Office phone: 513 529 4307
Home phone: 513 761 6606
Email contact: Wilsone@miamioh.edu
Department of Comparative Religion
Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056
Ph.D. The University of Chicago Divinity School, 1992 (History of Religions)
M.A. The University of Chicago Divinity School, 1984 (Divinity)
B.A. Davidson College, 1983 (Interdisciplinary Studies in Religion)Professional Experience
2010: Professor, Department of Comparative Religion, and Affiliate in the Women's Studies Program as well as the Asian and Asian American Studies Program, Miami University
2004 – 2010: Professor and Department Chair, Department of Comparative Religion, and Affiliate in the Women's Studies Program, Miami University
2002 – 2004: Professor, Department of Comparative Religion, and Affiliate in the Women's Studies Program, Miami University
1998 – 2002: Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Religion, and Affiliate in the Women's Studies Program, Miami University
1992-1998: Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Religion, and Affiliate in the Women's Studies Program, Miami University
1991: Lecturer, The University of Chicago Department of Continuing Education Selected Honors
Altman Fellowship, Miami University, 2013-2014
Philip and Elaina Hampton Fund for Faculty International Initiatives, Miami University, 2012-13
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, University of Virginia, 2011
Humanities Center Grant, Miami University, 2010
Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate Instruction and Mentoring, Miami University, 2009
American Academy of Religion Individual Research Grant, 2008-09
Fulbright-Hays Silk Road Seminar in Eurasia, 2006
U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program (Malaysia and Singapore), 2005
American Academy of Religion Research Assistance Grant, 2001-2002
Summer Research Fellowship, Miami University, 1996- 1997
Second place winner, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion's First Annual Young Scholars Award, 1995-1996
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, Columbia University, 1995Single-author Book
Charming Cadavers: Horrific Figurations of the Feminine in Indian Buddhist Hagiographic Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).Edited Volume
The Living and the Dead: Social Dimensions of Death in South Asian Religion, edited by Liz Wilson (SUNY Press, 2003).Refereed Journal Articles
"'There Isn't a Man Here That I Should Be Ashamed': Resistance to Indian Cultural Conventions Regarding Female Nudity," Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (November 2000).
"Who Is Authorized to Speak? Katherine Mayo and the Politics of Imperial Feminism in British India," in Journal of Indian Philosophy 25:2 (May, 1997).
"Henpecked Husbands and Renouncers Home on the Range: Celibacy as Social Disengagement in South Asian Buddhism," Union Seminary Quarterly 48 (Fall 1995).
"Seeing Through the Gendered 'I': The Self-Scrutiny and Self-Disclosure of Nuns in Post-Ashokan Buddhist Literature," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 11 (Spring 1995).Refereed Book Chapters
“Sati or Female Supremacy?: Feminist Appropriations of Gotami's Parinirvana.” In Engaging South Asian Religions: Boundaries, Appropriations, and Resistances. Series in Hindu Studies, edited by Matthew N. Schmalz and Peter Gottschalk (SUNY Press, 2011).
"Seizing the Zombie's Tongue: Ambivalent Protectors in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal.” In Notes from a Mandala: Essays in Honor of Wendy Doniger, edited by Laurie Patton and David Haberman (University of Delaware Press, 2010)
“Playing the Married Lady: Primary Marriage Among the Newars of Nepal.” In Sacred Play: Ritual Levity and Humor in South Asian Religions, edited by Corinne Dempsey. State University of New York Press, 2010).
“Pass the Tofu, Please: Asian Foods for Aging Baby Boomers,” in Culinary Tourism, edited by Lucy Long (University of Kentucky Press, 2003).
“Passing On: The Social Life of Death in South Asian Religions,” introduction to edited volume, The Living and the Dead, edited by Liz Wilson (SUNY Press, 2003).
"Autocremation and Spontaneous Combustion as Marks of Sanctity in South Asian Buddhism," in The Living and the Dead, edited by Liz Wilson (SUNY Press, 2003).
“Beggars Can Be Choosers: Mahakassapa as a Selective Eater of Offerings,” for Constituting Theravada Communities, ed. Jon Walters, Jacob Kinnard, and Ann Blackburn (SUNY Press, 2003).
"The Female Body as a Source of Horror and Insight in Post-Ashokan Indian Buddhism," in Religious Reflections on the Human Body, edited by Jane Marie Law (Indiana University Press, 1995).Selected Invited Articles
“Teaching Split-level classes,” in Spotlight on Teaching, Religious Studies News, American Academy of Religion, October 2012.
