Panel on Sustainable Development in Practice

News item posted on: January 15th, 2010
Sustainable Development in Practice: Education, community development and urban planning

Gitile Naituli: Associate Professor of Business Management at the Department of Business Management, Multimedia University, Kenya. The presentation will focus on the significance of education to sustainable development.

Shuaib Lwasa: PhD Candidate in Geographic Information Systems for Urban Planning and management at Makerere University, Uganda. The presentation will focus on the relationship between urban poverty and environmental burdens in the context of sustainable development and how communities, researchers and civil society organizations have teamed up to find local solutions to local problems.

Thupten : Field staff at Winrock International working in community development on the Tibetan plateau. The presentation will focus on community development and a case study of Eco-tourism service and waste disposal in Tibet.

Sponsored by Machik at UVa and TSGP

Lecture by Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen

News item posted on: November 25th, 2009
Improving Maternal Health Outcomes in Tibet

By Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, MIIM, MPH, PhD

Dr. Gyaltsen is a Tibetan medical doctor, Buddhist monk, and leader in Tibetan rural development. He will present his work on maternal health and education in Tibet. Dr. Gyaltsen has worked on public health initiatives within Tibet through NGOs, and the Chinese government. Dr. Gyaltsen is currently a PhD candidate at the UCLA School of Public Health.

Sponsored by the Tibet Center, Machik at UVa and TSGP

Lecture by Melissa Kerin, Interpretations of a Tibetan Buddhist Temple

News item posted on: November 16th, 2009
Interpretations of a Tibetan Buddhist Temple:
An Art Historical and Ethnographic Analysis

By Melissa Kerin, Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary

Ellen Bayard Weedon Lectures in the Arts of Asia presents:
Following completion of her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, Melissa Kerin received a Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowship to continue her research on West Tibet’s late medieval painting traditions. While documenting and analyzing the art and architecture of the Tibetan cultural zone, Kerin pays particular attention to socio-political and aesthetic interactions between Tibet and its neighboring areas of India, Nepal, and China. Within this geographic scope, much of her published and current work relates to thematic issues of reuse, appropriation, memory, and replication. Kerin’s most recent publication is a catalogue entitled Artful Beneficence: Selections from the David R. Nalin Himalayan Art Collection (Rubin Museum of Art, 2009). For the current academic year, Kerin is a Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor at the College of William and Mary, where she is teaching courses on Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan art history.

With the generous support of the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, the Museum presents four lectures on South and East Asian art each year.

Panel Discussion, Nomad Life in Tibet

News item posted on: November 10th, 2009
Machik at UVa presents: Nomad Life in Tibet

A Nomad's Life

This panel will serve as a reflection on the lives and culture of Tibetan nomads, as well as a discussion of their concerns as their pastoral traditions confront rapid modernization. Q&A to follow.

A 15 minute trailer of the upcoming documentary release “A Nomad’s Life” will also be screened.

Participants, who are all former nomads, will include Gen. Thubten Phuntsok, Yangmotso, and Rabten Shatsang.

Sponsored by Machik at UVa and the Tibet Center at UVa.

Lecture by Prof. Thubten Phuntsok – Tibetan Medicine and Global Health: Rethinking the Relationship between Tradition and Modernity

News item posted on: November 2nd, 2009
Tibetan Medicine and Global Health: Rethinking the Relationship between Tradition and Modernity

By Thubten Phuntsok, Professor of Tibetology at Central Nationalities University in Beijing and founder of Tibetan Aids Prevention Association (TAPA)


Prof. Thubten Phuntsok will discuss the relationship between traditional Tibetan ideas of a healthy ecosystem and the modern conception of Global Health.  The lecture will introduce the Four (or Five) Elements theory in Tibetan Medicine, the causes of disease as imbalance, and the relation of Traditional Tibetan Medicine to the environment. During the course of the lecture Prof. Thubten Phuntsok will also address related aspects of Tibetan history and religion.

Thubten Phuntsok is a Distinguished International Fellow and Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia for 2009. He is a senior professor of Tibetology at Central Nationalities University in Beijing 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. Among his publications are a Grammar of Tibetan Language (1987) Chengdu, a two-volume History of Tibet (1994) Chengdu, Elements for the Study of the Physical Condition (1999) Beijing, Therapeutic Principles in Tibetan Medicine (2000) Beijing, The Relationship Between Mind and Body (2003) Lhasa, and Elements for the Study of Tibetan Medicine (2009) Beijing.

Professor Thubten Phuntsok is the founder and president of TAPA (Tibet Association for the Prevention of AIDS), the first non-governmental organization on the Tibetan Plateau focused on advancing AIDS awareness and medical training. He also serves on the advisory board of the non-profit Machik.

Sponsored by TSGP and the Tibet Center

Free Public Talk With Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Living with Joy

News item posted on: October 14th, 2009
Living with Joy

By Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Ligmincha Institute

Please join us at the University of Virginia for this unique opportunity to experience Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s personable teaching style, humor and warmth while receiving teachings from the ancient Tibetan Bon Buddhist tradition.

