Unruly Mountain: Transformative Encounters in the Chinese-Tibetan Borderland, 1371 to 1701


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants




This dissertation examines a three-century struggle in the mountains of western China. From 1371 to 1701, both the Chinese and Tibetans proactively moved into the borderland region and encountered mountain dwellers. Power was negotiated on the ground in multiple ways, creating a political, religious and economic spectrum on the borderland that was reflected through cultural and spatial hierarchies. This dissertation investigates how the dynamic interaction between the Chinese, the Tibetans and the mountain dwellers in a borderland region reflects the Ming’s contingent ethnic discourse and territory perception, the Tibetans’ transformative vision of a Buddhist community, and the local people’s improvisation between superficial obedience and subversive resistance.