I am a PhD student at the Department for the Study of Religion. My dissertation looks at Myanmar-Burmese Buddhist nuns and their education both formal and informal. More specifically I am writing an ethnography on one non-teaching nunnery in Sagaing, Myanmar where I focus on fourteen nuns, their experience with education and monastic training and their spaces of choice/convenience that help mediate these practices. By having the spacial aspects of one nunnery organize my investigation, I am able to move through each building, encountering nuns at different life stages and with various aspirations, creating a much more complex picture than with what might be thought of in terms of an “ideal renunciant” on that has a linear and straightforward educational path. In my study I am able to touch on themes of secular education, girl-children nuns versus elder nuns, nuns with disabilities, minority nuns, education at a monastery, reform nunneries, old institutions, lineage and familial nuns.
Read Rachelle’s reflection on her research in Myanmar here: https://buddhiststudies.utoronto.ca/2016/10/29/research-buddhist-nuns/