2012 Conference

China and Inner Asia Session 77

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Roundtable: A Quarter Century of Fieldwork in Tibet: A Panel in Honor of Melvyn Goldstein - Sponsored by China and Inner Asia Councial (CIAC)

Organizer and Chair: Geoff Childs, Washington University, St. Louis, USA

Discussants: Charlene E. Makley, Reed College, USA; Hildegard Diemberger, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Melvyn C. Goldstein, Case Western Reserve University, USA; Paul K. Nietupski, John Carroll University, USA

Melvyn Goldstein has led of life of scholarly “firsts”, starting in 1968 with earning the first Ph.D. in Tibetan anthropology in the United States. Having first visited Tibet in 1985, he signed the first research agreement with the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences in 1986, and was the first western anthropologist to do fieldwork in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. His histories of modern Tibet are monuments in the field, and his A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State is the only book on a Tibetan topic to have been awarded recognition by the Association of Asian Studies. He was also an early scholar to publish on Tibet in the Journal of Asian Studies. He is Co-Director of The Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), which was founded in 1987. Given the wealth of his experiences in Tibet for over a quarter century, he will lead off this panel discussing some of the changes and challenges in the practice of anthropology in Tibet. One of the central problems the panel will consider is just how one can do anthropological research in Tibet: What are the limitations? How has the situation changed over the years? What are the differences between different regions of Tibet? And what we might expect for the future? Another topic for discussion will be the overlapping role of history and anthropology in Tibetan studies. Scholars from Europe, the United States and China will address these and other issues that arise in the discussions. Panelists: Bejor (Ben Jiao), Geoff Childs, Sienna Craig, Hildegard Diemberger, Melvyn Goldstein, Charlene Makley, and Dawa Tsering.