Published: March 19, 2018

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We are please to announce the first Lotsawa Translation Workshop, scheduled for October 5-8th at the University of Colorado Boulder, with the generous support of the Tsadra Foundation. The workshop offers the opportunity for translators and scholars at various stages in their careers to work together on translation in a hands-on workshop setting, connecting theory and practice in crafting literary translations of Buddhist literature from Tibetan into English.

The three-day workshop will combine lectures, panels, and break-out sessions in the morning, and each afternoon will be dedicated to small groups of 6-8 working on translations-in-progress by participants who apply to attend. This immersive experience is designed to incubate fresh approaches to the translation with respect to the genre and theme: Tibetan songs (mgur) and Buddhist devotion. We are open to proposed translations in various styles of verse that relate to the dynamics of devotion and the associated range of emotions. Central to our discussion will be how to convey the literary style, tone, and emotional tenor of Tibetan verse.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Janet Gyatso (Harvard University) and Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia) will dialogue about the study of Buddhist poetry and song (Tibetan and Sanskrit) in recent years;
  • Lama Jabb (Oxford University), whose research focuses on modern Tibetan literature--and the interplay of orality and textuality--will give a lecture on Translating Tibetan Verse;
  • Anne Klein (Rice University) will deliver the Trungpa Lecture in Buddhist Studies at Naropa as a pre-conference event on Thursday, October 4th and participate on a panel on the Dynamics of Devotion.

Visit to see the schedule with panels and breakout groups by more than 15 leading scholars and translators.

Call for Applications:

Junior translators, graduate students with advanced Tibetan literary skills, post-doctoral fellows, and early-career faculty are encouraged to apply to workshop a translation-in-progress at the event. Workshop sessions will feature small groups of 6-8, consisting of 4 participants and a team of 2-3 experienced translators from among the presenters to forge a community of practice around translation through experimentation, dialogue, and feedback.

Participants will be asked to submit their draft translations in advance, and a respondent will be assigned for each from among the presenters. We are planning for two workshop sessions in six groups each afternoon, so that every participant will have a 1.5 hour time slot for discussion and feedback on their translation-in-progress. Exemplary translations will be selected to be revised and compiled into a thematic edited volume.

Mid-March 2018 - Announcement & Application Form Available
April 15, 2018 - Applications Due, Review Process Begins
Early May 2018 - Acceptance Letters Sent, Registration Opens
August 15, 2018 - Registration Closes, Draft Translations Due

The Lotsawa Translation Workshop is free of charge for 24 participants who apply and are accepted. Limited scholarships are available for travel.


To apply or learn more, visit:
If you have any questions, email: