist thought in the U.S., Nepal, India, and France. In addition to my work on Buddhist philosophy, I have contributed a chapter on Buddhist practice in American prisons to the book, TransBuddhism: Transmission, Translation, Transformation, a collaborative project investigating Buddhist thought and practice as it has spread from Asia to the West. I have also contributed several short translations and articles to Buddhist magazines and websites, such as Buddhadharma, Tricycle, and Melody of Dharma Magazine.

 

While my current research is primarily grounded in textual analysis and philosophical interpretation, I am also interested more broadly in areas of religious practice, the construction of religious boundaries, and social and political issues in Asia. My plans for future research include a study of modern developments in Tibetan nonsectarianism, and an investigation of the roles that women and low-caste people play in religious rituals in the remote Himalayan region of Kinnaur, India.

A downloadable version of my CV can be found here.