Locating Lumbini: Transnational Buddhism and the Construction of World Heritage in Nepal

Project: Research project

Project Details


My dissertation project, "Locating Lumbini: Transnational Buddhism and the Construction of World Heritage in Nepal" engages the Buddhas birthplace at Lumbini, in the Terai region of Nepal, as a case study for exploring the complicated material outcomes of Buddhist encounter(s) with modernity. My research attempts to wrestle with the ways in which this popular site has become situated in what Feener and Fountain (2018) have termed the religious-development nexus. Manufactured as an imagined epicenter for pan-Buddhist ecumenicism beginning in the late 1960s Lumbini has taken center stage in the formation of a transnational network of Buddhist actors and institutions. My project explores how the process of rediscovery, excavation, and development of the Buddha's birthplace has been shaped by, and is shaping, global Buddhism and its transnational movement of ideas, commodities, and people. Central to my investigation is a focus on the shifting
material effects engendered by the logics of development operative within organizations like UNESCO, that have underwritten these projects of development in third world Asia. These uniquely modern visions for development have brought about deep transformations in the ways in which people inhabit these places and make sense of their significance.
Effective start/end date9/30/2012/30/22


  • US Department of Education (DOEd): $34,128.00


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