Dalai Lama Lecture Series

A 5-part public lecture series held in conjunction with my Freshman Seminar “Who is the Dalai Lama?” (RLST 013 / SAST 056 / EAST 013).

Who is the Dalai Lama? The Dalai Lama is frequently called theDalaiLamaSeriesPoster-FINALsm “god-king” of the Tibetan people. Early scholars likened him to a Buddhist Pope. The government of the People’s Republic of China regularly describes the Dalai Lama as a political “splittist,” leader of a failed rebellion and a reactionary Dalai clique. Tibetans revere him as a highly developed Buddhist master and a living incarnation of the compassionate bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. The Fifth Dalai Lama unified religious and political power on the Tibetan plateau. The Sixth was famous for his love poetry and secret adventures. The Thirteenth attempted to modernize education and the military, and predicted the Chinese invasion that would occur several decades after his death. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama is respected worldwide as an elder statesman of the Tibetan Government in Exile and a tireless advocate of religious dialogue and universal compassion. When asked, he describes himself as “a simple Buddhist monk.”

This series of five public lectures by scholars of Tibetan history, religion, and culture explores the unique Tibetan institution of the Dalai Lama, as well as some of the important individuals who filled that role.

All talks are in Room 207, William L. Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St.

Thursday February 13
11:35 am – 12:50 pm
Kurtis Schaeffer, University of Virginia
The Life and Death of the Great 5th Dalai Lama

Tuesday February 18
11:35 am – 12:50 pm
Eric Mortensen, Guilford College
The Secret Life of the 6th Dalai Lama, Poet and Libertine

Tuesday March 25
11:35 am – 12:50 pm
Clare Harris, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
Potala: The Palace of the Dalai Lamas

Thursday April 3
11:35 am – 12:50 pm
Robert Barnett, Columbia University
The 14th Dalai Lama and the Politics of Reincarnation in the People’s Republic of China

Dr. Barnett will also host a film screening of Tibetan shorts and student films:
Friday April 4
7:00 pm, 10 Sachem St, room 105 (map)
Film and Cinema in Tibet Today:  The Question of the Veil

Thursday April 17
11:35 am – 12:50 pm
Georges Dreyfus, Williams College
Who is the 14th Dalai Lama?

Supported by the Council on East Asian Studies, the Freshman Seminar Office, and the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation.