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The 15th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies

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Cameron David Warner - Participant

Harmandeep Kaur Gill - Organizer

Following calls to increase the impact of Tibetan studies on the humanities and social sciences more generally, in this panel, we present papers that aim to develop innovations on classical anthropological theory using material from the Tibetan world as well as develop distinctively Tibetan ethnographic theories. The first subpanel, "Developing Tibetan Ethnographic Theory" explores how and why we might aim to transform distinctively Tibetan concepts or practices into ethnographic theory. The second subpanel, "Tibetan Ethnographic Theory and Impermanence" focuses on one particular concept prevalent in Tibetan Buddhist communities: impermanence (mi rtags pa). These papers investigate how the concept of impermanence is materialized in people’s daily actions, social interactions, and their response to their surroundings. Rather than begin with an emic concept, the third subpanel, "Tibetan Ethnographic Theory and Generational Change" tests the utility of Tibetan ethnographic theory through papers focused on aging, growing interest in anthropological research globally. In sum, these papers take primarily a "negative strategy" whereby they challenge Western-dominated anthropological theory from a Tibetan point of view. By "Tibetan," we prioritize Tibetan sources over European sources for both foreshadowed research questions (such as philosophic and other culturally-derived concepts) and questions arising out of fieldwork among Tibetans. In future, we aim to develop a "reverse strategy" wherein empirical cases from anywhere could be read in light of Tibetan thought (in lieu of continental European philosophy and social theory).
9 Jul 2019


ConferenceThe 15th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies
LocationInstitut national de langues et civilisations orientale
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ID: 186355500