Re-Imagining the Buddhist Kingdom of Nangchen


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Based on recent local historiographies, ethnography, and oral histories, this project studies contemporary representations of the historical Tibetan kingdom of Nangchen located in today’s Yushu prefecture, Qinghai province of China. The project asks how today Tibetans in Yushu and in exile re-imagine Nangchen as a Buddhist society. The study examines the content of the local narrative, the process of its re-production, and its significance for global Buddhism. Research examines written, oral, and performative memory practices around Nangchen’s final period (1912-1951) within the framework of postcolonial and diaspora studies. This study will impact the humanities more broadly, as it considers the moral and metaphysical dimensions of global re-visionings of a local collective identity.