“Starvation and Self-mutilation,” for the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence, edited by Mark Jurgensmeyer and Margo Kitts (Oxford University Press, 2012), 242-249.
“Buddhism and Gender,” in Buddhism in the Modern World, edited by David McMahon (Routledge, 2012).
“Buddhist Tradition and Heritage,” in Encyclopedia of Religion in America, edited Charles Lippy and Peter Williams (CQ Press, 2010).
“Marriage,” in Malti-Douglas, Fedwa, ed. Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007).
“World Religions, Hinduism,” Routledge International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities, 1 vol., edited by Michael Flood, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Bob Pease, and Keith Pringle (London: Routledge, 2007).
“Nudity,” in the Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Lindsay Jones (Macmillan, December 2004).
“Thinking Rigorously and Religiously About Gay Marriage,” Buffalo Report, March 2004.
“Ascetic Practices,” in Encyclopedia of Buddhism, edited by Robert Buswell (Macmillan, 2003).
“Buddhist Views on Gender and Desire,” in Sexuality and World Religions, edited David W. Machacek (ABC-Clio, 2003).
“Perspectives on the Body,” in Encyclopedia of Buddhism, edited by Robert Buswell (Macmillan, 2003).
“The Buddhist Meanings of Food,” in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, William M. Johnston, ed. (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000).
“The Body in Buddhist Traditions,” in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, William M. Johnston, ed. (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000).
“The Modern History of the Study of Hindu Women,” in the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions, edited by Serinity Young (Simon and Schuster, 1998).
"Virginity" in the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions, edited by Serinity Young (Simon and Schuster, 1998).
“Mythic Lands of Women,” in Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions, edited by Serinity Young (Simon and Schuster, 1998). Work Under Review/ Contracted
“Murderer, Saint, and Midwife: A Feminist Reading of Angulimala’s Conversion Narratives,” refereed book chapter for Karen Pechilis and Barbara Holdrege, editors, Refiguring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions.
“Didactic Bodies in Indian Buddhist Story Literature,” in Transcultural Sexualities: Materials, Conceptions, Practices of the Affective Body Between Asian and Europe, edited by Christiane Brosius and Barbara Mittler. Forthcoming Work
Family in Buddhism: Buddhist Vows and Family Ties. This edited volume includes twelve chapters on the role played by familial structures in Buddhist institutions throughout Asia. I contributed the introduction and chapter 8 (SUNY Press, expected August 2013).
“Introduction: Family and the Construction of Religious Communities,” in Family in Buddhism: Buddhist Vows and Family Ties (SUNY Press, expected August 2013).
“Mother as Character Coach: Maternal Agency in the Birth of Sīvali,” in Family in Buddhism: Buddhist Vows and Family Ties (SUNY Press, expected August 2013).Book Reviews and Review Essays
Review Essay: “Rethinking Buddhist Deathways.” Religious Studies Review 36.3 (September 2010).
Susanne Mrozik, Virtuous Bodies: The Physical Dimensions of Morality in Buddhist Ethics, Religious Studies Review (January 2009).
Joel Tatelman, The Heavenly Exploits: Buddhist Biographies from the Divyavadana (H-Buddhism: H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences. http://www.h-net.org/~buddhism/ , July 2006).
Paine, Jeffrey, Father India: Westerners Under the Spell of An Ancient Culture. In Journal of the American Academy of Religion (February, 2002).
Hiltebeitel, Alf and Barbara Miller, eds., Hair: Its Power and Meaning in Asian Cultures. In History of Religions (February, 2001).
Bernard Faure, The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality. In Journal of Religion (January, 2001).
Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara), transl. by Vesna A. Wallace and B. Alan Wallace (Snow Lion Publications, 1997), Religious Studies Review, August 1999.
Eilberg-Schwartz, Howard and Wendy Doniger, eds., Off With Her Head: The Denial of Women's Identity in Myth, Religion, and Culture. In Journal of the American Academy of Religion (Fall, 1997)
Bartholomeusz, Tessa, Women Under the Bo Tree: Buddhist Nuns in Sri Lanka. In Journal of the American Academy of Religion (Fall, 1996)
Shaw, Miranda, Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism. In History of Religions (November, 1996)
Erndle, Katherine, Victory to the Mother: The Cult of The Goddess in Northwest India. In Journal for the Comparative Study of Religion (May, 1995)
Carolyn Walker Bynum, Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Body in Medieval Religion. In History of Religions (November, 1994)
L. N. Gumilev, Searches for an Imaginary Kingdom: The Legend of the Kingdom of Prester John. In Journal of Religion (January, 1990)
Hubertus G. Hubbeling and Hans G. Kippenberg, eds., On Symbolic Representation in Religion. In Journal of Religion (January, 1989)
John Holt, Discipline: The Canonical Buddhism of the Vinayapitaka. In South Asia Newsletter (Fall, 1986)Refereed Conference Papers
Participant, Roundtable on MA Programs in Religion, American Academy of Religion, Graduate Programs Consultation, San Francisco, November 20, 2011.
