Decolonizing ‘Tibetan’ Studies: Empire, Ethnicity, and Rethinking Sovereignty

I presented the following lecture under the same title for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s Tibet & Himalaya Lecture Series Wintersemester 2021/2022 “Decolonising Himalayan Studies? – Putting Theory into Practice” on November 8th 2021.

The article version of this essay will soon be published as a chapter in an edited Oxford Handbook on the Himalayas under contract with Oxford University Press sometime in 2022 (I will post when the Book is finally published here on Lhakar Diaries).

If you wish to cite this lecture, please source as follows:

Lokyitsang, Dawa. 2021. “Decolonzing ‘Tibetan’ Studies: Empire, Ethnicity, and Rethinking Sovereignty.” Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s Decolonising Himalaya Studies- Putting Theory into Practice lecture series. University of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. November 8th, 2021.

Here is the abstract as advertised by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:

The lecture is over 45mins. For those who don’t have patience or time for the full lecture, I made the following list for easy listening. The essay is broken in sections based on chronology. Each section looks at how Tibet/ans were represented by Tibetan Studies specialist during specific eras. Each section has its own title. I have listed the titles below with time stamps so viewers can easily go to sections they find most interesting.

Happy listening!

The Making of ‘Tibet’ in the West: Missionary and Diplomatic Accounts, c. 18th-19th centuries (1:43)

Imperial Aggression against the Tibetan State: Diplomatic Accounts from the 1900s to 1950s (9:16)

Salvage Anthropology: The Making of ‘Tibetan’ Studies (14:25)

Tibetan Interventions: Responding to the Chinese Invasion (18:59)

The making of ‘Himalayan’ Studies and the issue of ‘ethnicity’ in Tibetan Studies (23:23)

The ‘birth’ of Modern Tibetan Studies in the 1990s: Critical Representations (26:38)

Globalization in the 2000s: ‘Refugee’ and ‘Ethnic’ Tibetans (33:07)

New Directions in the Era of Racializing States: Decolonizing Ethnicity and Rethinking Tibetan Sovereignty (40:05)

Conclusion (47:47)