STS Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona

Friday September 23 through Sunday September 25, 2016

Society for Tantric Studies





The Society for Tantric Studies invites papers for its next conference, to be held in Flagstaff, Arizona from Friday September 23 through Sunday September 25, 2016.The Society for Tantric Studies (STS), founded in 1985, is a forum of exchange for scholars engaged in the academic study of Tantra both in its traditional Asian contexts and more recently in diverse global manifestations.The conference provides an opportunity for scholars to collaborate across traditional boundaries of religious traditions (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism), present-day nation-states and geography (e.g. India, Tibet, China, Japan), and academic disciplines (e.g. history of religions, anthropology, art history, linguistics, sociology).Above all, the STS is committed to critical and creative inquiry.  It is not an advocacy forum for Tantric practice and neither endorses nor prohibits particular approaches to either the study or the practice of Tantra.Scholars with doctorates in relevant academic disciplines (such as Religion, Asian Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Art History, History, Philosophy, or Women’s Studies) who are researching and/or teaching in relevant areas of Tantric Studies are encouraged and invited to present, attend, and/or participate in the conference.Graduate students in any of these, or related, disciplines are also encouraged to present and attend the conference.Scholars and graduate students are welcome to attend without presenting.

We invite fully formed panels and individual papers.Proposals should be no longer than 1,000 words.Abstracts should be no longer than 150 words.In addition, all participants should include a CV.Digital versions (.pdf format) of proposals and abstracts, as well as CVs should be emailed to Glen A. Hayes, Dept. of Religion, Bloomfield College at


Advance proposal submissions (intended for those needing notification of acceptance for requests for travel funding from your home institutions): Proposals must be submitted no later than January 30, 2016.The Steering Committee will send out notices of acceptance by February 28, 2016.Participants are asked to confirm their attendance and submit the registration fee no later than June 30, 2016.

Standard proposal submissions:Proposals must be submitted no later than June 12, 2016.The Steering Committee will send out notices of acceptance by June 30, 2016.Participants are asked to confirm their attendance and submit the registration fee no later than July 31, 2016.

Please note: (A) choose one submission or the other; this is not intended for re-applications and no comments from the program committee will be provided;  

(B) no guarantees can be made regarding placement on the program, although the committee will attempt to accommodate requests made at the time of submission.

Some of the themes suggested by members of the Society include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Tantra and Power (royal, spiritual, magical)

Tribal Elements in Tantra

Women in Tantra (symbolically, literally, textually, ethnographically)

Tantric Art and Tantric Texts

Tantric Textual Theories of Practice and their Limits

Tantra and Yoga

Body Practice in Tantra

Tantra and Aesthetics

Tantra, Physiology, and Landscape

Tantra and Liturgy

Texts and Translations

Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and the Study of Tantra

Tantric Philosophical Traditions

Tantric Typologies of Self

Tantric Studies in 2016: The State of the Field

Critical Reflections on Western Approaches to Tantric Studies.

The Psychologizing of Tantra in the West.

New Age Tantra and Comparative Connections with Contemporary Philosophy of Mind

Tantra and Sci Fi


The conference and accommodations will be at the lovely Little America Hotel, situated amidst a pine-forested mountain in Flagstaff, Arizona.Special conference rates begin at $140 for single or double. A block of rooms will be held for conference attendees until August 23, 2016. You may visit their website at: restaurant and coffee shop are located on the premises. Attendees should fly into Phoenix and either drive up to Flagstaff (approximately 2 hours) or take a connecting flight into Flagstaff airport.We recommend staying for an extra day or two to arrange for visits to the Grand Canyon (2 hours), Sedona (1 hour), and Meteor Crater (1 hour)---among the many local attractions.

FEES:Attendees will pay a fee of $100 ($50 for graduate students) to cover conference and STS expenses.

WEBSITE:Updates on the conference and program will be provided at

The Society for Tantric Studies was founded in 1985 by Charles Orzech of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, James Sanford of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Glen Hayes of Bloomfield College.  It holds conferences every few years, the most recent being held in Flagstaff, Arizona in the fall of 2010, and the NEXT CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN SEPTEMBER 2016.  See home page for info.

The Steering Committee for 2015-2016 is as follows:

Glen A. Hayes, Bloomfield College  (Chairperson)

Jeffrey S. Lidke, Berry College (Treasurer)

Paul Donnelly, Northern Arizona University

Charles D. Orzech, University of Glasgow

James Mallinson, SOAS, University of London

Loriliai Biernacki, University of Colorado

Sthaneshwar Timalsina, San Diego State University

Richard Payne, Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley

Gudrun Buhnemann, University of Wisconson

John Nemec, University of Virginia

Hugh B. Urban, Ohio State University