Tibetan Studies Events
- Buddhism in Modern Times
Lama Jampa Thaye
- The study of the Ganden phodrang aristocracy (1895-1959): new results through prosopography
Dr Alice Travers (CNRS)
This presentation discusses a socio-historical investigation into the aristocracy of the central government of Tibet (1895-1959). Oral and written sources built into a computerized database provides a basis to analyze noble lineage and government service. The database gives new insights into the general development of careers and marriage patterns.
- The Endurance of the Past in Modern Tibetan Literature
Existing research on modern Tibetan writing takes the 1980s as starting point. However, this interpretation ignores the styles, themes and concepts derived from Tibet’s rich and diverse oral traditions. This talk highlights this impact of the past on the present showing the influence of mgur, kāvya and oral poetry in the works of contemporary Tibetan poets.
- Photographing Spiti
Patrick Sutherland (University of the Arts London)
Patrick Sutherland has been photographing in the culturally Tibetan Spiti Valley in North India since 1993. What began as a one-off field trip has developed into a long-term documentary reportage with a particular interest in traditions of lay performance within Spiti’s villages. Informed by the relationship he has developed with the local communities, Sutherland’s practice has evolved over time, embracing photo elicitation and collaborative formal portraiture.
- An illustrated Introduction to the Pema Kathang, or 'Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava', as revealed in a series of twenty-six wall paintings from Mindrolling Stupa in India
These twenty-six magnificent frescos appear on the ground floor of the world's largest stupa, the Great Stupa of Mindrolling in Dehra Dun, India. The interior frescos of the stupa were painted by a group of around two hundred thangka painters between 2000 and 2002. They were then meticulously photographed by Gabriel Berde from New York, who spent almost as long in digitally capturing all the painted imagery within this Great Stupa between 2008 and 2010.
- Nyepas: The three humors in Tibetan Medicine
Dr Rigzin Sangmo
According to traditional Tibetan medicine, health is determined by five elements (earth, water, fire, wind, space) and three humors (rlung 'wind', mkhris-pa 'bile' and bad-kan 'phlegm'). This talk will introduce the three humors and explain their composition and function in the regulation of health.
- The sku-bla and its cult
Nathan W. Hill
Scholars usually regard the sku-bla as a mountain deity, with differing views on whether this cult is a foreign import or central to Imperial Tibetan religion. A re-examination of the relevant passages shows that the sku-bla is a ceremony central to the ideology of sacral kingship in the Old Tibetan Empire. It created a bond of vassalage between the celebrant and the Tibetan emperor, and was performed by vassals of the emperor rather than the royal court itself.
- The Shugden Controversy and the 14th Dalai Lama
This panel discussion will address the controversy surrounding the propitiation of Dorje Shugden in the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. It will include presentations by traditional exponents of both sides of the controversy and by academic authorities. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
- Rewriting the ancient history of Tibet
Yongdrol Tsongkha (Lanzhou)
Since 1982 thousands of tombs dating to the 7th–9th centuries have been discovered in the region of Dulan in western Kokonor and other areas. A great number of grave goods, such as gold, silver and silk artifacts, Tibetan inscriptions on stone and wood, and painted coffin are now circulating in public museums and private collections. Based on extensive fieldwork, this presentation surveys the tombs, gave goods, and recent research.
- Buddhas, masters, and protectors
Marta Sernesi (LMU, Munich)
This lecture treats woodcut images in Tibetan xylographs from the 15th to the 17th centuries. Focusing on specific examples—such as the 1539 first edition of the bKa' gdams glegs bam—it discusses the conventions governing the choice and display of the figures on the page, in order to illustrate how images may recount stories of textual transmission and relate information about the circumstances of production of the books.