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The Melodious Sound of the Right-Turning Conch Historiography & Buddhist Counter-Development among Tibetans in China
The Melodious Sound of the Right-Turning Conch Historiography & Buddhist Counter-Development among Tibetans in China
WhenWednesday, May 9, 2018, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Campus locationAllen Library (ALB)
Campus roomAuditorium
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsOrganized by the Turkic and Central Eurasian Studies Program in the
Near Eastern Languages and Civilization Department with support from
the Department of Anthropology and the China Studies Program at the University of Washington
Description

The Melodious Sound of the Right-Turning Conch Historiography &
Buddhist Counter-Development among Tibetans in China

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
1:30 - 3:00 PM
Allen Auditorium

In this talk, we travel upriver from the famous Tibetan Buddhist town
of Rebgong in southeastern Qinghai province, China to the small and
marginalized Tibetan community of Langmo. Here we explore the stakes
and consequences of village history-making as a dialogic process in
the context of increasing state-led pressures on rural land use. I had
met Langmo elders back in 2005 when I was first looking for highland
communities to research. Langmo elders, it turned out, had their own
goals for our collaboration. Their counter-development plans for the
village meant “capturing” foreign donors and converting them to
village patrons. Thus my naive offer in 2008 to help fund Langmo’s
primary school roof repair drew me into deepening relationships with
villagers I had never anticipated. And that meant taking a role as a
key listener and medium for elders’ oppositional accounts of Langmo
history. In the face of resettlement pressures, elders insisted that
Langmo’s Buddhist history grounded the community’s sovereign right to
their former lands.

Charlene Makley is Professor of Anthropology at Reed College in
Portland, Oregon. Her work has explored the history and cultural
politics of state-building, economic development and Buddhist revival
among Tibetans in China’s restive frontier zone (SE Qinghai and SW
Gansu provinces) since 1992. Her first book, The Violence of
Liberation, was published in 2007. Her second book, The Battle for
Fortune: State-Led Development, Personhood and Power among Tibetans in
China (May 2018), is an ethnography of state-local relations in the
historically Tibetan region of Rebgong (SE Qinghai province) in the
wake of China’s Great Open the West campaign and during the 2008
military crackdown on Tibetan unrest. For more information about her
work visit: academic.reed.edu…

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