XIXth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
August 16 to August 21, 2020
Seoul National University, Korea


Dear Colleagues,

It is our great honor to announce that the XIXth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies will be held at Seoul National University, Republic of Korea, from August 16th to 21st, 2020.

General Information
This circular is being sent to all active IABS members. Please feel free to distribute this announcement among your colleagues and graduate students so that they are informed of this important event.

Typically held every three years, this academic conference is the premier international forum for scholars of Buddhism to present their research findings. This is the first time that the IABS Congress will be hosted in Korea.

Our website is now open, and will provide you with useful information on the Congress meeting. We are now inviting panel proposals, and a call for individual papers will follow later.

Since all XIXth Congress participants must have a valid membership for the year 2020, we urge prospective participants to pay their annual membership fee ahead of the conference. All new members need to be accepted by the General Secretary. You can find the detailed information at the IABS website.

In addition to the membership fee, the participants will be requested to pay a registration fee of $300. We are planning to organize an optional three-day (two-night) tour of famous monasteries in Korea, and the fee will be set tentatively around $200, which will include transportation, lodging in the monasteries, and vegetarian monastic style meals. More detailed information will be provided in the Second Circular.

For those who wish to receive up-to-date information on the XIXth Congress, please fill out the Mailing Request Form. The updated information will be provided on the Congress website as well. The IABS will contact its members via e-mail for future announcements and notifications, unless postal mail is requested (see the postal address at the end of this letter).

Academic Program
The purpose of the IABS Congress is to promote open discussions on new scholarly findings in the field of Buddhist Studies. It also aims at introducing and sharing pioneering research approaches to the field among colleagues and prospective researchers.

In order to accommodate a growing number of participants and to cover as many topics as possible, we limit participation to one paper per participant. Each participant will thus make his or her presentation in one of the designated sessions, which are of two types: panels, consisting of papers focusing on a specific topic suggested by a panel organizer, and sections, consisting of individual papers grouped by the Planning Committee into broad themes.

Each conference day will consist of one morning session (9am - 12:30pm) and one afternoon session (2 - 5:30pm), each with several panels and sections convening concurrently. A panel or section will consist of five or six papers maximum, with each paper allotted no more than 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes for questions and discussion will follow each presentation.

Call for Panel Proposals
The Planning Committee invites scholars wishing to conduct a collaborative research project and share its results to submit panel proposals to us. Those interested in organizing a panel should provide a 200-word description of the proposed topic along with a tentative list of potential contributors (not counted toward the 200-word limit). We would particularly like to encourage proposals that enhance opportunities for younger scholars to present their work. Once panel proposals are reviewed and accepted, the results will be announced in the Second Circular, to be distributed in April 2019. Once the panel topics are announced, interested parties should contact the panel organizer directly to inquire about participating.

Panel proposals should be sent to Eun-su Cho, Chair, Planning Committee of the XIXth IABS Congress, Seoul National University, Dept. of Philosophy, at The deadline for panel proposals is February 28, 2019.

Individual Paper Proposals
The call for individual papers will be announced in the Second Circular.

Posters and Exhibits
Exhibition space will be available for posters and exhibits. There will be a session dedicated specifically to posters, during which each poster contributor will have the opportunity to give a brief presentation to conference delegates. Details will appear in the Second Circular.

Visa Requirements
Visa requirements vary according to the nationality of the visitor. The organizers will not assist in procuring a visa.

To be announced

Conference/Travel Grants
IABS Student Travel Bursaries (To be announced)

Planning Committee
President: Mark Siderits

Chair: Eun-su Cho

Advisory Board
Robert Buswell
Christoph Emmrich
Shoryu Katsura
Cristina Scherrer-Schaub

Sungdoo Ahn (Seoul National University)
Venerable Bongak (Joong-Ang Sangha University)
Jongnam Choi (Joong-Ang Sangha University)
Yunho Cho (Chonnam National University)
Jakyung Han (Ewha Womans University)
Soonil Hwang (Dongguk University)
Jaejin Jang (Tongmyung University)
Junyoung Jeong (Seoul University of Buddhism)
Bangryong Kim (Chungnam National University)
Jaesung Kim (Nungin University)
Jongmyung Kim (Academy of Korean Studies)
Jongwook Kim (Dongguk University)
Seongcheol Kim (Geumgang University)
Sungchul Kim (Dongguk University, Gyeongju)
Wonmyoung Kim (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
Seunghak Koh (Geumgang University)
Ohmin Kwon (Gyeongsang National University)
Sumi Lee (Dongguk University)
Taeseung Lee (Uiduk University)
Seungtaek Lim (Kyungpook National University)
Dongsin Nam (Seoul National University)
Taewon Park (Universtiy of Ulsan)
Juhyung Rhi (Seoul National University)
Travis Smith (Seoul National University)
Sem Vermeersch (Seoul National University)
Jesun Woo (Dongguk University)
Jonggab Yun (Dong-A University)
Woncheol Yun (Seoul National University)

Eun-su Cho
Chair, Planning Committee of the XIXth IABS Congress
Professor, Department of Philosophy
Seoul National University
Seoul, South Korea 08826

If you have inquiries on general matters, please contact at

Time line
XIXth IABS Seoul, 2020.08.16-21
First Circular May 2018
Submission of initial panel proposals closes February 28, 2019
Second Circular April 2019
Online submission of individual paper proposals opens May 15, 2019
Online conference registration opens September 1, 2019
Online submission of individual paper proposals closes November 1, 2019
Last day for payment of IABS membership fee December 31, 2019
Acceptance of paper proposals January 15, 2020
Third Circular April 2020
Online conference registration closes August 14, 2020
Evening opening reception August 16, 2020
Congress afternoon excursions August 20, 2020
Congress of the IABS ends August 21, 2020
Post-Conference tour August 22-24, 2020


IABS2020 Secretariat