Elaine Lai

PhD Student in Religious Studies, admitted Autumn 2018
MA, University of Hong Kong, Buddhism
BA, Wesleyan University, Film Studies & French Studies Double Major
head shot of Elaine Lai

Elaine is a PhD Candidate in Religious Studies focusing on Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, specifically the transmission of Tantra from India to Tibet. Her research interests are too many to list here, but they include: theories of time, space, and materiality; subtle body practices in the Great Perfection tradition; and creative re-envisioning of embodiment and gender. Prior to Stanford, she spent ten years working and studying in China, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, and Nepal, where she made many auspicious connections with Buddhist teachers and practitioners, as well as sacred sites. Outside of academia, she serves as the co-president of the Buddhist Community at Stanford, and her creative outlet is writing. 


Research Interests

Field of Interest
ritual performance
Great Perfection (Dzogchen)
theories of time, space, and materiality
de-centering the human