“Men, Mothering, and Masculinity: Reading Accounts of Angulimala’s Conversion,” South Asian Masculinities Conference, Oxford, OH, April 30, 2011.
“Gender, Representation, and Agency in Indian Buddhist Narrative Literature,” South Asian Feminism Conference, Indiana University, March 4-5.
“Waging War Against Negative Emotions: The Weaponry of the Bodhisattva in Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara,” American Academy of Religion, Religion in South Asia section, Atlanta, November 1, 2010.
“Family Ties in the Death of the Elder Sariputta,” American Academy of Religion, Buddhism section, Montreal, November 7, 2009.
“Ritual Innovation and Masculine Identity Formation in the Contemporary Cult of Lord Ayyappan,” International Society for the Sociology of Religion. Santiago de Campostela, Spain, July 10, 2009
“Hellish Passages: Extended Gestation as Fetal and Maternal Suffering for Sivali and His Mother Suppavasa.” Conference on South Asia, Center for South, University of Wisconsin at Madison, October 17, 2008.
“Birthing as Insight: Paternal and Maternal Agency in Buddhist Accounts of Extended Gestation,” American Academy of Religion, Women and Religion section, November 3, 2008.
“Murderer, Saint, and Midwife: Angulimala’s Conversion Narratives,” Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 13, 2007.
“A Paternal Mother Reborn Bloodlessly: A Feminist Reading of Angulimala’s Conversion Narratives,” Conference on the Study of Religions of India, Albion College, September 15, 2007.
“Conceptual Threads to Tie Together a Silk Road Course” Central Eurasian Studies Society, Ann Arbor, September 2006.
“Xuantzang as an Exemplar of International Buddhism,” Fulbright-Hays Silk Road Seminar in Eurasia, Issykul, Kygystan, June, 2006.
“ISKCON’S Second Generation at New Ramana Reti, North America’s Largest Hare Krishna Community,” Indic Religions Conference, Delhi, December, 2004
“Doing Asceticism “Right:” Anti-Jaina (and Anti-Ascetic) Sentiments in Buddhist Accounts of Gotama’s Austerities, “ Religion in South Asia Section. American Academy of Religion. November, 2003.
“Sati or Female Supremacy: How to Read Gotami's Apadana,” Conference on South Asia at University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 2003.
“Changing Attitudes Toward Householders in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,” International Society for the Sociology of Religion, Torino, Italy, July 2003.
“Subversive Marriage Rites: Primary Marriage Among the Newars of Nepal,” Religion in South Asia Section. American Academy of Religion. November, 2002.
“Voluptuary as Vulture: The Didactic Use of Satire by Indian Buddhist Authors,” Religion in South Asia Section. American Academy of Religion. November 20, 2000.
“Begging From Disadvantaged Donors: A Case from the Vimanavatthu Commentary,” Vedanta Conference, Oxford, Ohio, September 14, 2000.
“Beggars Can Be Choosers: Mahakashyapa as a Selective Eater of Offerings,” Symposium on Early Indian Religions, Stanford University, October 1999.
“Were the Buddha’s Kinswomen Autonomous Agents? The Role of Brahminical Family Values Among the Buddha’s Clan.” Buddhism Section. American Academy of Religion. November, 1998.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Not Altogether Grimm Tale of Joining an All-Male Department.” Consultation on Women and Tenure, American Academy of Religion. November, 1998.
“Insiders, Outsiders, and Ways of Knowing,” Chicago, Regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion. March, 1997
"A Pilgrim's Guide to the Galaxy: Reading Jina Mandalas as Maps of Indian Buddhist Pilgrimage Activities." Buddhism Section. Association of Asian Studies. April, 1996.
"The Virtues of Virtual Reality: Using Computer Simulations to Teach Asian Religions." Academic Teaching and the Study of Religion Section. American Academy of Religion. November, 1995.
