Sara Ann Swenson Receives Fulbright-Hays

Sara Ann Swenson

Sara Ann Swenson

January 23, 2018
  
Sara Ann Swenson was recently awarded a 2017 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research abroad grant. This grant will allow her to continue ethnographic research she began in September 2017, with a Buddhist Studies fellowship from the Robert HN Ho Family Foundation. Herdissertation project focuses on Buddhist volunteer organizations in Vietnam. With Vietnam's recent rapid economic development, city infrastructure is struggling to meet the needs of incoming migrants. In response, many religious charity organizations have begun to address social service needs among poor and dependent populations in Vietnam's fastest growing urban area, Ho Chi Minh City. As Buddhism is widespread in Vietnam, a majority of these emerging charities claim Buddhist motivations for mobilizing volunteers. Her work uses affect theory to explore how and why Buddhist charity groups frame their volunteer success less in terms of numbers served and more through the emotional impacts of "alleviating suffering" and "granting happiness."