Visiting Scholars in Tibetan Studies at UVA

Visiting Scholar 2019-21

Zichao Fang

Zichao Fang is a doctoral candidate in the School of History and Civilization and the Silk Road Historical Research Center of Shaanxi Normal University, studying under Professor Wutian Sha. After earning his bachelors degree in History from Northwest Minzu University, he has since focused graduate studies on the cave art of Dunhuang and the history of the Tangut region. His doctoral dissertation focuses on Mogao cave 465 as a representative of the later Dunhuang phase and representative of the intersection of Dunhuang studies, Tibetan studies and Tangut studies.


Visiting Scholars 2018-2019

Tashi Dronkar (Zhaxizhongga)

Tashi Dronkar is a masters degree student in ethnology at the Center for Tibetan Studies at Sichuan University. Her thesis topic explores Bönpo and Buddhist literature and practices focused on the sacred mountain Bazhab Drakar (sbas zhabs brag dkar). Tashi Dronkar’s braoder research interests include sacred geography, cross-cultural exchange, and points of intersect between Tibetan cultural traditions as manifest on the physical landscape. She earned her Bachelors degree in English Language and Literature in 2016, and hails from Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.


Phuntshok Lunzu (Pengcuo Luozhu)

Currently a doctoral student in Anthropology at Southwest Minzu University, Phuntshok is studying Tibetan history, with a focus on the social history of Kham. He received his MA at SWUN in Tibetology with a thesis on Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen’s tshad ma rig gter and also earned a BA in Tibetan Language and Literature.


Tsering Wangmo (Wengmu Zeren)

Tsering is a doctoral candidate from Minzu University of China, Beijing, studying noblewomen and their roles in Tibetan history. She earned a Bachelors degree from Southwest University of Nationalities and a Masters from Minzu University, writing her thesis on female chieftains in Kham, who held various social and political positions ranging from royalty in Derge Kingdom to trade dealers in Dartsendo under the Minyak Chakla Kingdom to female intellectuals, such as the first Tibetan woman who earned a Ph.D. degree, who was from Bathang.


