Enlightening Passion

Semester: 
Spring
Year: 
2013
Subject Name: 

Women's & Gender Studies

Course Number: 
326
Institution: 
Amherst College

(Offered as ASLC 326, RELI 326 and WAGS 326.)  In this course we will study the lives of prominent female teachers in Tibetan Buddhism from its inception up to the present day. Our focus will be on reconstructing the narratives of the trajectories to realization that women like Yedshe Tsogyal, Mandarava, Yid Thogma, Machig Labdron, Sera Khandro, and Ayu Khandro, among others, undertook, often at high personal and societal cost. By utilizing biographical and--as much as possible--autobiographical records (in English translation), we will analyze the religious and social aspects of these women’s choice to privilege the Vajarayana path to enlightenment, often (but not always), at the expense of more conventional and accepted lifestyles. In order to do so, we will explore in depth the meanings attached to femininity, masculinity, sexuality, and gender dynamics within Tibetan monastic and lay life.

The course will combine methodology from Buddhist studies, Tibetan studies, women and gender studies, critical theory, and literary criticism in an effort to unravel and explore the complex negotiations that Buddhist female teachers engaged in during their spiritual pursuit, in the context of traditional as well as contemporary Tibetan culture.

Recommended requisite:  Previous knowledge of Tibetan culture and Buddhism.  Spring semester.  Professor Zamperini.

Linked Course: 
N
Instructor Permission Required: 
N
Crosslisted Section ID: 
ASLC-326-01,WAGS-326-01,RELI-326-01
Schedule #: 
WAGS-326-01-1213S

Course Sections

Enlightening Passion
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0

Paola Zamperini

pzamperini@amherst.edu

MW 12:30PM-01:50PM

MERR 314