Courses in Modern Tibetan Studies

Culture & History Courses
Language Courses

CULTURE & HISTORY COURSES

SPRING 2011

SURVEY OF TIBETAN LITERATURE
(East Asian W4545; Call Number: 67900; 4 points)
408 Hamilton Hall more info
A ONE-TIME-ONLY COURSE
The primary aim of this course, which is designed for both undergraduate and graduate students, is to introduce a sample of Tibetan literary works spanning from the Tibetan imperial period to the present-day.  We shall focus on belles-lettres (available in English translation) by past and
contemporary Tibetan scholars whose works have found special salience among Tibetan
intellectuals in the People's Republic of China. We will undertake close readings of these texts, in
addition to discussing general characteristics of the genres they represent. Special emphasis will be
placed on vernacular literature, and landmark works from the post-Mao period.  This course will
not provide an overview of religious and philosophical literature.

This course is a seminar meeting on Mondays from 4:10pm to 6:00pm. Instructor: Lauran Hartley

CULTURE & ART IN CONTEMPORARY TIBET
(East Asian W4545; Call Number: 99796; 3 points)
408 Hamilton Hall more info

In this course, we study films, poems, stories, paintings, pop songs and other forms of cultural product that have been made by Tibetans in the last 3 or 4 decades, together with some made by
others in their name or in their areas. We discuss questions of identity, survival, history and the
politics of representation. We'll look at questions about cultures and continuity; about whether and
how we as outsiders can come to understand or interpret the culture of a country whose language and history we may barely know; about the interplay of texts, politics, and power; and about ways
of reading and interpreting artworks and the meanings that they generate in politically charged
societies and communities.

This course is a seminar meeting on Mondays from 2:10pm to 3:55pm. Instructor: Robert Barnett

WOMEN VISIONARIES IN TIBET AND EAST ASIA
(East Asian W4560; Call Number:06492; 4 points)
903 Altschul Hall (Barnard) more info
A ONE-TIME-ONLY COURSE

This course explores the lives, roles and creativity of Tibetan, Chinese and Korean women visionaries (mediators, shamans, oracles, nuns and yoginis) from traditions including Buddhism and localized indigenous religions. We consider links between women's visionary activities and work as teachers, artists, healers and patrons. Materials include first-person accounts, biography, poetic works and secondary sources.
This course is a seminar meeting on Mondays from 2:10pm to 4:00pm. Instructor: Annabella Pitkin

INDO-TIBETAN YOGA TRADITIONS
(Religion W4020; Call Number: 72353; 4 points)
101 80 Claremont Ave. more info

With extensive readings on the concepts and practice of the Indic category of "yoga practice", this
seminar is an inquiry into the conceptualization of the "body" and its "liberation" in South and
Himalayan Asia. Special attention will be given to development of contemplative yogic traditions
within what come to be known as Tantric lineages of Buddhist and Hindu traditions.

This course is a seminar meeting on Wednesdays from 2:10pm to 4:00pm. Instructor: John Campbell

INTRODUCTION TO EAST ASIAN CIVILIZATIONS: TIBET
(East Asian V2365; Call Number: 06901; 4 points)
202 Milbank Hall (Barnard). more info

This course is a lecture offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00am-12:15pm. Instructor: Annabella Pitkin

 

SPRING 2010

Culture and Art in Contemporary Tibet
(East Asian W4545; Call Number: Forthcoming; 3 points)

In this course, we study films, poems, stories, paintings, pop songs and other forms of cultural product that have been made by Tibetans in the last 3 or 4 decades, together with some made by others in their name or in their areas. We discuss questions of identity, survival, history and the politics of representation. We'll look at questions about cultures and continuity; about whether and how we as outsiders can come to understand or interpret the culture of a country whose language and history we may barely know; about the interplay of texts, politics, and power; and about ways of reading and interpreting artworks and the meanings that they generate in politically charged societies and communities.

The course is a lecture offered Mondays from 2:10pm to 3:55pm. No approvals or prerequisites are required for this course. Instructor: Robert J. Barnett

 

Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Tibet
(ASCE 2365; Call Number: 86146; 3 points)

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the evolution of civilization and culture in Tibet from ancient times to the twentieth century, with attention to important individuals, though, and literature and the arts.

