Daigengna Duoer

Buddhism in early 20th Century Inner Mongolia and Manchuria; empire, modernity, colonialism, and transnational networks
Personal Website:


Daigengna Duoer (pronounced “dye-gain-na” “door“; she/her/hers) is interested in Buddhism in twentieth-century Inner Mongolia and Manchuria. She studies and maps transnational and transregional Buddhist networks in modern East Asia connecting Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Tibet, Republican China, and Imperial Japan.

Daigengna is also interested in other religions in modern East Asia. In addition to Buddhism, she also looks at how indigenous religious traditions, Islam, Christianity, and Shintoism interacted with Buddhism in Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, China, Tibet, and Japan.

Daigengna mainly works with Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Mongolian sources. She is also actively adding Manchu and Korean to her language abilities. She also reads in French and is JLPT N1 and HSK Level 6 certified.

She is currently serving as the Lead TA for the Religious Studies Department here at UCSB (AYs 2019-2021).

She completed both of her H.B.A. in Buddhist Studies and Art History and M.A. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto.

Daigengna is a host for the New Books in East Asia Studies Podcast, a channel on the New Books Network. For a list of interviews that she has done, see here.

Daigengna is also an editor of Mongolian Studies for the Digital Orientalist, an online magazine on digital humanities.


Duoer, Daigengna. “Making the Esoteric Public: The Ninth Panchen Lama and the Trans-ethnonational Rituals of the Kālacakra Initiations in Early Twentieth-Century East Asia,” Acta Mongolica 2019, 18 (532), pp.131-175(Click on link to download)

Duoer, Daigengna. From “Lama Doctors” to “Mongolian Doctors”: Regulations of Inner Mongolian Buddhist Medicine under Changing Regimes and the Crises of Modernity (1911-1976)Religions 2019, 10, 373. (Click on link to download)

Conference Presentations:

“Embodying Otherness: Religion, Colonialism, and Japanese Intelligence Agents under Inner Asian Buddhist Disguises.” Presentation for the panel Session: Geopolitical Entanglements: Buddhism and Japan’s Wartime Empire. 2021 American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Conference. San Antonio, Texas. November 20-23, 2021. (Paper accepted for presentation)

“Queering Religion, Playing with Religion: Tibetan Buddhism in Japanese Boys Love Manga.” UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, and Stanford Buddhist Studies Graduate Students’ Research Workshop, online, May 1, 2021.

“Towards A ‘Modern Manchu-Mongolian Buddhism’: Religious Spatializations Within the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” 2021 Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, online, March 26, 2021.

“Governing Buddhism in the Modern: Buddhist Monasticism and the Constitutional Laws of Competing Regimes in Early 20th-century Inner Mongolia (1931-1945).” Buddhism and Constitutional Law Workshop, American Bar Foundation, online, March 25, 2021.

“Colonialism in Disguise: Japanese Agent Kimura Hisao’s Colonial Gaze and Embodiment in Inner Asian Religious Spaces and Places.” Mapping the Territory: Religion, Place, and Space in Asian Humanities Conference, online, January 30, 2021.

“Tibetan Buddhism in the Buddhist Pan-Asianist Discourses of interwar Japan: A Study on A Multi-lingual Japanese Propaganda Material from 1941.” The Sixth International Seminar of Young Tibetologists, University of Virginia, August 7-14, 2022. (Paper accepted for presentation. Conference postponed to summer 2022)

Ramakyō and Japanese Colonialism: Transnational Buddhism in Early Twentieth-century Inner Mongolia and Manchuria.” XIXth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Seoul, South Korea, August 14-19, 2022. (Paper accepted for presentation. Conference postponed to summer 2022)

“Buddhist Inner Mongolia(s) in the Post-Imperium: (Re)Imaginations of the Region as State, Colony, Public Space, and a Corner of the Pan-Asian Buddhist Landscape (1912-1949)” (Panel Session: Spatializing Sovereignty and the Public Sphere Between State and Buddhist Monastery in Post-Imperial Inner Asia). 2020 Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, Boston, MA. (Conference canceled due to COVID-19)

“Definitions and Regulations of Buddhist Monasticism in Early 20th Century Inner Mongolia: 1912-1945.” Woodenfish Forum Hong Kong 2019: Monasticism and Monastic Codes Across the Buddhist World. Gold Coast Hotel, Hong Kong, June 22-24, 2019.

“Modern Inner Mongolian Buddhism in Chinese and Japanese Sources.” Expanding the Archives of Mongolian Buddhism Workshop. University of California, Santa Barbara, March 27, 2019.

“The 9th Panchen Lama and Kālacakra Initiations in Inner Mongolia.” New Directions in Mongolian Buddhism Conference. University of California, Santa Barbara, January 29-30, 2018.

Conference Panels Organized 

  1. Duoer, Daigengna. Organizer. Panel Session: Spatializing Sovereignty and the Public Sphere Between State and Buddhist Monastery in Post-Imperial Inner Asia. Association of Asian Studies, Boston, MA. (Conference canceled due to COVID-19)

Talks and Webinars:

  1. Duoer, Daigengna. “Responses to COVID-19 in Buddhist Communities of Contemporary China.” Buddhist Responses to COVID19. Online webinar. See here for the recording of the webinar and other related sources.

Courses Taught:

Summer, 2020              RS21 Zen Buddhism (Summer Session A). UC Santa Barbara.

Fall, 2019                      RS73 Introduction to Japanese Religions. UC Santa Barbara.

Summer, 2019              RS4 Introduction to Buddhism (Summer Session A). UC Santa Barbara.

Teaching Assistantships:

Spring, 2021          RS3 Asian Religious Traditions

Winter, 2021         RS4 Introduction to Buddhism

Fall, 2020               RS31 Religions of Tibet

Winter, 2020         RS4 Introduction to Buddhism

Spring, 2019          RS4 Introduction to Buddhism

Winter, 2019         RS4 Introduction to Buddhism

Fall, 2018               RS21 Zen Buddhism

Spring, 2018          EACS4B East Asia Modern