Professor of Anthropology
Division of History and Social Sciences
I have served on the Reed College faculty in the Department of Anthropology 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 twenty years, I have been conducting ethnographic and historical research in the troubled Sino-Tibetan 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 current book project, funded by Fulbright Senior Scholar and American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowships, is The Politics of Presence: State-Led Development, Personhood and Power among Tibetans in China. In it, I analyze data I collected in a new, but historically related research site in Rebgong several mountain passes to the northwest. During this new stage of research (early 2000s-present), I have been looking at the multi-faceted impacts on Tibetan communities of state-led development projects unleashed since the Great Develop the West campaign (Ch. Xibu Da Kaifa) was launched in 2000.