I see Prof. Jamie and Smith College have posted word of the conference they’ll host this March 27-9, along with the Five Colleges Buddhist Studies faculty, and the Manjushri Institute of Buddhist Studies, entitled “Buddhism in Mongolia: Rebirth and Transformation.” Good on them. Such matters are receiving way too little serious attention from the world beyond Mongolia’s borders. I was invited to be a speaker, and feel I might have contributed something to the proceedings, but economix is economix; I don’t have the scratch to get there and, frankly, I’m just enjoying winter in Ulaanbaatar way too much.
Jamie also sent me a list of confirmed participants. It’s really strong, featuring a lot of my good friends:
Shagdaryn Bira, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Lhagva Demchig, National University of Mongolia, Mongolian Arts Council
Johan Elverskog, Southern Methodist University
Ganbold Gonchig, Consul General, Mongolian Embassy to the United States
Christopher Kaplonski, Cambridge University
Mathew King, University of Toronto
Karma Lekshe Tsomo, San Diego University, Sakyadhita
Munkh-Erdene Lhamsuren, National University of Mongolia
Glenn Mullin, Ulaanbaatar
Marylin Rhie, Smith College
Arjia Rinpoche, Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Bloomington, IN
Rustam Sabirov, Moscow State University
Hamid Sardar, Axis-Mundi Foundation, Geneva
Rick Taupier, University of Massachusetts
Robert Thurman, Columbia University
Soyolma, Ulaanbaatar, Woman Artist the Year, 2008, Mongolian Arts Council
Orna Uranchimeg Tsultem, UC Berkeley
Vesna Wallace, Oxford University
Kuntu Zangpo, Abbot, Gungaacholing, at Ganden Monastery
The only peculiar element is that Jamie (I assume it was him, since I know he wastes his time visiting here occasionally) put a feed of this dopey blog in the sidebar under the heading “News.” Um, thanks Jamie! That’s all I need, a bunch of top-flight academics sniffing around, just when I was about to post about evidence of the incipient stripmauling of UB with the opening of our very first Kenny Rogers Roasters!
It’s opening next to the infamous Marco Polo Ristorante, whose owners were once caught augmenting their income with a brothel on the second floor there. Or so I hear.
Then I was going to celebrate the return of heat to the apartment, and the fact that I can now safely doff my winter cap indoors. I intended to illustrate that with Kute Kitty Pix of Mooj and Nita lounging once again on their favorite tiger towel in front of the kitchen radiator (in the additional hope that food scraps might fall where they could hoover them up without actually, you know, moving), having their own private con-fur-ance in which they only rouse themselves for semi-vigorous mutual grooming. Doesn’t it seem like they’ve become one huge, lazy organism? With very cute pink noses?
But, really, to do that at this point, with Very Learned People directed this way, would be positively jejune, don’t you think?