Over the summer, religious studies professor Suzanne Bessenger gave a paper presentation at an international conference in Paris, France.
Bessenger presented the paper, “An Analysis of mGur in ‘The Life of the Emanation Body of the Wisdom Sky Goer Sönam Peldren’ and ‘Essence of the Sun: The Life of the Lord of Yoga Rinchen Pel,’” at a conference for the International Association of Tibetan Studies.
Bessenger’s work was based off of her trip to Bhutan last summer, when she conducted research on the role of non-monastic Buddhist practices described in the 14th Century biographies of the female saint Sönam Peldren and her husband and scribe, Rinchen Pel. She also consulted with Tshering Dhendup, dean of academic affairs at the College of Language and Culture Studies in Trongsa, Bhutan. Her trip was funded by a Mednick Memorial Fellowship Grant from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges as well as a Ruth Borker Fund for Women’s Studies Grant from Randolph.