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Spring Term 2016



Thursday, April 28, 2016, 5 pm
Amdo Lamas at the Center of Modern Conceptions of TibetCANCELED
Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Associate Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Columbia University
370 Dwinelle

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This talk will cover the spread of Gelukpa monastic education to Amdo, introducing the intellectual climate in Amdo during the Qing. It will especially focus on Amdo lamas who went to Beijing and how their encounter with others (Mongolian, Chinese, Russians, etc.) reshaped their conception of Greater Tibet. Finally, it will discuss the impact of their geographic writings on conceptions of Tibet then and since.

Gray Tuttle received his AB from Princeton, his MA in regional studies (East Asian), and his PhD in Inner Asian and Altaic studies from Harvard. He joined the Columbia faculty in 2005 where he teaches courses on modern Tibetan history, the history of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist relations, Tibetan Buddhist biographies, and Tibetan civilization.

In his Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China (Columbia University Press, 2005), Professor Tuttle examines the failure of nationalism and race-based ideology to maintain the Tibetan territory of the former Qing empire as integral to the Chinese nation-state. He discusses the critical role of pan-Asian Buddhism in Chinese efforts to hold onto Tibetan regions (one quarter of China’s current territory). His current research project, “Amdo Tibet: Middle Ground between Lhasa and Beijing,” focuses on Tibetan Buddhist institutional growth and intellectual developments from the seventeenth to the twentieth century and how the spread of Gelukpa monastic education reshaped Amdo, Amdo's relations to Central Tibet and Beijing, and conceptions of Tibet in general. He also co-edited Sources of Tibetan Tradition for the series Introduction to Asian Civilizations, The Tibetan History Reader (Columbia University Press) and Wutaishan and Qing Culture (JIATS issue 6).