Professor Charlene Makley
Office: 312 Vollum
Phone: 771-1112, ext. 7461
Office Hours:  Tues.-Thurs. 4:40-6 pm

Chinese and Tibetan peoples have interacted for centuries, but it is only in the last half of the twentieth century that the "Tibet question" in China has risen to global attention. This course looks at modern Sino-Tibetan relations through the lens of ethnicity and gender as a way to understand the contentious process through which the Chinese nation-state and national identity have been constructed. Through readings, films, discussions and lectures, we will explore the diversity of Tibetan and Han Chinese ethnic identities, gender/sexuality ideologies, and family organization just prior to, during and after the Communist revolutionary period. This perspective will shed light on the incorporation of Tibetans as a "minority nationality" in the Chinese "multinational state", the role of such minorities in constructing Han Chinese majority identity, and the differing impact of state policies on men and women in the context of rapid economic reform and globalization in the PRC.  Prerequisites: Anthropology 201 or Anthropology 211 or consent of instructor.  Conference.

Course Goals:

  1. To give you analytic tools for understanding the complexities of Sino-Tibetan relations in historical context;
  2. To help you grasp what a specifically anthropological approach to culture, gender/sexuality, ethnicity/race and nationalism is, and how that could be applied to understanding Sino-Tibetan relations;
  3. To hone your skills in critically analyzing multimedia sources;
  4. To hone your skills in writing responsible, compelling and even-handed critical analyses of cultural and political phenomena.