Tibet, Self, and the Tibetan Diaspora: Voices of Difference : Piats 2000 : Tibetan Studies : Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000

Tibet, Self, and the Tibetan Diaspora: Voices of Difference : Piats 2000 : Tibetan Studies : Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000

Tibet, Self, and the Tibetan Diaspora: Voices of Difference : Piats 2000 : Tibetan Studies : Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000

Tibet, Self, and the Tibetan Diaspora: Voices of Difference : Piats 2000 : Tibetan Studies : Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000

Synopsis

The ten papers presented in this eight volume of the Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the IATS, 2000, provide examples of the colourful and lively range of Tibetan self-expressions that exist within the modern homeland and in exile. The scholars here represent the fields of anthropology, sociology, literary studies, history, and political science. Four papers are based in studies in the modern Tibet Autonomous Region, five are grounded in the Tibetan diaspora, and one deals with both classical Tibetan history and current affairs. The mass representation of Tibetan self, delivered through various literary vehicles, by linguistic competence, body decoration, landscape, or individual deportment, constitutes the basic theme of this collection. The volume is useful for any student of Tibet and those interested in the process of identity formation and presentation.

Excerpt

P. CHRISTIAAN KLIEGER (CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES)

Tibetans, viewed by some as prisoners of paradigms imposed from without, may nevertheless construct convenient sounding boards from which discordances about the current trends in real-life Tibetan expression may be played. As colourful and engaging that they are, the restrictive orientalist paradigm has tend to reduce the rich field of Tibetan expression to an essentialist trope. Despite many elegant attempts, such reductionism is itself a prison, ironically as dark as Shangri-La is bright. The ten papers presented in this volume attempt to provide an example of the colourful and lively range of Tibetan self-expressions that presently exist within the modern homeland and in exile. The scholars here represent the fields of anthropology, sociology, literary studies, history, and political science. Four of the papers are based in studies in the modern Tibet Autonomous Region, five of the papers are grounded in the Tibetan diaspora, and one paper deals with both classical Tibetan history and current affairs along both cultural trajectories. The papers were presented at Leiden University in June 2000 at a symposium on the Tibetan Self for the 9 Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies.

For Tibetological scholarship over the last two generations, indeed for over two centuries, Shangri-La has provided a convenient model from which contemporary praxis may be compared. Most scholars have used it as a sensitive gauge from which the deadly poison ‘change’ can be measured in Tibetan society. The Tibet of Shangri-La is nothing if it does not represent the golden parapets of the highest achievements of this realm. For within Shangri-La lie the power of epiphany and the power for individual transformation. Over the last six or seven years, the Tibetological deconstructionists have largely succeeded in torching Shangri-La, a virtual Götterdämmerung that has both Dharamsala and Beijing image-makers muttering . . .

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