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Talk by Wang Tingyu

April 14, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Witchcraft, Ritualized Language, and War:
Language Performance as an Borderland Interaction from the Archives of the Two Jinchuan Campaigns

Contemporary discussions of rGyalrong Tibetans in Northwest Sichuan usually fall into debates regarding ethnicity, religion, and cultural authenticity. All of these approaches constitute attempts to draw boundaries between rGyalrong and others so that rGyalrong Tibetans may be defined within fixed categories. This talk will suggest another approach which involves exploring the structure of borderland interaction that the Qing Empire brought to this area, and which can be revealed through an examination of ritualized language utilized during the Two Jinchuan Campaigns, which took place between 1746-1749 and 1771-1776 within a wider military confrontation between the Qing Empire and the Sichuan rGyalrong Tibetans. In this talk, I propose that to understand the ambiguity of this interaction structure between borderland and empire is a new way to understand the contemporary situation of Sichuan rGyalrong under the PRC.

Wang Tingyu is a PhD candidate in Anthropology, Institute of Anthropology, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. He is currently a visiting researcher in UVA’s Anthropology Department as a recipient of the Fulbright Doctoral Research Grant. His research is focus on the kinship and social organization of rGyalrong Tibetan in Maerkang County, Aba Prefecture, Northwest Sichuan. His recent publications include a book chapter entitled “The House, the State and Changes: The Modernity of Sichuan rGyalrong Tibetan” in Modalities of Change: The Interface of Tradition and Modernity in East Asia (2012) and an article in the Taiwan Journal of Anthropology “From West to East: Rethinking Social Organization and Kinship studies in the Tibetan Himalaya through a Comparison between Sherpas and rGyalrongs” (14/2, 2016, p.92-144).



April 14, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


Nau Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903 United States


Tibet Center