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Interaction Rescaled: How Monastic Debate Became a Diasporic Pedagogy


Michael Lempert is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan (


Rather than assume the relevance of a priori scalar distinctions (micro-, macro-, meso-), this article examines scale as an emergent dimension of sociospatial practice in educational institutions. Focusing on Buddhist debate at Tibetan monasteries in India, I describe how this educational practice has been placed as a rite of institution within the perimeter of Sera Monastery in India and rescaled into a more expansive diasporic pedagogy by reformers like the Dalai Lama. [interaction, scale, language, religious education, reproduction]