Presider, "Death and Regeneration in South Asian Religious Traditions." South Asia Section. American Academy of Religion. November, 1994
"World Renouncers and World Sustainers: Asceticism and Power in the Lives of Hindu Men and Women." Asceticism Group. American Academy of Religion. November, 1993. Invited Lectures
“Women as Viewers and as Objects of Sight in Post-Ashokan Indian Buddhist Hagiography," University of Munich, June 18th, 2012
“The Buddha’s Mother as Feminist Conundrum: Exploring the Death of Gautami,” Florida State University, April 5, 2012.
"Voluntary Death as a Gendered Action: The Case of the Buddha's Mother," Lafeyette College, Thursday, March 25, 2010.
“Didactic Bodies,” University of Heidelberg, Workshop on Rethinking the Religious Body, October 6, 2009.
“What Does a Modest Muslim Woman Look Like: Reflections on Religion and Dress After September 11th,” Transylvania University, November 10, 2004.
“Why Did the Buddha’s Mother Predecease Her Son?,” Berea College, March 17, 2004.
“Icons of Suffering and Edification in Buddhist Hagiography,” Central Michigan University, January 31, 2001.
“The Suicide of a Stream-winner: The Life and Voluntary Death of Nanavira Thera (Harold Edward Musson),” Buddhist Studies Forum, Harvard University, December, 1999.
“Seeing Through the Gendered “I”: Vision and Spectacle in Buddhist Hagiography,” South Asia Seminar, University of Virginia, October, 1996.
"Harems, Veils, and High Heels: How Behavioral and Sartorial Constrictions of Women's Free Movement Signal Status" presented at Whitman College, September 1993.Languages
Sanskrit: excellent reading
Pali: excellent reading
French: excellent reading
German: competent readingService to the Profession
Member, Buddhism Section Steering Committee, American Academy of Religion, 2007-present (re-elected for a second three-year terms).
External tenure reviewer, Dartmouth College, University of Southern California, Old Miss.
Member, Wake Forest University Religion Department External Review Team, March, 2009.
Member, Wabash College Religion Department External Review Team, January 22-24, 2004
Member, Program Committee of the World History Association, 1995-6.
American Academy of Religion Long-Range Planning and Development Committee's Task Force on Computer-based Electronic Communication, 1994-5.
Member, editorial board for book series "Contexts and Consequences" published by The Davies Group
Manuscript reviewer for Columbia University Press, Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, University of Toronto Press, Crossroads Press, Westview Press.Service to the University
Chair of the Department of Comparative Religion, 2004-2010.
Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Comparative Religion, 1996 to 2004 and 2011-present.
Chief Departmental Advisor for the Department of Comparative Religion, 1993 to 1996.University-wide or Division-wide committees
Member, College of Arts and Science Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2011- present
Member, Graduate Council, 2010-present.
Member, Asian Asian American Studies Program Steering Committee, 2010-present.
Member, LBGT Advisory Committee, 2008-present.
Member, College of Arts and Sciences search committee for Chair of the Philosophy Department, 2010.
Chair, College of Arts and Sciences search committee for Chair of the Classics Department, 2008.
Member, College of Arts and Sciences search committee for the Director of the Women’s Studies Program, 2008.
Member, History department search committee for a South Asian historian, 2008.
Head, Miami University Domestic Partnership Task Force, 2005.
Member, Graduate School Council, Humanities and Fine Arts Area subcommittee, 1997-1999, 2000-2002.
Member, International Studies Committee, 1994-2002.
Member, Women’s Studies Advisory Committee, 1998-2000.
Member, College of Arts and Sciences search committee for the Director of the International Studies Program, 2001-2.
Member, College of Arts and Sciences search committee for a joint position in Women’s Studies and Black World Studies, 2000-1.
Member, College of Arts and Sciences search committee for the Director of the Women’s Studies Program, 1998-9.
Member, College of Arts and Sciences search committee for the Director of the International Studies Program, 1996-7.Departmental Committees
Chair, Task Force for review of the MA program, 2008-09.
Member, Task Force for the Implementation of New Requirements for Majors and Minors, 2006- present.
Chair, Program Review Self-study Committee, 2006- 07.
Member, bench-marking task-force. 2002.
Chair, undergraduate curricular task force charged with developing a departmental capstone course, 1996-7.
Member, undergraduate curricular task-force for the development of the REL 3 thematic sequence, 1996-7.Other University Service
Internal reviewer for the National Endowment for the
Humanities 2003 Summer Stipend Program.
Faculty advisor, Comparative Religion Students Association. 2008-2009
Faculty advisor, Interfaith Circle. 2008-2009
Faculty advisor, Buddhist Meditation Club. 2001-2003.
Faculty advisor, Free thought student organization. 2001-2003. References Available on Request