Genealogies of Knowledge: Reading Gsan yig/Thob yig Literature from the Tibetan Frontiers of Late Imperial China

Collaborative Group

Dr. Matthew William King


Religious Studies


University of California, Riverside


Life writing began to be pursued with vigor in Tibetan cultural regions beginning in the twelfth century. This workshop will host an interdisciplinary team of scholar to read together a widespread but neglected Tibetan autobiographical genre known as "records of teachings received" (Tib. gsan yig/thob yig). Each day, two participants will direct our reading of selections a gsan yig text. Together we will: 1) identify, translate, and interpret sections from each text where the author discusses their work as literature (ie. reflections on style, rhetorical devices, and gsan yig as literary self-stylization) and 2) discuss future collaborative digital humanities projects that could better map and share the mass data points described in these texts (persons, places, transmission).