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Dr. Sarah Jacoby Lecture

October 18, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Technologies of Sexuality in Tibetan Buddhism

In the past year, sex abuse allegations have scandalized some of the most prominent global Tibetan Buddhist communities, raising pressing questions about the role of sexuality in Tibetan Buddhist practice. As a way of shedding light on this too often secretive subject, this talk will examine key Tibetan autobiographical narratives as lenses for better understanding how historical Tibetan figures, namely Sera Khandro Dewé Dorjé (1892-1940) and Lelung Zhedpai Dorjé (1697-1740), negotiated between the at times competing religious dictums of celibacy and ritualized forms of sexuality in Tibetan Buddhism.


Sarah Jacoby studies Asian Religions with a specialization in Tibetan Buddhism. She received her B.A. from Yale University, majoring in women’s studies, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies. She joined Northwestern University in 2009 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. Professor Jacoby received an American Council of Learned Sciences (ACLS) Fellowship and an American Academy of Religion International Collaborative Research Grant and her most recent monograph is Love and Liberation: Autobiographical Writings of the Tibetan Buddhist Visionary Sera Khandro (Columbia University Press, 2014). Her research interests include Indo-Tibetan Buddhist doctrine and ritual in practice, studies in gender and sexuality, Tibetan literature, autobiography studies, Buddhist revelation, the history of emotions, Buddhism in contemporary Tibet, and eastern Tibetan area studies.

Location: Nau 101

This event is co-sponsored between the UVA Tibet Center and the East Asia Center.


October 18, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Tibet Center
East Asia Center, University of Virginia