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CfP: Tibetanness outside Tibet

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Department of Southasian Studies

Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies,
University of Bonn, Germany
January 30th and 31st, 2020

Due to itsenormous expansionof and the networks established by the Tibetan Empire between the 7th and 9th century, Tibetan culture, language, and religion spread in a vast territory, reaching from Ladakh in the west to Dartsedo in the east,and covering parts of present-day Nepal (Mustang) and regions today administered by Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan).The area where Tibetic languagesare still spoken,and where cultural traits which can be identified as being of Tibetan origin persist,thereforegoes far beyond theactual Tibetan Autonomous Region and further Tibetan autonomous prefectures currentlyadministered by the People’s Republic of China. Thus, scholars often use the term “ethnic Tibet” to define this entire zone to distinguish it from today’s geopolitical entity Tibet. Butwhile the term “ethnic” implies a specific belonging to onegroup, in our workshop we will discuss in detail the various forms of assertion or rejection of belonging to a real or imagined wider Tibetan community among speakers of Tibetic languages outside of today’s geopolitical entity Tibet.

We thus invite scholars of different disciplines studying Tibetic speaking groupswith various religious affiliationsin present-day Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, focussingon identity(trans)formation processesamong these groups, to address, for instance,the following questions: Does the Tibetan past play a role and ifso,to whatextent for the identity(trans)formation processesamong these Tibetic speaking groups? Whatkind of endeavours topreserveand/or reviveTibetan heritage can be observed? Whatrole doglobal networks, social media, local and international NGOs, education institutions, and the respective statesplay? Are Tibetan Buddhism and symbols in general allocated to thisintegrative elements of the identity (trans)formation processes? Whatlocal and global factors contribute to the assertion or rejection of belonging to a wider Tibetan community? How do members of these groups define Tibetanness?

Interested scholars are encouraged to send an abstract (300 words) and a short biogra-phy (150 words) to the organisers (listed below)until June 21st, 2019. The organisers are applying for funds tocover travel and accommodation expenditures but are not able to promise those right now.


  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Carmen Brandt (Department of South Asian Studies,IOA,Univer-sity of Bonn),
  • Dr. Salomé Deboos (SAGE CNRS UMR 7363, University of Strasbourg)
  • Prof. Dr. Nicola Schneider (Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies,IOA,University of Bonn)

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