Sarah H. Jacoby F'12
ACLS Fellowship Program 2012
Self, Society, and Sentiment in the Autobiographical Writings of a Tibetan Female Visionary
This project is the first study in any language of the writings of one of the most prolific female authors in pre-1950s Tibetan history, Sera Khandro (1892-1940), whose long autobiography is a rare first-person account of life as a Tibetan Buddhist visionary and Tantric consort. This research aims to better understand the roles of women and sexuality within particular Eastern Tibetan religious communities by listening closely to the many conversations Sera Khandro recounts in her autobiographical writings that convey not only her own sentiments, concerns, and values, but those of her interlocutors and their wider community. What we hear through these dialogues redefines current conceptions about the roles of women in Tantra and the place of love within Buddhism.