Film Screening: Crisis of Tibetan Language Loss and Khashem Gyal’s Valley of Heroes

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Date: Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time: 6PM

Venue: Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 113, 1957 E Street NW

Valley of Heroes is a feature-length ethnographic film documenting language and cultural loss in a Tibetan community  of Amdo in north-eastern Tibet (Qinghai). Over the past decades, Tibetans living in Hualong County (དཔའ་བོའི་ལུང་པ་) have experienced rapid cultural shifts and accelerated language loss.  Today a third of the population are unable to speak their native language. The film spends time with an assortment of village residents and elders who reflect on the changes taking place in their community, and also documents a unique Tibetan language program that is attempting to address the situation. Valley of Heroes offers a rare and thought-provoking glimpse into a Tibetan society caught in the midst of a painful and complex cultural transition.  

About the Director
Khashem Gyal is a graduate of Qinghai Nationalities University. He is the founder of the Amilolo Film Group, a film group dedicated to educating young Tibetans about digital video production and supporting a new generation of Tibetan filmmakers. He is also a core member of Plateau Photographers.  Khashem Gyal has directed numerous short films about Tibetan life and culture. Valley of Heroes is his first full-length documentary film. Khashem Gyal is currently in Washington DC as a Machik Fellow.


Lecture at Sichuan University on Governance Paradigm

On April 23, Dr. Tashi Rabgey was a guest lecturer at Sichuan University’s Center for China’s Western Frontier Security, Development and Cooperative Innovation. Faculty and students participated in her talk on “Development of Governance as a New Paradigm for Social and Political Organization: From Theory to Practice in Comparative Context.” Dr. Rabgey’s presentation discussed governance as a framework for the Tibet issue in the context of comparative fieldwork in Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq and the Karen State of Burma.

Sichuan University Talk speaking

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Governance of Conservation and Biodiversity in the Tibetan Region

Ethan Golding, Tibet specialist and director of Winrock International in China

Ethan Golding, Tibet specialist and director of Winrock International in the PRC

Seminar on Governance of Conservation and Biodiversity in the Tibetan Region

February 12, 2014

Ethan Golding is a Tibet specialist and Director of Winrock International in the PRC.  Now based in Chengdu, he was trained in East Asian studies at Harvard and Stanford and first traveled to Tibet in 1983.

Blogpost by Tenzin Tekan

In his recent seminar at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Ethan Golding, director of Winrock International in the PRC, raised the question:  how can dynamism in conservation and biodiversity in the Tibetan region be strengthened? Read the rest of this entry »


Rethinking the Sino-Tibetan Frontier

tenzin jinba pic

Dr. Tenzin Jinba, Lanzhou University – Washington DC, February 2014

Seminar on Gender, Identity Politics and State-Society Relations on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier

February 3, 2014

Dr. Tenzin Jinba, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Lanzhou University, Gansu province; Postdoctoral candidate, Yale University

Review by Dr. Tashi Rabgey

During a fieldtrip in 2010 to study language policy in eastern Tibet, I took the opportunity to travel to Gyarong, a land fabled among Tibetans for its distinctive linguistic traits and cultural character.  There, as promised, I was duly struck by the extraordinary features of the Gyarong local world.  The language, for instance, would take deliberate study and effort to Read the rest of this entry »


Multilingual Proficiency and Employment Opportunities for Tibetans: Case Study of Rebgong

Visiting scholar at University of Maryland

Yumkyi Dolma, Visiting Fellow at the University of Maryland

Multilingual Proficiency and Employment Opportunities for Tibetans: Case Study of Rebgong

Yumkyi Dolma is a graduate student at the Central Minzu University in Beijing who specializes in education. She has conducted fieldwork on the impact of multilingual education in the northeastern region of Amdo (Qinghai province).  She discussed her ongoing and prospective research on the relationship between multilingual proficiency and employment opportunities for Tibetans in the county of Rebgong (Tongren).  She is currently completing a visiting fellowship at the University of Maryland where she focused her studies on sociolinguistics. Read the rest of this entry »


Film Screening and Discussion: Education for Girls of Minority Nationalities in the PRC – Lahu Case Study in Comparative Context

Film Screening and Discussion: Education for Girls of Minority Nationalities in the PRC – Lahu Case Study in Comparative Context

Film Screening to be followed by discussion led by film-maker Dr. Xing

Teng

Dr. Xing Teng of Central University of Minzu – Tibet Governance Project, Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington DC.

Dr. Xing Teng is a Professor of Education and Anthropology at the Central Minzu University in Beijing. Funded by the Ford Foundation, the film spans a five-year ethnographic case study of girls from the Lahu community along the Mekong/Lancang River on the Burmese border. The film, translated into English as “Lahu Girls’ Expectations: An Anthropological Documentary” tracks the effects of transitioning from a traditional matriarchal society to a globalized context through the formal education system. What were the expectations? What was the outcome? What was the role of education? How did the state school manage the relationship between the state’s agenda and ethnic nationalism in a multilingual society?


China’s Environmental Movement: A View from Beijing

Liu Jianqiang

Liu Jianqiang speaking at the Tibet Governance Project, Elliott School of International Affairs, April 2013

China’s Environmental Movement: A View from Beijing

LiuJianqiang is Beijing Editor of Chinadialogue.net, an online, bilingual forum on environmental issues in China.

Formerly a senior investigative reporter with Southern Weekend, China’s most influential investigative newspaper, he is known for his exposes of the controversial Tiger Leaping Gorge dams in southern Yunnan, genetically modified rice, and the Summer Palace Lake Reconstruction Project, all of which led to shifts in government policy. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal’s study of investigative journalism in China as well as in China Ink, the Changing Face of Chinese Journalism, and his books include Heavenly Beads: A Tibetan Legend (2009) and The Last Raft on the Jinsha River (2012). Read the rest of this entry »


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