Since October 2022, Dr. Dagmar Schwerk has been working as Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (EU project "Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Travel: Identity- and Nation-Building in Bhutan") at the Institute for the Study of Religion at Leipzig University.
Research interests: Doctrines/practices of Tibetan Buddhism (Mahāmudrā/Madhyamaka), biographical/hagiographical writings in Bhutan, religion/politics in the Tibetan cultural area, modernity/secularity in Bhutan, Buddhist ethics and engaged Buddhism in the climate crisis, decolonization in Tibetan Studies.
2018-2022: Khyentse Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
2018: Senior Research Fellow, Leipzig University, CAHSS "Multiple Secularities - Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities"
2017: Ph.D. in Tibetology, Universität Hamburg
2012: M.A. in Tibetology, Classical Indology and Political Science, Unversität Hamburg
- since 10/2022
Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (EU project: 101059800-BhutIDBuddh: "Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Travel: Identity- and Nation-Building in Bhutan"), Universität Leipzig, Institute for the Study of Religion
- since 05/2018
Associate Member, Leipzig University, CAHSS “Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities"
- 09/2018 - 08/2022
Khyentse Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Tibetan Buddhist Studies & Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow (B.A. Asian Language and Culture/B.A. Asian Area Studies/B.A. Interdisciplinary Program in the Study of Religion), University of British Columbia, Department of Asian Studies
- 11/2017 - 05/2018
Senior Research Fellow, Leipzig University, CAHSS “Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities" (Research project "Bhutan in Transition: Metamorphosis and Institutionalization of Buddhist Concepts")
- 10/2012 - 07/2014
Instructor of Record (B.A. Languages and Cultures of the Indian Subcontinent and Tibet), Universität Hamburg, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies
- 01/2013 - 10/2017
Ph.D. in Tibetology, Universität Hamburg, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies (Dissertation title: “A Timely Message from the Cave: The Mahāmudrā Doctrine and Intellectual Agenda of dGe-bshes dGe-’dun-rin-chen (1926–1997), the Sixty-ninth rJe-mkhan-po of Bhutan”)
- 10/2006 - 08/2012
Magistra Artium (M.A.) in Tibetology (major), Classical Indology and Political Science (minors), Universität Hamburg, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies & Department of Social Sciences
- 09/2018 - 08/2022
Steering Committee Member & Buddhist Communities Liaison, UBC Himalaya Program, University of British Columbia
- 05/2021 - 05/2022
Department of Asian Studies Sustainability Committee Member, University of British Columbia
Dr. Dagmar Schwerk's current research project ("Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Travel: Identity- and Nation-Building in Bhutan" (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/101059800) is an investigation into identity- and nation-building in 18th-century Bhutan with a particular focus on the agency of Bhutanese Buddhist masters as important intermediaries in Bhutan’s entangled history with Tibet and is centred around the diplomatic travels of the 9th Chief Abbot of the Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyü school (Tib. lho ’brug), Shākya Rinchen (1710–59) to Tibet from 1740 to 1748. This research will diachronically trace the fourfold and multidimensional relationship between religious-doctrinal identity, socio-cultural identity, identity policies, and nation-building.
The innovative interdisciplinary research design (1) extracts empirical data through historical-philological and text-critical methods from Bhutanese and Tibetan primary sources in classical Tibetan; and (2) uses an analytical framework from religious studies.
Furthermore, Dr. Dagmar Schwerk's first monograph covered the unstudied reception history of the longstanding philosophical controversy about Mahāmudrā in the Bhutanese Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyü school between the 18th and 20th centuries and traced the creation of new doctrinal identities, important transcultural intellectual networks between Tibet and Bhutan, and the modernization of Bhutanese religious institutions in the second half of the 20th century.
- Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Travel: Identity- and Nation-Building in BhutanKleine, ChristophDuration: 10/2022 - 09/2024Funded by: EU Europäische UnionInvolved organisational units of Leipzig University: Religionsgeschichte
- Schwerk, D.Secularizing Buddhism: New Perspectives on a Dynamic TraditionJournal of Global Buddhism. 2022. 23 (1). pp. 87-94
- Schwerk, D.A Timely Message from the Cave: The Mahāmudrā and Intellectual Agenda of dGebshes Brag-phug-pa dGe-’dun-rin-chen (1926–1997), the Sixty-Ninth rJe-mkhan-po of BhutanHamburg: Universität Hamburg, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies. 2020
- Schwerk, D.Buddhism and Politics in the Tibetan Cultural Area (2019)
- Schwerk, D.Drawing Lines in a Maṇḍala: A Sketch of Boundaries Between Religion and Politics in BhutanUniversität Leipzig. Leipzig. 2019
- Schwerk, D.The Pointed Spear of a Siddha and its Commentaries: The ’Brug pa bka’ brgyud School in Defence of the Mahāmudrā DoctrineRevue d’Etudes Tibétaines. 2016. 37 (2). pp. 352-373
- Andere Stipendien/Forschungspreise: Khyentse Foundation Award for Excellence in Buddhist Studies 2012 in recognition of distinction in the field of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studiesshow detailsSchwerk, Dagmar (Religionsgeschichte)awarded in 2012 by Khyentse Foundation (San Francisco, USA)/ Universität Hamburg.
National and international teaching experience and curriculum development in Tibetology and religious studies/Buddhist studies at the Universität Hamburg (2012-2014) and the University of British Columbia (2018-2022).
Areas of teaching: Tibetan language and literature, theories and methods in Tibetan studies, introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan material book culture, Buddhism in film, Buddhist ethics and the environment. Dr. Dagmar Schwerks' teaching includes community-engaged and experiential teaching components.