What does a modernist secularist reading of recent Tibetan history look like? How does such readings reinforce notions of Tibetans as religious fanatics or barbaric? Nicole Willock (2011) takes a stab at these questions in her review of Melvyn Goldstein’s (2007, 2009) history of Tibet. While she acknowledges his contributions, she also highlights the limitations of such a framing. Pointing out how such lens tend to reify notions of Tibetans as either modern or not-modern. One way of remedying this, according to Willock, is to engage Tibetans themselves, who engaged in practices of translations both past and present. This highlights how Tibetans were and continue to be agentive in translating and negotiating new terms such political and cultural moments spawned.
Hi everyone! This post is a special shout out to Tibetans of Mixed Heritage and friends. After successful gatherings in London, Zurich and New York, the Mixed Tibetans team are pleased to announce… Continue reading
Tenzin Wangchuk, A.K.A. Exiled Prophet, is a New York based Tibetan rapper and creative force behind the newly released clothing line, Union of Prophets. I sat down with Wangchuk recently to discuss his transition from rapper to designer. We met for dinner in Jackson Heights, at one of my favorite restaurants, Little Tibet, and discussed everything from the origins of American Hip Hop and it’s universal themes, his aspirations as a designer and activist, to addressing his concerns about the appropriation of Hip Hop and Black culture.
[Guest poem by ‘Just Another Tenzin] Life sentence The purpose of language is to communicate But so much gets lost in translation and we just hate Each other and this broken tie to… Continue reading
Throughout history, too many people have made assumptions about what it means to be woman and what it means to be Tibetan. They have been the most privileged members of our society; those with access to pen and prestige and they have continuously made an ass out of me, you, and them. I don’t want to continue that legacy.
I think Dr. Sperling and Dr. Venturi are correct in saying we need to be clear when we use the word ‘modern’ in Tibetan studies. However, in such an engagement, following Dr. Vitali’s warnings, we also need to be careful we do not reproduce the same problems in reifying notions of ‘tradition,’ and assumptions of cultures as belonging on a singular (Euro-American) evolutionary trajectory that is assumed under the banner of the singular modern. This is the same critique that has been launched against academia in general for over 70 years, and something Tibetan studies has only recently begun to consider.
[Guest post by Tenzin Sudip Chogkyi] One of my female friends messaged me in a rather perplexed manner to ask what I thought about Kalon Dicki Chhoyang’s ‘sudden’ resignation. She was disappointed for obvious… Continue reading
[Guestpost by Jamyang Phuntsok] 1. The other day Aba took me to see a rinpoche before I left for the States. In the past he’d do it before I went back to boarding… Continue reading
[Guestpost by Kunsang Palmo] I had sat with the White Buddhists for at least thirty minutes. It was a frustrating experience. I sat in silence watching the gross fetishization of Tibetan Buddhism. I… Continue reading
[Guestpost by Kaysang] teach me how to be Gesar’s daughter: fierce warrior-like firm in the war for truth true freedom you could kill for — no, i’m Gandhi’s niece but maybe not not… Continue reading