Creative Housing Options for Adults with Developmental Disabilities and High Complex Needs

A crisis is looming for many Ontario citizens with developmental disability and other challenges that make their support needs especially complex. In recent decades a process of deinstitutionalization moved the Province away from a morally problematic "warehousing" model towards one where people had an opportunity at meaningful lives in their communities. However, many are living lives that depend on family members who are stressed, aging, and in declining health, and there is no plan in place for what happens when these families can no longer carry that load.

ASD Specific Housing Supports Analysis

The proposed study will use a sequential exploratory mixed-method approach to conduct a needs assessment examining supportive housing requirements for adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The study first explore supportive housing and provincial, national and international solutions for supportive housing for adults with ASD found in policy, practice, government, and mass media publications. Later interviews and analysis will involve a deep dive into a set of research questions.

Ottan Thullal: A Vanishing Indian Preforming Art

In satisfaction of my PhD dissertation at McGill University, I intend to conduct both archival and field research on Ottan Thullal, a classical art form from Kerala, India. This surviving art form embodies an intangible cultural heritage which is on the verge of disappearing from the historical record. This dissertation aims to trace the historical origins of Ottan Thullal and document the knowledge of its few practitioners. This performance tradition combines dance with music and poetry written in the Malayalam language.

The Symbiosis between State and Church in Text and Practice of Esoteric Buddhism in 8th Century China

The spread of Buddhism brought to encounter Indic and Sinitic cultural systems, the two of most disparate civilizations in the world. After hundreds of years of continuous contact and communication, a Buddhist sect that is most characteristically Indian and most alien to the Chinese flourished in China, which came to be known as Esoteric Buddhism or Buddhist tantra. More remarkably, it realized the closest cooperation between the state and church that has ever seen throughout Chinese history.

Imagining the Human Interior: Religious and Medical Perspectives on the Body in Present-Day China

My research project will focus around the following question: what relationships exist between religious models of the human body—primarily Buddhist and Daoist—and medical practices and beliefs? To explore this topic I will study primary and secondary materials, participate in meetings with my host university supervisor, Chen Ming with the assistance of Dr. Susan Andrews from my home institution, and conduct on-site research in a traditional Chinese medical clinic. I will also take part in UBC’s Buddhism Summer Studies program.

In Conversation with Contemporary Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: What It Means to Practice

"In Conversation with Contemporary Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: What it Means to Practice" is a study of the relationship between objects and practice in Pure Land Buddhism as told by the practitioners themselves. Interviewing scholars and practitioners of contemporary Chinese Pure Land Buddhism and visiting key sites of practice in the Shanghai area, I will ask questions such as: What objects, if any, define contemporary Chinese Pure Land practice? Does curated space count as a material object?

Family Ties in Monastic’s Lives: A Study of Contemporary Monasticism in Beijing

The project investigates the practices of contemporary Buddhist Monastics in relation to their interaction and communication with family members. The question to be investigated is: To what extent, if at all, do contemporary monastics maintain relationships with living family members? The research will focus, in particular, on ways that family is understood in this context and the influence, if any, that modern technology has on relationships between monastics and their families.

A Sense of Self: Examining the Relationship between Chinese Religion and Self-Identity

My project will be examining different aspects of Chinese popular religion, including online representations, physical landmarks, and firsthand accounts, and drawing connections between popular religion in China and the self- and community-identities of lay practitioners in Beijing. I will be visiting sites in Beijing, including St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Yonghe Gong, and Baiyun Guan, examining primary and secondary online sources for each of these sites, and conducting interviews with practitioners of these three religions, Christianity, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Religion in the Media: Canada and Brazil

This project will focus on the following research questions:
1) How do the mainstream media (specifically newspapers) in Canada and Brazil portray and represent majority and minority religions in secular context?
2) Are there key areas of controversy in which such portrayals and representations are focused, and do these differ in the two countries?
3) Can common methodological resources and comparable data sets be developed to allow comparison to be undertaken?

Embracing 2030: Muslim Community Strategies and Priorities for the Future

Various waves of immigration have altered the profiles of Muslim communities in Alberta demanding a need for better data and information for both short and long term planning of services and infrastructure.  This need poses challenges not only to individual civil society organizations, but also to cross-organization coalitions seeking to build common ground upon which to facilitate more comprehensive service efforts.  To this end, using published demographic data, and information gathered from various focus group interviews, this project seeks to identify high-level issues across and betwee