SPEAKERS

Jason Neelis:
Associate Professor, Department of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Jason Neelis received his Ph. D in Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, and he did masters in Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Before joining Laurier, he was a research fellow in the Käte Hamburger Kolleg at Ruhr University Bochum (2009-2010). He had also taught at the University of Florida (2003-2009), Florida State University (1999-2000) and Antioch College's Buddhist Studies Program in Bodh Gaya, India (2001).

Jason Neelis studies religious traditions of South Asia in historical, economic, and material contexts, with an emphasis on issues related to processes of cross-cultural mobility and exchange. In Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks (Brill, Leiden: 2011), he examines patterns in the institutional expansion of Buddhist communities based on literary texts and manuscripts, inscriptions and petro glyphs, and archaeological sources. He has contributed articles and chapters on ancient routes through the Karakorum Mountains, Central Asian migrations to South Asia, and geographical and historical backgrounds for avadāna narratives in Gandharan Buddhist manuscripts to the Bulletin of the Asia InstituteOn the Cusp of an Era, and Buddhist Studies. His teaching interests extend broadly to dynamic interactions between South Asian religions (including Hinduism and Jainism), trans regional connections and movements across Asia via overland and maritime networks, and the role of cultural and religious catalysts in the past and present.

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