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Indian author speaks at UTSC on “Buddhism and the Intellectual”

Indian author Pankaj Mishra will deliver a free public lecture on “Buddhism and the Intellectual” at a lecture on Wednesday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. It will take place in the Arts & Administration Building, Room AA112. All are welcome. Admission is free and open to the public, but reserved seating is recommended. People interested in attending can RSVP to or 416-208-4769.

The lecture is presented by The Department of Humanities and Arts & Events Programming. The lecture is part of the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Chinese Characters  Public Lecture Series, which focuses on raising awareness and inspiring public interest in Buddhism.

Mishra’s talk will look at how history and ideology have shaped the work of intellectuals in the modern era, isolating the religiously or ethically motivated thinker. Mishra notes that as we confront the ruins of some of our most cherished fantasies --- those of globalized capitalism as well as revolutionary communism --- it may be time to consider Buddhism's insights into our tormented intellectual and political life.

Pankaj Mishra was born in North India in 1969. His first book was Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India (1995), a travelogue which described the social and cultural changes in India in the new context of globalization. His novel The Romantics (2000) an ironic tale of people longing for fulfillment in cultures other than their own, was published in eleven European languages and won the Los Angeles Times' Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction.

His recent book An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World (2004), a New York Times Notable Book, mixes memoir, history, and philosophy while attempting to explore the Buddha's relevance to contemporary times. His most recent book, Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond, describes Mishra's travels through Kashmir, Bollywood, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, and other parts of South and Central Asia. Like his previous books, it was featured in the New York Times' 100 Best Books of the Year.

His writings have been widely anthologized. Mishra frequently writes literary and political essays for The New York Times, the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and the New Statesman, and many other international publications. He has been a visiting professor at Wellesley College, the Cullmen Center for Writers and Scholars, and University College, London. He divides his time between London and India, and is presently working on a novel.

A free shuttle bus will depart Hart House (St. George campus) at 5:30pm to transport guests to the event and will return downtown following the event.

The initiatives, supported by Tung Lin Kok Yuen  Chinese Characters  Hong Kong, emphasize multiple perspectives in the study of Buddhist thought and culture, including linkages among history, literature, philosophy, religion, and the visual and performing arts. Within the context of UTSC’s multi-disciplinary Department of Humanities and its Global Asia Studies Program, the Tung Lin Kok Yuen  Chinese Characters  Public Lecture Series supports important ongoing conversations about cultural pluralism and diversity within Canadian society.

Arts & Events Programming works with students, staff, and faculty in the Department of Humanities to present artistic, cultural, and scholarly initiatives at the University of Toronto Scarborough. For a full listing of upcoming events, please visit

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