The course is a lecture offered Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:10pm to 5:25pm. No approvals or prerequisites are required for this course. Instructor: Gray W. Tuttle

 

Rise of Modern Tibet: 1600-1913
(East Asian History W4700; Call Number: 84031; 4 points)

This course covers a broad view of Tibetan history from the 1600-1913 by examining the institutional history of major Tibetan state structures and their rivals in the Tibetan borderlands. The three main themes to be explored are the cosmopolitan aspects of Tibetan culture, the central role of Buddhist religion in Tibet, and the social and economic world which shaped the experiences of Tibetans.

This course is a seminar meeting on Tuesdays from 2:10pm to 4:00pm. Introductin to Tibetan Civilization is recommended, but not required. Instructor: Gray W. Tuttle.

 

Representing Chinese and Tibetan Relations in History
(East Asian History W4866; Call Number: 72351; 3 points)

 

FALL 2009

Film & TV in Tibet and Inner Asia (East Asian W4557; Call Number: 87399; 3 points)

The course uses films and television dramas made in China or Inner Asia about Tibet, Mongolia, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and other nationalities to study the history and the cultural politics of those areas. It looks at the ways the state, nation, culture, and politics of these areas are represented at different times through film and other visual media in the region. .

The course is a seminar meeting on Mondays 2:10pm to 4:00pm in Room 522D, Kent Hall. The weekly film viewings are open to all, and on Tuesdays from 7:10pm to 9:30pm in 522D Kent Hall. No approvals or prerequisites are required for this course. Instructor: Robert J. Barnett

 

20th Century Tibetan History (East Asian W4720; Call Number: 26999; 4 points)

This course is designed for students interested in gaining a broad view of Tibetan history in the 20th century. We will cover the institutional history of major Tibetan state institutions and their rivals in the Tibetan borderlands, as well as the relations with China, Britain, and America. Discussion sessions throughout the semester will focus on important historical issues.

This course is a seminar meeting on Thursdays from 4:10pm to 6:00pm in 402 Hamilton Hall. Tibetan Civilization is recommended, but not required. Instructor: Gray W. Tuttle

 

Buddhist Texts (Religion G9031; Call Number: 91897; 3 points)

This course is a seminar meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am to 11:30am in 303 80 Claremont. Instructor approval is required. Instructor: Robert A. Thurman

 

Indo-Tibetan Buddhism (Religion V2005; Call Number 98442; 3 points)

This course gives a historical introduction to Buddhist thought, scriptures, practices, and institutions. Attention is given to Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantric Buddhism in India, as well as selected non-Indian forms. The course fulfills the Global Core requirement.

This course is a lecture meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:10pm to 5:25pm in 301 Pupin Laboratories. No prerequisites or approvals are required. Instructor: Robert A. Thurman.

 

OTHER COURSES (not offered in 2009-10)  

Biography, Memory and Modern Tibet: the Reading and Writing of Life Stories
(East Asian G4618; 3 points)

A study of modern Tibet through its biographies, autobiographies, testimonies and life-stories. The course involves reading and analyzing texts by officials, intellectuals, lamas, and revolutionaries in translation, studying their influences, and carrying out interviews with Tibetans in the community.

 

Exploring Tibet: 17 th-20 th Century Travel Accounts
(East Asian History W4710; 4 points)

Studies history of descriptions of Tibet with a focus on new explorations. The course starts with a look back to the legacy of Catholic religious and British trade missions to Tibet, as well as Tibetan missions that expanded the frontiers of Tibet. But the main focus is on 19th and 20th century topics including adventure and scientific missions in the service of imperial expansion, Tibetan pilgrimage and claims for territory, the "Great Game" for dominance of Central Asia, the role of photojournalism & the photographic representation of Tibet and the globalization of markets and culture.

 

Tibetan Material History (East Asian History W4725; 4 points)

A seminar exploring the nature and implications of Tibetan visual and cultural material in historical context, with biweekly visits to NYC area museum collections. Topics include object biographies, Buddhist art & ritual objects, Tibetan arms & armor, clothing & jewelry, rugs & furniture. As we explore the incredibly rich Tibetan material resources of New York City's museums, students will have the opportunity to encounter first hand objects from Tibet's past. While the class as a whole will survey a wide variety of materials‑‑from swords & armor to Buddhist images & ritual implements, from rugs & clothes to jewelry & charms. Students will select one or two objects as the subject of their object biographies. There will also be opportunities to explore the process and motivations for building collections and displaying Tibetan material culture.