Past Visiting Scholars

Khagyal (Kua Jia)
Khagyal is from Ragya in Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. She is a PhD student in Tibetan Studies at Minzu University in Beijing where she is specializing in Tibetan history. Her dissertation will focus on the bca’ yig of Tibetan monasteries.
Kunchok Kyi (Qiujie Gong)
Kunchok Kyi is originally from Dzoge in Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. She earned her bachelors degree in Tibetan Literature and Language at the Tibetan Studies College, Minzu University of China, Beijing.
Dondrupdolma (Dongzhuzhuoma)
Dondrupdolma is from Khrika County in Amdo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and is a PhD student from Tibetan Studies Department of Minzu University in Beijing. Her current research field is on Tibetan Buddhism and Culture, and her dissertation will focus on Tibetan etiquette.
John Flower
John Flower researches local history, development, cultural landscape, and folklife in Ya’an municipality (western Sichuan province), a border region which includes Han, Tibetan, and Yi ethnicities. He was director (2000-2001) of “Preserving Living Traditions” a multi-year research and cultural exchange project on Tibetan and Appalachian Folk Music that was a partnership with the Tibetan and Himalayan Library. He is co-author, with Pamela Leonard, of the forthcoming digital monograph and online database Moral Landscape in a Sichuan Mountain Village, produced in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), University of Virginia, and with the support of an American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship (2008).
Champa Tashi
Champa Tashi was currently an undergraduate student at the Minzu University of China in Beijing in the College of Tibetan Studies.
Guru Sonam
Guru Sonam was an undergraduate student at the Minzu University of China in Beijing. His previous research included studies of Tibetan handicrafts and ceramics in Dechen, Yunnan Province.
Sonam Drolma
Sonam Drolma was an undergraduate student at the Minzu University of China in Beijing. Some of Sonam’s earlier research projects include a survey of horse culture in Aba Tang, Sichuan and on the status of Tibetan mastiffs in Maqu County, Gannan, Gansu.
Sonam Norbu
Sonam Norbu was born in Qinghai and was a graduate student at the Minzu University of China in Beijing. Among other topics, he has conducted research on Langyi and Manri Monasteries. Sonam’s masters degree studies focused on Tibetan funeral culture and its impact on worldview and society.
Dorje is a professor of Law at the Qinghai Nationalities University School of Law in Xining, Qinghai. Dorje’s current research program examines comparative structures of law and governance in autonomous minority communities in China and the US. Professor Dorje holds a PhD in Ethnology from Lanzhou University bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Law. He was a visiting scholar for the 2011-12 academic year.
Gelebasang holds a BA in mechanical engineering from Tsinghua University, where he graduated in 2008. While at University, he co-funded a Tibetan folklore Chinese-language website. He also launched the Tibetan Cultural Day at Tsinghua University and the Beijing Tibetan Traditional Sport Games in 2006. He was a staff at Baici Tibetan Classics Research Institute in Lhasa from 2007 to 2008. From 2008 to 2010 he studied and worked in Beijing as an assistant to his private mentor Baba Phuntsok Wangyal, a prominent Tibetan revolutionary. His study focused on China’s minority policy, contemporary Tibetan history, and Marxist philosophy. On the side, he also worked as an assistant to Yaoxi Ban Renjiwangmo, the daughter of the tenth Panchen Lama. He also worked with Yangling Dorje, former CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) President of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and current Chairman of Sichuan Tibetology Association in Chengdu from 2010 to 2012. He also has the distinction of being the youngest-ever Tibetan participant in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.
Khamo kyit
Khamo kyit is originally from Rebgong in Qinghai and currently is a graduate student at the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, Sichuan. She is working on her masters in Religious Studies with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Tibetan Department at Southwest University for Nationalities where she focused on Tibetan Language and Literature. She was a visiting scholar for the 2011-12 academic year.
Li Junying
Junying teaches English for non-English majors in the Foreign Languages department of Qinghai Nationalities University. While at UVa, Junying will connect with faculty and students involved with the teaching of English as a second language and work on developing curricula and methods that can be used in her department at home. She was a visiting scholar for the 2011-12 academic year.
Lhumotso was a visiting scholar for the 2011-12 academic year. She holds a MA in Tibetan Language and Literature from Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu. She has worked at the Religion Institute of the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing from 2007 to the present. Her research concentrates on Sanskrit.
Namgyal Tseten
Namgyal Tseten is originally from Choni in Gansu Province and currently as a visiting student at the University of Virginia for 2010-2011. He holds a doctoral degree in Tibetan Studies from Minzu University of China in Beijing. His current research focuses on Tibetan language histories of the Imperial Period.
A native of Repgong in Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Amdo, Nyangmo is a MA student in the Tibetan Studies College at Minzu University in Beijing where she is majoring in Tibetan religion and culture with a special focus on Tibetan religious history. Her MA thesis will focus on the history and contemporary manifestations of Tibetan Buddhism in America.
Sherab Wangmo
From a small  town in Amdo, Sherab earned her BA  in Tibetan Language and Literature at the College of Tibetan Studies, Minzu University of China in 2012. She is interested in learning the role and impact of Tibetan Buddhism in contemporary people’s lives and how to amplify the benefits of the old tradition.
Tashi Tso (Liu Yan)
Originally from Pari in Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County in Amdo, Tashitso is a masters student at the Tibetan Studies College at Minzu University in Beijing. She is focusing her studies on Tibetan religions and culture, with a particular interest in Tibetan Buddhist temples in multi-national areas in China. She is writing her thesis on the history of mChod-rten-thang Temple in Gansu Province and how it servers a multi-national community.
Tsering Tashi
Tsering Tashi is from Ragya in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Amdo. He is a MA student at the Tibetan Studies College at Minzu University in Beijing where he is specializing in modern Tibetan literature and language. His proposed thesis topic is to examine the differing approaches to the study of Tibetan literature by Western and Tibetan scholars. In addition to his area of study, he is interested in the craft of novel and screenplay writing.
(February 2008-August 2009) One of the few female Tibetan Ph.D.s in China, Padmatsho is a professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Society at the Southwest Nationalities University in Chengdu.
Quentin Devers
(August 2008-August 2009) A French archaeologist, Quentin Devers’ research is on the archaeology of Ladakh, and he was working at UVa on THL’s overall geographical data sets.
(August 2008-August 2009) Author of an important book on Katok Monastery, Sinongpentso is a professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Society at the Southwest Nationalities University in Chengdu.
Thubten Phuntsok
Thubten Phuntsok is a Distinguished International Fellow and was a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia in 2009.  He is a senior professor of Tibetology at Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu and a leading scholar of Tibetan medicine and Tibetan history.  Trained as a medical doctor in the Tibetan tradition, he has published numerous books in a range of disciplines and is founder and president of the first Tibetan-run non-profit on the Tibetan plateau working to prevent HIV/AIDS.
Tsewang Lhamo
(August 2007-August 2008) A prominent scholar in Bejing focused on Tibetan language and literature, Tsewang Lhamo is a professor of Tibetan Language at the Central University of Minorities in Beijing.
Tsering Perlo
(January 2007-July 2007, October 2007-March 2008) Director of the Eastern Tibetan NGO Rabsal, Tsering Perlo trained in participatory film making at UVa and worked on our Eastern Tibetan video collections.
Tudengdawa is from Ganzi County in Kham. He is a MA student who just finished his second year at the Tibetan Studies College at Minzu University in Beijing where he is working on a thesis focused on the persistence of Tibetan Buddhism in the midst of Chinese-dominated culture at Wutai Mountain in Shanxi Province.
Yangmotso was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Virginia for 2009-2010 as well as a rising young scholar of classical Tibetan studies in China. She holds a doctoral degree in Tibetology from Minzu University of China (MUC) in Beijing. Her dissertation focused on the ancient Tibetan kings of the Imperial Period.
Ania Urbanska
(January to May 2008)
Rikpai Dorje
Drongbu Tsering
Wang Songping
Li Tao
Liu Zhiyang