SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Negotiating Religious Practice as a Woman in Bhutan

Francoise Pommaret

Date: 17 January 2020Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 17 January 2020Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: RG01

Type of Event: Lecture


Only at the end of the 20th century, women practising religious activities in the Himalayas became an important topic in debates around gender roles. Interestingly most relevant studies have been done by women academics; at the same time men have tended to study male religious figures.
Françoise Pommaret will provide an overview of different women religious practitioners in contemporary Bhutan and their emerging socio-religious roles. This lecture is based on field trips, interviews and participant observation extending over thirty years along with a few written sources. As Bhutanese society is evolving very quickly, reflecting socio-economic development and rural-urban migration, Dr Pommaret will not presume where these trends will conclude but will describe the current situation.

Francoise Pommaret, CNRS, Paris

Dr Francoise Pommaret is a cultural anthropologist, Director of Research at France's National Centre for Scientific Research and an associate Professor at the College of Language and Culture (CLCS) of the Royal University of Bhutan.
She has been associated with Bhutan in different capacities since 1981 and has published numerous scholarly articles and books on different aspects of Bhutanese culture. She is currently involved in the documentation of the Bhutan cultural atlas and the establishment of a PhD programme in anthropology at CLCS. Her research interests focus on the interface between deities, local powers and migrations in Bhutan as well as non-Buddhist practices.
Her wide audience books in English are: Bhutan, a cultural guidebook (Odyssey Guidebook) and Tibet, an enduring civilization (Abrams Discovery). Both books have been published in several languages.
Dr Pommaret has lectured in numerous academic institutions around the world and has been guest-curator for several exhibitions. She is the recipient of the French Legion d'Honneur, and of the Gold Medal of the National Order of Merit of Bhutan.

Organiser: Christian Faggionato

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