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Buddhist Scholars Named in Latest Round of Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Grants


The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announced on Monday that 20 scholars will be granted funding for their outstanding work in research, writing, and translation in the field of Buddhist studies. The ACLS also announced on Wednesday that four early-career scholars will earn grants to support museums and publications working in Buddhist art and thought traditions.

The grants make up the 2022 awardees of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation’s Program in Buddhist Studies grants and the newly created Buddhism Public Scholars program.

“ACLS has a long and successful history of championing early career scholars and publicly engaged humanities,” said ACLS president Joy Connolly. “Since 2020, we have approached this commitment with more urgency due to the damage the COVID-19 pandemic did to the job market, which disproportionately affected recent PhD recipients. We are thrilled to partner with The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global, esteemed host institutions, and the new Buddhism Public Scholars to increase public understanding of Buddhist art and ideas in the world.” (69 News)

The 20 new awardees will join some 200 past scholars who have been awarded grants to support their dissertation work, early-career research, and translations. Those granted dissertation fellowships were awarded US$30,000 to use during fieldwork, research, and writing. They represent universities in the US and Europe and work on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the study of sensation (Pali: vedana) in early Buddhism to South Korean Buddhist chaplaincy and Buddhist militarism.

Five Buddhist studies faculty were also awarded grants of up to US$70,000 to enable them to focus on promising research and writing in topics including Buddhism and the Cambodian diaspora in Italy, Tantric medicine, and death and demons in medieval Japanese Buddhism. Translation grants, each up to US$50,000, were awarded to scholars in Europe, North America, and Australia and will fund translations of texts from Chinese, Pali, Japanese, and Burmese languages.

In a release, ACLS president Joy Connolly said: “ACLS is proud to support this exceptional group of fellows and grantees who bring global perspectives on Buddhist Studies to an impressive range of topics. During a precarious time for many humanistic scholars, we are grateful that our partnership with The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global allows us to offer opportunities to scholars bringing deeper understanding of Buddhism to undergraduates and to audiences in the world beyond the classroom.” (ACLS)


The new program supporting public scholarship will place scholars in professional positions with leading museums and publishers for up to two years. The scholars will work within those institutions to strengthen their capacities to understand Buddhist art and thought in deeper complexity and its full context.

The 2022 Buddhism Public Scholars and their host institutions are Christopher Hiebert, PhD, from the University of Virginia, who will be working at Wisdom Publications in Boston, Massachusetts; Hillary Langberg, PhD, from the University of Texas at Austin, who will be at the National Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; Joseph Leach, PhD, from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Detroit, who will be at the  Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan; and Frederick Ranallo-Higgins, PhD, from the University of California, Los Angeles, who will be working at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review in New York City.

Chase F. Robinson, director of the National Museum of Asian Art, said: “The National Museum of Asian Art is pleased to participate in the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars program, which will advance the interpretation of Buddhist art through research, workshops, public programming, and digital humanities projects. In celebration of the museum’s centennial in 2023, Dr. Langberg’s research on our collection will help us design programs and digital experiences that inspire connections between historic and contemporary religious practices.” (69 News)

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars is one of a number of ACLS programs that will place early career scholars in professional positions outside the academy. The vision statement of the The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global states that it is inspired and informed by interconnectedness and supports programs in arts and culture and Buddhism as well as initiatives that enhance human wellbeing and the environment.

See more

ACLS Announces 2022 Fellows and Grantees of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies (ACLS)
American Council of Learned Societies Names Inaugural Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars (69 News)
The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global

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