Charlene Makley

I have served on the Reed College faculty since 2000.  I received my Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Michigan (1999), where I pursued interdisciplinary graduate studies in Buddhist Studies, Chinese and Tibetan language and culture, and linguistic and cultural anthropology. For the past thirty years, I have been conducting ethnographic and historical research among Tibetans in China's troubled multiethnic frontier zone (Gansu and Qinghai provinces, China). My first book, The Violence of Liberation: Gender and Tibetan Buddhist Revival in Post-Mao China, was published in 2007 by the University of California Press. That project was based on several years of fieldwork (1990s-early 2000s) in the famous Buddhist monastery town of Labrang in Gansu province. My second book is The Battle for Fortune: State-Led Development, Personhood and Power among Tibetans in China (Cornell University Press, 2018). In it, I analyze data I collected in a new, but historically related research site in Rebgong several mountain passes to the northwest. During that research (early 2000s-2016), I explored the multi-faceted impacts on Tibetan communities of state-led development projects unleashed since the Great Open the West campaign (Ch. Xibu Da Kaifa) was launched in 2000. I am now pursuing a collaborative historical and ethnographic project with Tibetan colleagues on the triumphant post-prison 1980s tours of the controversial and beloved Tibetan incarnate lama, the Tenth Panchen Lama (1938-1989).