Professor Charlene Makley

Office: 312 Vollum
Phone: 771-1112, ext. 7461
Office Hours:
Tues.-Thurs. 4:10-5:30

Since the Dalai Lama fled to exile in India in 1959, Tibet and Tibetans have garnered emblematic status in global debates on indigenous cultures and human rights. The widespread Tibetan unrest and subsequent military crackdown during China’s “Olympic year” (2007-2008) focused renewed international attention on the issue of Tibet in the face of China’s rise as an important political and economic power. Yet Tibet has long been both a cosmopolitan place and an object of translocal interest and desire. This course draws on anthropological theories of ethnicity, modernity, nationalism, space, and globalization to understand this phenomenon in its historical and ethnographic contexts. Working with a wide range of theoretical, historical and ethnographic writings, as well as a variety of other media such as film, popular songs, websites and blogs from in and outside of China, we consider the transnational contexts and causes of changing meanings of Tibetanness before and after Chinese Communist intervention. We focus especially on the historical and contemporary diversity among Tibetans across the Himalayan region and into the diaspora, as well as the changing political economic conditions of Chinese-Tibetan relations.  Conference. Prerequisite: Anthropology 211.