Geotourism Policy Workshop

News item posted on: July 25th, 2009

February 22 – 27, 2009

As part of the Geotourism Initiative, Machik, co-hosted a workshop on tourism policy in Tibet with policymakers from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The workshop was held from February 22 to 27, 2009. The goal of the workshop was to explore alternative models of tourism that prioritize Tibetan communities, local economies and sustainable livelihoods. Supporting organizations and participants included the Center for Sustainable Destinations of the National Geographic Society and George Washington University Business School’s Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Lecture by Tenzin Tethong, If Not the Middle Way: Alternatives for the Tibetan People

News item posted on: July 20th, 2009
If Not the Middle Way:
Alternatives for the Tibetan People


Tenzin Tethong, President of the Dalai Lama Foundation and Chair of the Committee of 100 for Tibet, is the former Chairman of the Kashag (the Tibetan Cabinet) and U.S. representative of the Dalai Lama. He has taught in both History and Continuing Studies at Stanford University.

Tenzin Tethong will talk about how and why the Tibetan struggle in exile has changed from Independence to accommodation, and what the real prospects are for the Tibetan people in gaining any concessions from the Chinese leadership, or for redefining their struggle for greater freedom.




Lecture by Yongdrol K. Tsongkha, Life Among the People of Choni

News item posted on: July 7th, 2009
Life Among the People of Choni:
A Lost Tibetan Kingdom
Yongdrol K. Tsongkha

Yongdrol K. Tsongkha

Choni is a beautiful place on the north-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Still rarely known to the western world, it was a Tibetan Principality with over 500 years of history and a vital cultural centre on the Chinese-Tibetan Borderlands. Eighty years ago, Joseph Francis Rock (1884-1962), one of the last classic explorers, geographer, linguist and botanist, set foot on the Tibetan Plateau, embarking on his extensive expeditions in this area. His remarkable article in National Geographic in 1928, “Life Among the Lamas of Choni,” was the first written piece to vividly reveal to the world the mysteries of the religious festivals in Tibetan monasteries. His works and studies were testimony to a lost culture and tradition. His extraordinary visual materials of the Chinese-Tibetan borderlands and its people is unique and remains invaluable to the history of this region. Beyond this, the man is a fascinating character and his personal papers are rich in the texture and personality of their author.

Eighty years later, this carefully crafted documentary follows in the footsteps of this legendary explorer. By blending over 500 original photographs from Rock’s expeditions with modern images, and by weaving an extensively research chronology via narration and excerpts from his dairies, the film not only shows how eastern Tibet looked in the 1920s, but also portrays how the same places and people look now. It is a memorial meeting of the east and west, a long lasting dialogue between the past and the present.

Lecture by Chu Shulong, China’s "Tibet Issue" in a Changing Global Era

News item posted on: April 3rd, 2009
China’s “Tibet Issue” in a Changing Global Era:
A View From Beijing
Professor Chu Shulong

Chu Shulong at the University of Virginia, April 8, 2009

Dr. Chu Shulong is a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the School of Public Policy and Management and is the deputy director of the Institute of International Strategic and Development Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. From September 2006 until June 2007 he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. He was previously director for the North American Studies Division of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. He is also a Professor at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Party School and an advisor to China’s Central Television (CCTV) international reporting. Dr. Chu’s research covers political theory and Chinese politics, international relations, focusing on U.S. China policy and the Sino-U.S. relations, Asian security, and Chinese foreign and security policies. His most recent publications include The Sino-US Relations in the Post-Cold War Era; Basic Theories of International Relations; The World, the U.S., and China; Political Theories; and a forthcoming book, The Peaceful Rise and Development: China’s Foreign Strategy and Policy. Dr. Chu received a B.A. from Dalian Foreign Languages University, an M.A. in Law from the Beijing University of International Relations, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the George Washington University.

