American Council of Learned Societies Names Inaugural Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars

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“ACLS has a long and successful history of championing early career scholars and publicly engaged humanities.”

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) today announced the 2022 awardees of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars. This new initiative is made possible by the Foundation’s generous renewal of financial support to ACLS for its Program in Buddhist Studies.

The four 2022 Buddhism Public Scholars will be placed for up to two years in professional positions with leading museums and publishers that study the traditions of Buddhism. The scholars will bolster the capacity of museums and publications in Buddhist art and thought across all traditions and regions in which Buddhism is practiced.

“ACLS has a long and successful history of championing early career scholars and publicly engaged humanities,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “Since 2020, we have approached this commitment with more urgency due to the damage the COVID-19 pandemic did to the job market, which disproportionately affected recent PhD recipients. We are thrilled to partner with The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global, esteemed host institutions, and the new Buddhism Public Scholars to increase public understanding of Buddhist art and ideas in the world.”

The 2022 Buddhism Public Scholars and their host institutions are:

  • Christopher Hiebert, PhD, University of Virginia – Wisdom Publications (Boston, MA)
  • Hillary Langberg, PhD, University of Texas at Austin – National Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC)
  • Joseph Leach, PhD, University of Michigan Ann Arbor – Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, MI)
  • Frederick Ranallo-Higgins, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles -Tricycle: The Buddhist Review (New York, NY)

“The National Museum of Asian Art is pleased to participate in the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars program, which will advance the interpretation of Buddhist art through research, workshops, public programming, and digital humanities projects,” said Chase F. Robinson, Director of the National Museum of Asian Art. “In celebration of the museum’s centennial in 2023, Dr. Langberg’s research on our collection will help us design programs and digital experiences that inspire connections between historic and contemporary religious practices.”

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars joins a host of ACLS programs that place early career scholars in professional positions outside the academy, starting with the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellowship over a decade ago, and most recently the ACLS Leading Edge Fellowship.

Inspired and informed by the concept of interconnectedness, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global vitalizes the areas of arts and culture and Buddhism, and funds initiatives that enhance the wellbeing of humanity and the environment.

Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 79 scholarly organizations. As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS upholds the core principle that knowledge is a public good. In supporting its member organizations, ACLS utilizes its $179 million endowment and $34 million annual operating budget to expand the forms, content, and flow of scholarly knowledge, reflecting our commitment to diversity of identity and experience. ACLS collaborates with institutions, associations, and individuals to strengthen the evolving infrastructure for scholarship. In all aspects of our work, ACLS is committed to principles and practices in support of racial and social justice.

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