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Khenpo Yeshi

Khenpo Yeshi received a B.A. in Religious Studies from UC Berkeley (2012), an M.A. in South and Southeast Asian Studies from UC Berkeley (2017), and is now a doctoral candidate. His research focuses on Tibetan Buddhism and the early development of the Dzogchen Heart Essence…

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Sophia Van Zyle Warshall

Sophia studies premodern Indonesian history. Her dissertation examines miniature Buddhist reliquaries (stūpikas) from c. 9-11th century Java as a means to add granularity to our understanding of the movement of people and ideas through the maritime trade routes of Southeast Asia.

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Janet Um

Janet Um is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies. Her fields of research are Sanskrit literature and literary history; narrative in the literature and art of early Indian Buddhism; and constructions of gender in the premodern world. Her dissertation…

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Christopher Tompkins

Chris is a Ph.D. candidate in South and Southeast Asian Studies, with an emphasis on the roots and evolution of Yoga in the tradition of Tantrik Śaivism. His dissertation,“Kuṇḍalinī and the Tantric Origins of Haṭha Yoga,” presents the daily Yoga regimen (yogavidhi) ubiquitous to medieval…

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Paul Thomas

Paul is a Ph.D. candidate in Buddhist studies, with interests in Indian Buddhism (5th c. BCE – 14th c. CE), Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism (particularly medieval Chan), as well as Indology, specifically Sanskrit literature, Śaivism, and other philosophies and religions of pre-modern India.  He is…

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Omar Qashoa

Omar is being trained as a historian of Mughal History with an emphasis on the early to mid 18th century, the period immediately following the death of Aurengzeb. His current work focuses on the role of Arabic literature and scholarship in South Asia throughout the…

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Sohini Pillai

Sohini Sarah Pillai is an advanced Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley where she is completing her dissertation “Region and Religion in Retellings of the Mahabharata.” Sohini is a comparatist of South Asian religious…

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John Pickens

John Pickens hails from the small town of Bristol, Vermont. At the age of 15, he travelled with his family on a four-month journey to Asia. The formative trip started in Nepal, and then continued overland through Thailand, Malaysia, and the Indonesian archipelago. After completing…

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Padma D. Maitland

Padma D. Maitland’s research focuses on modern Buddhist art, architecture, and literature in India and their association with various nationalist movements. He has a parallel research interest in Hindi travel literature and its impact on framing Buddhism as a model for social, political, and religious…

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Petra Lamberson

Petra studies Buddhist thought in India, especially early Buddhism and Mahāyāna, and Buddhist narrative literature of Nepal. Her languages are Sanskrit, Pāli, and Classical Tibetan. She holds a BA in Theatre from Lewis and Clark College and an MA in Buddhist Classics from Dharma Realm…

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