Short bio

Serena Biondo completed her BA in Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Florence in 2009, and further enhanced her skills in modern Mandarin Chinese in Yunnan, China (2010). She received her MA (2012) and PhD (2017) in the Study of Religions, Buddhist Pathway, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London). Her doctoral research focused on the history of meditation manuals of the Rdzogs chen Mind Series (Sems sde) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. After completing her studies, she joined the team of the ERC Synergy project “Asia Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State” based at the British Museum, British Library and SOAS. Within this project, she worked mainly on the inception and early reception in Nepal of the varṣamāsavrata — Viṣṇu’s ritual sleeping during the monsoon season — and on the development of the Bsam yas Great Debate narrative in the Dba’ bzhed version of the Testimony of Ba.

Biondo is currently working as part of the team of the project “The Dawn of Tibetan Buddhist Scholasticism (11th–13th c.)” (TibSchol) based at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA), and is mainly engaged with mapping the personal networks of scholars during the early Phyi dar period.