Prerequisites: One page applications stating a student's interest and background (if any)

 

Understanding Modern Tibet (East Asian W4550; 3points)

Provides a survey of the historical and political, cultural and social contours of contemporary Tibet, and especially the dynamic between tradition and modernity as it has been played out over the last hundred years. This course will look at modern literature, popular writings, music, modern art, and film as well as the contemporary expression of ideology, religion, gender and oppositional politics.

 

 

 

LANGUAGE COURSES

SPRING 2011  

ELEMENTARY MODERN TIBETAN II (Tibetan G450; Call Number: 81696; 5 points)
Mon Tues Wed Thurs 6:10pm-7:00pm, Fri 10:00am-10:50am
424 Kent Hall more info
Instructor: Tenzin Nangsal

 

INTERMEDIATE MODERN TIBETAN II
(Tibetan G4604; Call Number: 85946; 3 points)
Tuesday Thursday 10:30am-12:00pm
522A Kent Hall. more info
Instructor: Tenzin Nangsal

 

ADVANCED MODERN TIBETAN II
(Tibetan G6412; Call Number: 86896; 3 points)
Monday Wednesday 11:00am-12:30pm
Location TBD more info
Instructor: Tenzin Nangsal

 

ELEMENTARY CLASSICAL TIBETAN II
(Tibetan W4411; Call Number: 88748; 3 points)
Contact instructor for details. more info
Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

INTERMEDIATE CLASSICAL TIBETAN II.
(Tibetan W4413; Call Number: 92146; 3 points)
Contact instructor for details more info
Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

ADVANCED CLASSICAL TIBETAN
(Tibetan W4416; Call Number: 97646; 3 points)
Contact instructor for details. more info
Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

SPRING 2010  

Elementary Classical Tibetan II (Tibetan W4411; Call Number: 92069; 3 points)
A continuation of Elementary Classical Tibetan I.
Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

Intermediate Classical Tibetan II (Tibetan W4413; Call Number: 27195; 3 points)
This course is a continuation of Intermediate I.  
Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

Advanced Classical Tibetan (Tibetan W4416; Call Number: 81761; 3 points)
Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

Elementary Modern Tibetan II (Tibetan G4601; Call Number: 11279; 5 points)
This course continues Elementary Modern Tibetan I and introduces students to conversational and basic written skills in the Lhasa dialect of modern Tibetan. Students are also introduced to modern Tibetan studies through selected readings and guest lectures.

Meets Mondays through Thursdays, from 4:30pm to 5:30pm and Fridays, from 10:00am to 11:00am. Instructor: Tenzin Norbu Nangsal

 

Intermediate Modern Colloquial Tibetan II
(Tibetan G4604; Call Number: 25779; 3 points)
Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm.
Instructor:
Tenzin Norbu Nangsal

 

Advanced Modern Colloquial Tibetan II
(Tibetan G4612; Call Number: 29030; 3 points)
Meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm.
Instructor:
Tenzin Norbu Nangsal

 

FALL 2009  

Elementary Classical Tibetan I (Tibetan W4410; Call Number: 89530; 3 points)

An introduction to Classical Tibetan.

Meets Mondays and Wednesdays 9:10am to 10:25am in 201D Philosophy Hall. No approvals or prerequisites necessary. Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

Intermediate Classical Tibetan I (Tibetan W4412; Call Number: 88443; 3 points)

This course is a continuation of Elementary Classical Tibetan II, taught in the spring term.

Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

Advanced Classical Tibetan I (Tibetan W4415; Call Number: 93629; 3 points)

Instructor: Lozang Jamspal

 

Elementary Modern Tibetan I (Tibetan G4600; Call Number: 98750; 5 points)

This course introduces students to conversational and basic written skills in the Lhasa dialect of modern Tibetan. Students are also introduced to modern Tibetan studies through selected readings and guest lectures.

Meets Mondays through Thursdays, from 6:10pm to 7:00pm, in 112 Knox Hall, and Fridays, from 10:00am to 10:50am, in 114 Knox Hall. Instructor: Tenzin Norbu Nangsal

 

Intermediate Modern Colloquial Tibetan I (Tibetan G4603; Call Number: 79029; 3 points)

Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm in 907A, International Affairs Building. Instructor: Tenzin Norbu Nangsal

 

Advanced Modern Colloquial Tibetan I (Tibetan G4611; Call Number: 83782; 3 points)

Meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm in 907A, International Affairs Building. Instructor: Tenzin Norbu Nangsal