Exploring New Grounds in Himalayan Studies

Event description: 

Book Workshop

“Exploring New Grounds in Himalayan Studies: Niched Living, Transboundary State Effects, and Sustainability of Ethno-Ecological Heritages”


Yunnan Minzu University, Kunming, China
July 3-5, 2015


Organizers:  Dr.Prof. Wang Deqiang (Ronpa Tashi) 

                     Director of Yunnan Tibetology Research Center                

                     Vice President of Yunnan Minzu University   


                    Dr.Prof. Dan Smyer Yu

                    Founding Director of Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies

                    Yunnan Minzu University

                    anthrotopia@hotmail.com, dsmyeryu@gmail.com 

                    +86 139-1060-3084


Aims and Scope

This book workshop is geared toward exploring and interpreting the multi-dimensional meanings of what we call “niched living” in the modern greater Himalayan region. By “niched living,” we mean both the place-making process of a given native human population in an eco-geological sense and/or that population’s trans-environmental and transboundary mode of being in a geopolitical sense. Our emphasis is on the diverse human agentive responses to regionally transformative changes engendered by intensified inter-regional human migration, movements of capital, goods and technologies, and by climate change. Niched living is then understood as a complex mode of being forged by indigenous ecologically determined affordances and extragenous forces of change in both material and symbolic senses. We thus continue to identify the ecological, cultural and existential significances of how local environments shape the histories of diverse human communities in the greater Himalayan region. At the same time our critical inquiries include the questions of how the idea of modernity and the practices of modernization and globalization have complicated the meanings of geological contiguity, ecological continuity, indigenous modes of being, pan-regional cultural and religious traditions, and inter-civilizational contacts; how the trans-border effects of state-building engender the simultaneity of boundary marking, identity reclamation, flexible citizenship, and collaborative/contentious appropriation of natural resources; and how the highlands of the greater Himalayan region are increasingly becoming a focal point of global discourses on climate change, heritage preservation, and peace-building.


Partcipants and panel co-chairs

Ashok Gurung, India China Institute, the New School

Gunnel Cederlöf, History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Hildegarde Diemberger, Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (MIASU), Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge.

Georgina Drew, Anthropology, the University of Adelaide, Australia

Brendan A. Galipeau, Anthropology, the University of Hawaii at Manoa

David Germano, Religious Studies/Tibetan Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Alexander Horstmann, Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen

Li Quanmin, Anthropology, Yunnan Minzu University

Li Yunxia, Anthropology, Yunnan Minzu University

Adam Liebman, Anthropology, University of California at Davis

Liang Yan, Ethnology, Southwest University for Nationalities

Losang Lindro Dorje (Luosang Lingzhi Duojie), China Tibetology Research Center

Jean Michaud, Anthropology, Université Laval

Nyingch Dorje, Tibetan Studies/Religious Studies, Minzu University of China

Qi Jinyu, Ethnology, Minzu University of China

Andrew Quintman, Religious Studies/Yale Himalaya Initiative, Yale University

Geoffrey Samuel, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University

Shen Haimei, Anthropology, Yunnan Minzu University

Dan Smyer Yu, Anthropology/Modern Tibetan Studies, Yunnan Minzu University

Tsebhe (Caibei), Tibetan Studies, Qinghai Minzu University

Sarah Turner, Geography, McGill University

Wang Deqiang (Ronpa Tashi), Tibetan Studies, Yunnan Minzu University

Wang Jianhua (Nyawrbyeivq Aryoeq), Anthropology, Yunnan Minzu University

Yang Cheng, Anthropology, Yunnan Minzu University

Emily Yeh, Geography, University of Colorado Boulder

Zengji Zhuoma, Institute for Panchen Studies, Qinghai Normal University

Li Zhang, Anthropology, University of California at Davis