Conversations with Kurtis Schaeffer

As part of his visit to UA this November, Professor Kurtis Schaeffer, who teaches Tibetan religion and history at the University of Virginia, will be having an informal Q and A session. All students interested in Tibet, Buddhist studies, Asian history, or issues in the study of religion and history are welcome to attend. The informal Q and A will be Monday, November 7 from 4.30-5.30pm at 115 Woods Hall with food! Please RSVP to Dr. Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa at

Sponsored by Honors College, Department of History and the Asian Studies program


A Religion in Culture Lunch Discussion with Dr. Schaeffer will begin with one of his articles, available on the REL website . The lunch is Tuesday,November 8 at 12:30 pm in 115 Woods Hall. To reserve a spot for lunch and receive access to the article, please email

A graduate of Harvard University’s Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies (2000), Kurtis R. Schaeffer is Professor in the History of Religions section of the Department of Religious Studies, and currently serves as Associate Chairman of the Department. Before coming to the University of Virginia in 2005, he was a member of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama from 2000 to 2005. Schaeffer’s work focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of Tibet. His recent publications include The Culture of the Book in Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2009), Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of a Buddhist Poet Saint (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) and, with Leonard van der Kuijp, An Early Tibetan Survey of Buddhist Literature (Harvard Oriental Series 64, 2009). Schaeffer is a past co-director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group in the American Academy of Religion, and is currently leading a seminar on “Religion and the Literary in Tibet” at the AAR. He also serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. He is the recipient of Fulbright, Ryskamp, and Whiting fellowships. His current projects include a book on the idea of the Dalai Lama, a translation of an eighteenth century Bhutanese life story of the Buddha, and a study of traditional literary criticism and poetics in Tibet.