Ivette Vargas-O'Bryan G'20

Ivette  Vargas-O'Bryan
Professor
Religious Studies
Austin College

ACLS Project Development Grants 2020
Professor
Religious Studies
Austin College
Resisting Normativity: Overcoming Suffering and Building Traditions in the Gelongma Palmo-Avalokiteśvara Buddhist Legacy

The Gelongma Palmo Buddhist biographies and rituals based on the experiences of a medieval Indian Buddhist leper-nun have provided a model for female empowerment, an inspiration for the sick across cultural boundaries in Asia, and a new interpretation of the Avalokiteśvara cult in Tibetan Buddhism. This book project offers an interdisciplinary history of the popular Buddhist legacy, as well as an exploration of the use of tantric texts in resisting socio-cultural normativity in religious and medical traditions. The grant will be used to further work on the book project, which will make this neglected legacy available to a wider audience.