Jann Ronis / Profile
Lecturer | Faculty
I am an historian of religions and focus on the socio-cultural histories of Tibetan Buddhist institutions, including monasteries and kingdoms. For many years I have been studying the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century history of the Kham (khams) polity of Degé (sde dge) and its many influential monasteries. My dissertation (Virginia, 2009) is entitled Celibacy, Revelations and Reincarnated Lamas: Contestation and Synthesis in the Growth of Monasticism at Katok Gompa from the 17th through 20th Centuries and explores the scholastics, ritual programs, ethical modalities, administrative developments, and political relations of the famed Nyingma monastery of Katok (kaHthog) in Degé. My research involves extensive reading in a variety of genres of Tibetan literature authored by the subjects of my historical interests, and long-term fieldwork in contemporary Khampa communities in Sichuan. I am fluent in both the Cenral and Kham dialects of Tibetan, and also in Mandarin Chinese. At present I am a postdoc-lecturer at the University of Virginia and charged with teaching undergraduate courses on Tibetan Buddhism.