In studying Asian religious and ethical traditions, my students are limited by the lack of access to other cultures outside of the textual descriptions and analyses that I provide them or that they uncover in their essay research. Images, films and other media are of some help, but there is rarely the opportunity for significant immersive, interactive experiences with the extensive visual culture that Buddhist traditions have produced. Buddhist traditions are image-rich and these images often express in visual and concrete ways the deeply theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of Buddhist thought and ritual.
My project proposal, “Buddhist Imaginative Worlds,” envisions the use of multimedia technologies and digital tools to bring students a much richer cognitive and aesthetic experience and understanding of Buddhist traditions. In short, I want to move my students from the static descriptions they encounter in Buddhist texts to the rich, imaginative world of Buddhist thought and iconography. In order to accomplish this, I need to learn the kinds of digital tools and technologies taught through the Freedman Fellow Program.
For more information please see his website: http://www.williamdeal.org.