Tibet Center-Affliliated Departments and Faculty at UVA

Emerging in the latter half of the 20th century, Tibetan Studies has often been relegated to discrete academic fields, typically housed within anthropology, linguistics, and religious studies programs. At UVa, however, we believe that Tibetan Studies instead should consist of all scholarly knowledge that concerns Tibet as a place and as a people—archaeology, environmental studies, gender studies, geography, geology, legal studies, medical studies, political science, and more. Thus, while Tibet Center-affiliated faculty are committed to their individual disciplines, they are also committed to reaching across disciplinary boundaries to further research on and knowledge of Tibetan land, culture, and peoples. Undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of programs are encouraged to work directly with Tibet Center faculty from a wide range of fields.

Central Campus Area - UVa Campus

Central Campus Area - UVa Campus


The Anthropology department offers courses in ethnographic methods, anthropological theory, and other courses that many students of Tibetan Studies find useful in their studies.

Computer Science

Worthy Martin is a faculty member of the Computer Science Department at UVa and for the last several years has also served a half-time research appointment as one of the Associate Directors of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. He has advised students and faculty on Tibet-related projects and is co-collaborator of Mapping the Dalai Lamas, a project which integrates digital texts of classical Tibetan-language biographies with digital animated maps, timelines, and images to present significant events in the lives of the Dalai Lamas.

East Asian Language, Literature, and Cultures

The Department of East Asian Language, Literature, and Cultures offers three degree programs with a Tibet focus: a BA in East Asian Languages, Literature, and Cultures; a BA in East Asian Studies; and an MA in East Asian Studies. Contemporary Tibetan culture and language are an integral component of each of these programs. Full-time instructor Tenzin Chonjore is dedicated to providing beginning through advanced instruction in modern Tibetan language. The study of modern Tibetan is complimented by offerings in classical literary Tibetan language, offered by David Germano and Kurtis Schaeffer of the Religious Studies department.

Political Science

Brantly Womack focuses on Comparative Government and International Relations in contemporary China and covers topics on Tibet in his courses on Chinese politics.

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Department offers an undergraduate major and minor as well as a graduate program in the History of Religions focusing on Tibet. David Germano and Kurtis Schaeffer offer a diverse array of courses on Tibetan religious ritual, literary culture, and philosophical systems through the Religious Studies department. In addition, they provide courses in classical Tibetan language designed for graduate-level engagement in translation of classical Tibetan texts, but open to undergraduates as well.