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