Ms. Alison Melnick

Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Program
Field of Specialization: Religion
Name: Ms. Alison Melnick  
Official Address: University of Virginia, Virginia
Indian Host Institution: Central University of Tibetan Studies,
Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Duration of Grant &
Start Date :
Duration: 9 months
October 2011

Brief Bio:
Ms. Alison Melnick has a Bachelor's degree in Asian language and literature from the University of Michigan and a Master's degree in Tibetan and Chinese religions from the University of Virginia. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Buddhist history at the University of Virginia, with a focus on Tibetan history from the mid-16th late 18th centuries. Ms. Melnick's dissertation research examines the life and works of the 18th century nun Mingyur Peldrön and the religious and charitable works of her descendents in modern day India. In addition to acting as a teaching assistant at the University of Virginia, She has worked as an assistant editor for "The Journal of the American Academy of Religion" and "The Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies." She currently works for the Tibetan and Himalayan Library and has also volunteered with the Tibetan Nuns Project in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh (India). Her first publication will be a book review of "Eun-su Cho's "Korean Buddhist Nuns and Laywomen"." The review will be published in the "Pacific World Journal" (forthcoming).
Ms. Melnick's Fulbright-Nehru research is titled as "The Legacy of Mingyur Peldrön: An 18th Century Author and Her Impact on Contemporary Women." She will be conducting a historical and literary study of the life of an 18th century Buddhist nun, and an ethnographic study regarding her continued influence on the lives of modern day Buddhists in India, especially women of the Tibetan diaspora. She is a very important and previously unstudied figure, and her research will provide a rich historical context for this prominent institution builder and her continued influence on modern Buddhists.