Grad Profiles

Kali Cape

Doctoral Student


  • University of Virginia - PhD Candidate in Buddhist Studies, Department of Religious Studies (in progress)
  • University of Virginia - MA Sino-Tibetan Religions, Department of Religious Studies
  • University of San Diego - BA Sociology with Minor in Gender Studies and Communication

International Education

  • Kathmandu University of Nepal -Advanced Tibetan Language (Summer 2017)
  • Kathmandu University of Nepal - Tibetan Translator Training Program (Fall 2017)


A History of a Tibetan Meditation Curriculum: Revelations & Re-revelations of The Seminal Heart of the Ḍākinī  

Research Interests

  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Indian Buddhism
  • Gender Studies & Women in Buddhism
  • Non-monastic Buddhism
  • Consort culture in Tibet
  • Hagiography
  • Digital humanities
  • Buddhist meditation literature
  • Great Perfection (rdzogs chen)
  • Trauma & resilience in Buddhism


Kali Nyima Cape is a Ph.D. Candidate in Buddhist studies at the University of Virginia and a 2016-2017 Fulbright-Hays Scholar. She is currently teaching as an instructor at UVa. In the Fall 2019, she has taught Tibetan Buddhism Introduction and Buddhism and Gender. In Spring 2020 she is teaching Modern Colloquial Tibetan. She is currently working on her dissertation which focuses on the historical development of Tibetan meditation literature in Dzogchen. The dissertation investigates The Seminal Heart of the Ḍākinī through its transformations in the fourteenth century works of Longchenpa to its developments in the pre-modern period.

Teaching Experience

University of Virginia, Instructor

  • Modern Tibetan Language (Spring 2020)
  • Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism (Fall 2019)
  • Buddhism and Gender (Fall 2019)

University of Virginia, Teaching Assistant

  • Introduction to Buddhism (Spring 2019)      
  • Tibetan Buddhism (Fall 2015)            
  • East Asian Religions (Spring 2015) 
  • Hinduism (Fall 2014)


Book Reviews

Review of Tobden, Choying Dorje. Ngawang Zangpo (Translator). Reading Religion; A Publication of the American Academy of Religion. American Academy of Religion, September 27,  2018,

Review of Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (ed). Eminent Buddhist Women. Asian Highlands Perspectives. 40 (2014): 499-506

Fellowships, Awards, & Grants

Buckner W. Clay Award in the Humanities, University of Virginia (2019)

Ellen Bayard Weedon Travel Grant, East Asia Center, University of Virginia (2019)

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (2017)

University of Virginia Diversity Program Professional Development Award (2017)

University of Virginia Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Summer Research Award (2017)

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow Award: Chinese Language (2014)

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow Award: Tibetan Language (2013)

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow Award: Chinese Language (2012)

Conference Presentations

Forthcoming. "Female Figurations in Tibet’s early Great Perfection (rdzogs chen)," XIXth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea on August 16-21, 2020.

Forthcoming. “How Ḍākinī Become Persons - An Analysis of Female Agents in The Seminal Heart of the Ḍākinī literature.” American Academy of Religion’s Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion. University of Georgia, Athens. Feb 27- March 1, 2020.

Forthcoming. “Ḍākinī in the Seminal Heart Narratives.” Society for Tantric Studies Conference Program. Northern Arizona University, Sept 27-29, 2019.

“Women in The Seminal Heart of the Ḍākinī.” 16th Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Women, June 23-28, 2019.

"A Sad Little Song, From stak sham rdo rjes Secret Liberation Story.” Lotsawa Translation Workshop, University of Colorado, Boulder. October 5-8, 2018.

“Becoming Vajrayogini: Buddhist Identity and Self Esteem without Self in Buddhist Narratives.” Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Women. June 22-28, 2017.

 “Bridging the Lay-Monastic Divide: Womens’ Religious Leadership in Tibet,” Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Women, Compassion and Social Justice. Jun 23-30 2015.

“Women in Tibetan Religious Memory,” Southeast Conference Association for Asian Studies 54th Annual Meeting, Jan 16-18 2015.

“Re-envisioning Trauma,” University of Virginia Buddhist Meditation: History, Culture, Development, Science Conference. Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2014.