Andrew is a doctoral student in the Department for the Study of Religion. He studied sociocultural anthropology, Southeast Asian studies, and information science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison (BA) and Milwaukee (MS, MLIS). In his ethnographic research, he is examining the relationships, practices, affects, and infrastructures that shape the production and reception of Burmese Buddhist recitation cultures and soundscapes. In particular, amplified and live recitations of a popular, yet highly scholastic, Buddhist philosophical treatise (Paṭṭhāna, Conditional Relations), garner significant support as a part of sāsana (doctrine of the Buddha) vitalizing projects in Myanmar/Burma. For many Burmese Buddhists, the Paṭṭhāna methodically demonstrates the Buddha’s omniscience, charting critical ethical formulas, while occupying the most precarious position in the Pali canon. However, the reception of this recitation ceremony is contested and exists within larger fields of impugned soundscapes, religious and secular.
More broadly, he is interested in aurality, distinction, and knowledge production, as well as the senses and sensibility, in Buddhist rituals, practices, and texts.