UCI receives Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorship in Buddhist Studies from the American Council of Learned SocietiesProfessorship will strengthen UCI's interdisciplinary East Asian Languages and Literatures Department
The School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine has received a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorship in Buddhist Studies from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The globally-competitive award grants UCI $300,000 in support of creating a new faculty position in Buddhist studies. The position will be housed in the UCI Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and will work closely with the UCI Program in Religious Studies.
The professorship in Buddhist studies will build on the School of Humanities’ existing strengths in East Asian and religious studies and further its commitment to approaching literature and culture with a historical depth that links pre-modern and modern cultures and makes connections between China, Japan, and Korea.
“The addition of a Buddhist scholar, whose work necessarily connects the study of East Asia with scholars of religion and philosophy in the Western and South Asian traditions, will immeasurably strengthen the School of Humanities by complementing and supporting our vibrant interdisciplinary humanities majors such as global cultures and religious studies,” said Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the UCI School of Humanities. “Since Buddhist history and culture is inextricable from the study of Asian history and culture, a scholar of Buddhism will enable the department to approach more effectively the collective history of East Asia.”
“We are thrilled to receive the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorship in Buddhist Studies from the American Council of Learned Societies,” said Susan Blakeley Klein, UCI professor of Japanese literature and culture and director of the Religious Studies Program. “A Buddhist Studies scholar will bring the crucial (but hitherto missing) component of East Asian Buddhism to the undergraduate curriculum. There is already great interest in Buddhism among UCI undergraduate students as witnessed by the fact that undergraduate courses on topics related to East Asian religions consistently meet and often exceed enrollment caps and are cross-listed with Religious Studies, thereby serving students in both programs. A scholar of Buddhist studies will enable the school to better meet the demand for Buddhist and East Asian religion courses, as well as attract graduate students with research interests in Buddhism.”
The UCI Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures has a faculty of nine (five professors and four associate professors) and offers a Ph.D. program in East Asian languages and literatures, with concentrations in Chinese, Japanese, and East Asian cultural studies, and undergraduate majors in Chinese studies, Japanese language and literature, Korean literature and culture, and East Asian cultures.