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2024 Taitetsu Unno Memorial Lecture: Sharon Suh

April 12 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

With generous support from the Unno family and in honor of Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno, the Institute of Buddhist Studies is pleased to announce the Taitetsu Unno Memorial lecture on Friday, April 12th at 4pm.

In this talk, Sharon A. Suh, Ph.D., will discuss her latest research project entitled, Emergent Dharma: An Anthology of Asian American Feminist Buddhist Women, which is the first anthology of its kind to surface how Asian American Feminist Buddhist women have been being, seeing, and doing Buddhism in generative ways outside of received stereotypes of what it means to be Buddhist in the United States. Despite the prevalence of images equating Buddhism primarily with meditation in convert meditation circles, Emergent Dharma reveals women’s often-ambivalent relationships to meditation in favor of alternative modes of practice. This volume reveals a more complex picture of Asian American religiosity and spirituality, for being, seeing, and doing Buddhism has not always come easily; for some, the embrace of Buddhism came after an intentional turning away from their inherited religious tradition. Counter to the prevailing notion that Asian American Buddhist women simply adhere to their familial religious rituals and beliefs, these narratives reflect a more complicated picture of disavowal, yearning, ingratitude, and transformation with and through Buddhism.

Dr. Suh shows how the Asian American feminist Buddhist women of Emergent Dharma reveal how Buddhism is perceived, received, and practiced differently by Asian Americans—whether through artistic practice, embodied discipline, serving as a Buddhist auntie, visiting cemeteries in lieu of temples, talk story, attuning to the nonhuman world, cultivating self-love, and grappling with difficult familial relationships. Emergent Dharma endeavors to make clear that Asian Americans not only do Buddhism differently, but that there is a flourishing world of Buddhism beyond seated meditation aimed at relieving individual and collective suffering.

This lecture will be followed by discussion and Q&A moderated by Dr. Paula Arai. Following the Q&A, Dean Scott Mitchell will present one IBS student with an award for outstanding scholarship.

Following the lecture, IBS students and donors are invited to a wine and cheese reception.

You are welcome to attend in person at 2140 Durant St., or online via zoom. Please register either way.

Register for in person. 

Register for online. 


Sharon A. Suh, Ph.D. holds the Patricia Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies chair at Seattle University. She is Professor of Buddhism at Seattle University and author of Being Buddhist in a Christian World: Gender and Community in a Korean American Temple (University of Washington Press, 2004), Silver Screen Buddha: Buddhism in Asian and Western Film (Bloomsbury Press, 2015), and Occupy This Body: A Buddhist Memoir (Sumeru Press, 2019). She is current president of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and certified teacher of Mindful Eating-Conscious Living through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness with extensive training in trauma-informed yoga.


April 12
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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