Tibetan text preservation, transmission focus of events, exhibits at CU-Boulder

By Staff
Dege Parkhang

Dege Parkhang (Photo: Karl Debreczeny)

The preservation and transmission of Buddhist texts from Tibet is the focus of a series of events and exhibits beginning Wednesday and sponsored by the University of Colorado Boulder Center for Asian Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University Libraries, and CU Art Museum.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday in the British Studies Room on the fifth floor of Norlin Library, Andrew Quintman of Yale University will give a guest lecture on "The Making of Milarepa: Reading and Writing the Life of Tibet's Great Saint." Drawing on his recent book, “The Yogin and the Madman: Reading the Biographical Corpus of Tibet’s Great Saint Milarepa,” Quintman will explore the extraordinary life story of Milarepa composed by Tsangnyön Heruka, tracing its historical formation, changing narrative voices, and enduring legacy across the region.

Before the lecture, a reception hosted by the CU Art Museum in its lobby at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday opens a special exhibit of paintings by the Lhasa artist Gade on the theme of "pecha" or traditional Tibetan texts. The exhibit, organized by Ariana Maki, associate curator of Asian art at the CU Art Museum, will continue through most of October.

Also before the lecture, starting at 4:30 p.m. on the Norlin Library third floor northwest, tours will be available of the multimedia exhibit "Opening the Tibetan Treasury of Knowledge: Textual Transmission and Cultural Preservation." The exhibit highlights key transformations in the production of Tibetan texts — from woodblock prints to digital searchable text. The display includes woodblock carvings of The Treasury of Knowledge, which is among the texts generously gifted by the Tsadra Foundation to the CU-Boulder Libraries. The gifted collection, which covers the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, expands the library’s growing collection of Tibetan texts, supported in part with funding from Religious Studies.

The exhibit opens Wednesday on the third floor northwest of Norlin across from Special Collections. Designed by the library's arts professional, Andrew Violet, it will be on display through spring 2015.  The exhibit is free and open to the public during Norlin building hours, listed at http://ucblibraries/hours/index.cfm.

These events and exhibits are in conjunction with the Tsadra Foundation's conference on "Translation and Transmission" in Keystone on October 2-5. This conference will draw more than 200 scholars and translators in Tibetan Studies to the region. The CU-Boulder Center for Asian Studies is a partner in the conference and Holly Gayley, assistant professor of Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies, is on the Conference Steering Committee. Many conference participants will visit CU-Boulder for the lecture and exhibits prior to the conference, and the events and displays are also free and open to the public.

For more information, please see or contact or 303-492-5136.