Autonomy and Nationalities Law in China: A Panel Discussion by Katherine P. Kaup, Peng Qian and Tashi Rabgey

News item posted on: March 3rd, 2009
China’s Nationalities Law: Prospects for Reform and Autonomy

Katherine P. Kaup, Furman University

Peng Qian, Central University for Nationalities, Beijing

Tashi Rabgey, University of Virginia

Sponsored by the East Asia Center

Lecture by Abraham Zablocki, The Dalai Lama and Taiwan

News item posted on: March 3rd, 2009
The Dalai Lama and Taiwan: The Globalization of Tibetan Buddhism and its Implications for Tibet, Taiwan, and China

By Abraham Zablocki, Agnes Scott College

The global spread of Tibetan Buddhism reveals a model of transnational complexity that extends our understanding of the dynamics of globalization. This paper explores the rapprochement between Taiwan and Tibetan exiles settled in South Asia and the consequences of this rapprochement for relations between both parties and China.
Tibetan Buddhism’s booming popularity in Taiwan created important religious and patronage links between the Tibetan diaspora and Taiwanese Buddhists, while also generating a framework for a transformed Tibetan-Taiwanese political relationship. These changes are simultaneously rooted in two very different cultural imaginaries: the mystique enjoyed by Tibetan tantric Buddhism in imperial-era China, and the global emergence of the Dalai Lama as an icon of transnational popular appeal. By exploring the intersection of these two imaginaries in the case of contemporary Tibetan Buddhism in Taiwan, the paper argues for an understanding of globalization and transnational complexity that can accommodate the interplay of multiple non-Western paradigms of tradition, modernity, and change, without using the West as the baseline against which globalization need be understood.

Sponsored by the East Asia Center and the Department of Anthropology

Lecture by John Flower, Reversing the Flow

News item posted on: March 3rd, 2009
Reversing the Flow: Place, Protest, and Hydraulic Engineering in Western Sichuan
By John Flower, Sidwell Friends, UVa

“Reversing the Flow: Place, Protest, and Hydraulic Engineering in Western Sichuan” explores the 2004 protests against the Pubugou dam in Hanyuan County as a case study of how cultural landscape informs local understandings of, and resistance to, global development schemes. The presentation maps out the many layers of meaning and historical memory in Hanyuan that the dam construction stirred to life, and looks more broadly at the current “re-engineering” of the fragile ecological and ethnic border zone along the Himalayan escarpment in western Sichuan.

Sponsored by the East Asia Center

Lecture by Dr. Amy Heller, Hidden Treasures from Dolpo

News item posted on: March 2nd, 2009
Hidden Treasures from Dolpo: Recent discoveries of Tibetan Manuscripts, Paintings and Sculptures

By Dr. Amy Heller, independent scholar affiliated with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, Paris), “Langues et Cultures de l’Aire Tibétaine”

The Tibet Center presents: Dr. Amy Heller will speak on the library of ancient (late 11th -15th centuries) Tibetan manuscripts discovered in Dolpo, a Himalayan region of Nepal, dr04_1244culturally closely connected with Tibet. She will set this discussion within the larger context of western Himalayas and Tibet. The presentation will include mural paintings and sculptures in metal and clay as well as the study of the manuscript illuminations and their dedications. Her book on this discovery is to be published by Serindia this spring.

Sponsored by the East Asia Center, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Art, and the South Asia Center

Lecture by Padma'tsho, A Cham Ritual of Padmasambhava

News item posted on: March 1st, 2009
A Cham Ritual of Padmasambhava in Tibetan Buddhism


By Padma’tsho, Southwest Nationalities Institute (Chengdu)

The first part of my talk explains that the Cham ritual of Padmasambhva is made up of three elements: the ritual of offering and reading scriptures; performing the Cham; and the empowerment of Padmasambhava, known as Lotus Light. The second part of my talk illustrates the Cham ritual of Padmasambhva. The Cham lasts ten days. Each of the two days of the Cham has its own meaning, called Skya-vchams and Dngos-gzhibut, each day requires a different means of performance. The Cham ritual of Padmasabhva has a total of eighteen parts and one of these parts has seventeen sections, so all together there are thirty-seven parts performed on the tenth day. In this talk, I will interpret the Cham ritual of Padmasabhva from four perspectives.

Sponsored by the East Asia Center

UVa Tibet Day

News item posted on: February 2nd, 2009
UVa Tibet Day

This event is open to anyone who is interested in learning about opportunities to engage UVa’s Tibetan Studies program, including Tibetan Language, Tibetan Religion, Modern Tibetan Studies, Travel Abroad opportunities, Tibetan Anthropology, and the many resources dr04_2960available at UVa. The first half will be an informational section with representatives from Tibetan Language, the Modern Tibetan Studies Program, the Religious Studies Department, Anthropology, The Tibetan and Himalayan Library, Machik, and the UVa Tibet Center. The program will include refreshments, Tibetan Calligraphy, and song and dance performances.

Sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures with support from the UVa Tibet Center