CFP: Finding the OX: Buddhism and American Culture (7/1/04; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
John Whalen-Bridge
contact email: 

CALL FOR PAPERS: Finding the OX: Buddhism and American Culture (7/1/04)

The editors invite proposals of essays for a book on Buddhism and
American culture. Aimed at a readership across a wide range of
disciplines, Finding the Ox: Buddhism in American Culture will collect
essays that test and play with disciplinary boundaries between Literary
Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies
and Queer Theory. The proposed papers engage theoretical problems, offer
close readings of specific texts, or (most fruitfully) ground
speculative debates within the practice of mindful reading. Specific
essays in the volume may consider:

* the nature of the "Buddhist text"-what it might be for
practicing Buddhists, and what is it for various kinds of western
cultural consumers;

* under-investigated chapters in the history of Buddhism in

* the role of individual writers (e.g., Emerson, Thoreau,. Eliot,
Stevens, Rexroth, Kerouac, Snyder, Kyger, Whalen, DiPrima, Welch,
Ginsberg, Matthiessen, Kingston, Charles Johnson, Waldman, Andrew
Schelling, and others);

* groups of writers (Transcendentalists, Modernists, Beats,
Cyberpunk writers, Environmentalist writers and activists,
L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets)

* translators or teachers (e.g., Thomas Cleary, Robert Aitken,
Chogyam Trungpa, D.T. Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki, Alan Watts, Kazuaki
Tanahashi, and others);

* the Buddha boom in Popular Film (e.g., discussions of
Hollywood's cultural adaptations of Asian religious and philosophical

* questions of colonialism and orientalism in western cultural
representations and appropriates of Asian religions, and also the
possibilities of resistance to colonialism and orientalism within
western Buddhist and Buddhist-inspired texts;

* discussions of how Buddhist and Hindu terminology (karma,
dharma, koan, and so forth) travels west, and how meanings alter or do
not alter through travel;

* subdivisions within American Buddhism (e.g., comparative
approaches to Theravadan and Mahayanist contributions to American
belletristic literature;

* American psychological trends (e.g. Buddhist influences on or
parallels with the cognitive psychology research of Aaron Beck, the
"positive psychology" of Marvin Levine and Martin Seligman, or the
"Flow" of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi);

* Cultural trends (e.g., New Age spirituality, interfaith
dialogue, comparative approaches to Eastern and Western medical and
scientific discourses);

* comparative philosophical approaches with an emphasis on
American contexts;

* finally, "no self" in relation to American identity politics,

The editors conceive of "culture" and "literature" in the widest
possible senses and invite proposals for intellectually adventurous,
substantial essays. Please submit, in electronic format in MS Word, a
300-word abstract and a two-page CV to (
< > ) and (
< >. Deadline for proposals: July 1, 2004. For
completed articles: March 30, 2005. Completed articles will be
3,000-6,500 words long, including all notes and bibliographical. The
editors are in contact with a major university press and hope to have a
contract as soon after we have collected proposals.

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Received on Fri Mar 12 2004 - 01:16:44 EST