Spring 2012

Beyond Shangri-La. Narratives of Tibet, East and West

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-325


Paola Zamperini (Section 01)


This course will look in depth at Asian and Western constructions of Tibetan identity in various sources and media, from Tibetan folk songs and legends to Buddhist philosophical and historical treatises, from Chinese Yuan and Ming dramas to Hollywood cinema, from Tibetan traditional art and music to some of its contemporary Western interpretations. By trying to get to the heart of Tibetan culture in this multimediatic universe, we will also try to map the ways in which, throughout different periods and at the hands of different agents, readers, and performers, “Tibet” has been constructed, invented, and deconstructed, as a site of identity, oppression, and resistance. The second part of the course will also involve sustained engagement with the Tibetan community in the Pioneer Valley, as the students will interview, in collaboration with the Shang Shung International Institute for Tibetan Studies and the Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts, local Tibetan immigrants and collect their stories about the ways in which they identify with Tibetan culture in the North American diaspora. Course participants will give updates about their fieldwork projects, and the course will culminate in the creation of database of the oral histories and narratives of Tibetans in the Pioneer Valley.

Spring semester.  Profesor Zamperini.


Community Based Learning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012