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha Institute. Rinpoche is the author of The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep; Tibetan Sound Healing; Wonders of the Natural Mind; Healing With Form, Energy and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen; and Unbounded Wholeness (with Anne Carolyn Klein).

Lecture by Yudru Tsomo; Banditry, Feuding and Conquest: The Rise of Gonpo Namgyel, an Eastern Tibetan Chieftain in the 19th Century

News item posted on: September 3rd, 2009
Banditry, Feuding and Conquest: The Rise of Gonpo Namgyel, an Eastern Tibetan Chieftain in the 19th Century

By Yudru Tsomu, Assistant Professor of History in the History Department at Lawrence University

This talk considers the local history surrounding the rise of Gonpo Namgyal, a secular personality who dominated Eastern Tibet in the nineteenth century. Gonpo Namgyal was a minor chieftain from the Nyarong region in Eastern Tibet. His rise can be analyzed from several perspectives which shed light on the nature of this understudied area. Research in this area calls attention to certain presumptions commonly found in accepted scholarship. Looking into the background that paved the way for Gonpo Namgyal’s success, an underlying motivation of this research is to demonstrate the importance of secular sources for obtaining a balanced history of Tibet, as well as to show how local history effects the direction of larger national history.

Yudru Tsomu is currently an Assistant Professor of History in the History Department of Lawrence University. She received her Ph.D. from the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Program at Harvard University in 2006, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University in 2007.

Co-sponsored by the Tibet Center and the East Asia Center

Lecture by Dibyesh Anand, Tibet’s Strategic Importance and Sino-Indian Relations

News item posted on: September 2nd, 2009
Tibet’s Strategic Importance and Sino-Indian Relations

By Dr. Dibyesh Anand, Associate Professor in International Relations, University of Westminster, UK

Dr. Dibyesh Anand

Dr. Dibyesh Anand

Charting the history and politics of introduction and implementation of ideas and practices of sovereignty, liberation, buffer state, and border, I will argue that Tibet’s strategic location has been constructed through an interaction between imperial histories, shifting geopolitics, and postcolonial state formation in China and India. What are the main strategic priorities for the two Asian countries in the Himalayan region? It is not the presence of many Tibetan exiles in India but the legacy of traditional Tibetan polity on boundary issue that is a source of tension in China-India relations. The lecture will offer a new perspective by ascribing the sensitivities over the border to a combination of Tibet’s strategic importance (military, economic, ecological) to China and India’s evolution into what I call ‘Postcolonial Informal Empires’.

Dr. Dibyesh Anand is a Reader (Associate Professor) in international relations at Westminster University in London. His publications are in the areas of Global Politics, Tibet, China, Hindu Nationalism, and Security. He is the author of Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear (Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming). He is currently working on a book China’s Tibet, a research project on Sino-Indian border regions, and majority-minority relations in India and China.

Lecture by John Ardussi, Patterns from the Past in Modern Bhutan

News item posted on: September 1st, 2009
Patterns from the Past in Modern Bhutan:
Bhutan’s Evolving Presence in the Himalayan Community

By John Ardussi, UVa Senior Research Fellow, and Researcher and Associate member of CNRS (Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique – Paris)

John Ardussi in Bhutan

John Ardussi in Bhutan

While Western tourists focus on Bhutan’s natural environment, Buddhist temples and monastic dance festivals, the country is moving rapidly in a new political direction.
In 2008, Bhutan adopted a modern constitution and held its first national elections, the culmination of a transformation project from kingship to parliamentary democracy. In this talk I will discuss the roots of this change of governance by considering earlier periods of socio-political transformation and the role of Buddhist institutions in Bhutan.

Please visit John Ardussi’s Profile to learn more.

Sponsored by the Tibet Center and the Center for South Asian Studies

IATH Fellows Brown Bag presentation by John Flower, Moral Landscape in a Sichuan Mountain Village

News item posted on: August 22nd, 2009
Moral Landscape in a Sichuan Mountain Village

By John Flower, Associate Member of the East Asia Center, and Head of the China Program at Sidwell Friends School.

This project explores the histories, beliefs, livelihoods, and local identities in Xiakou (sha-ko) Village, located in the mountains of Ya’an County, in western Sichuan Province of the People’s Republic of China. The goal of the project is to understand Xiakou Village as an evolving cultural landscape, defined as the interwoven field of physical environment, historical memory, and moral agency, in which particular places gather a people’s sense of themselves and serve as sources of belonging and identity.
This project will attempt to pioneer digital ethnography, or the interactive presentation of focused, long-term fieldwork research results in the form of an online monograph, media archive, and information structures such as relational databases, and GIS mapping. Our plan is to use the project’s digital form to reinforce its ethnographic content, using new technologies to render more transparent the relationship between source and interpretation, to open up non-linear narrative paths through the ethnography, and therefore to more vividly reveal the interconnections among different dimensions of village life that are the core content of the project.

Sponsored by IATH