Department of Religious Studies
Nicole Willock has two Ph.Ds. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. One doctorate is in Religious Studies; the other is in Tibetan Studies within the Department of Central Eurasian Studies. Dr. Willock is a three-year postdoctoral fellow at the University of Denver.
Professor Willock currently teaches the following courses: Religions of Tibet; Buddhism in the USA: Local and Global Perspectives; and Politics and Religion in Modern China. She is also the Director of ISL Dharamsala, a DU international service learning course that combines academic study and preparatory work at DU with volunteer work in Northern India during the Winter Interterm.
Her research explores the complex relationships between state-driven secularization, religious practice and ethnic identity in 20th century China, especially focusing on the lives and works of Tibetan monastic scholars in China. Her most recent publication is "Translation and Commentary on ‘Motivations for Writing a Rnam-thar’ by the Fifth Dalai Lama Ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho,” in Robbie Barnett and Laura Harrington, eds. New Perspectives on Tibetan Traditionality (forthcoming).
She is currently revising the manuscript, “A Tibetan Buddhist Polymath in Modern China,” for publication. The dissertation from which the manuscript came has been reviewed by Dr. Nancy Lin (Dartmouth College) on the Dissertation Reviews website.
Dr. Willock is a select participant in the five-year “Religion and the Literary in Tibet Seminar”, organized in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion (AAR). She serves on the AAR steering committee for the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group. She also serves as chair of the AAS Tibet Society and a consultant for Treasury of Lives Project's Advisory Committee.
Willock recently completed research underwritten by a 2012 Columbia University Libraries Research Award, for a project titled "Secularism and 'Superstition' in Tibetan Intellectual History", using the Tharchin Collection at the C.V. Starr East Asian Library. In Fall 2012, she will oversee the launch of a "Tibetan and Himalayan Studies" field for Dissertation Reviews.