Allison Goodwin (May 2015)
Allison Goodwin is a teacher and writer, whose scholarly work challenges traditional understandings of religions’ discriminatory teachings about women, other religions/sects, and other groups. While in residency at WISC, she will be working on an article that proposes that the hundreds of psychological and social studies on the effects of self/other concepts, discrimination, expectations, and stereotypes, provide a means of transforming religions’ negative and limiting beliefs and rules, because they offer concrete evidence that such views and treatment lead to harm.
In addition to her own scholarly work, Ms. Goodwin has helped to identify the best scholarly writings that provide evidence that the negative Buddhist teachings about women are not the true teachings of the Buddha. Collaborating with scholars, activists, religious leaders, and non-profits, she has facilitated the translation of that research into Mandarin, Thai, and Korean, and helped to ensure its inclusion in the curricula of universities and religious institutions in Asia and the West. She is currently raising money for Tibetan translations, and will continue to facilitate translations in other languages. Her scholarship and activism have increased awareness about the implications of this important research—and used that awareness to transform discriminatory beliefs and practices. Her WISC project will expand the scope of this endeavor, so that the research may serve as a catalyst for change in other religious traditions.
Ms. Goodwin has won fifteen fellowships, grants, and awards for her fiction and scholarly writing, and she has been invited to speak about her scholarly research at conferences, universities, and religious centers in Taiwan, India, Korea, and the U.S. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Fiction from Syracuse University, and a B.A. in English literature from Barnard College, Columbia University, and has taught literature, screenwriting, fiction writing, creative non-fiction, and rhetoric at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, National Taiwan University, and Syracuse University. She has also worked in a variety of positions in feature film production and development, and as a Mandarin language translator.