Bard News & Events

Press Release


Darren O'Sullivan
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Wednesday, October 19, Bard in China will gather a panel of scholars to discuss the sacred landscapes of Tibet. The panel, “Panel on Tibet: The Meaning of Sacred Landscapes,” will include presentations on the impact of the Tibetan landscape on Chinese artists and writers, and a talk on the ways sacred landscapes continue to define cultural identity and sense of place after decades of state-led industrialization and ideological regimentation. The panel takes place at 6:30 p.m. in room 115 of the Olin Language Center. The talk is presented by Bard in China, with support from the Freeman Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative. Li-Hua Ying, associate professor of Chinese at Bard, will discuss “When Tibet Beckons,” a look at Chinese writers and artists who began to arrive in Tibet in the 1980s to find inspiration for their own work. Ma Lihua, a woman who lived in Lhasa for more than twenty years, and Wen Pulin, an artist and art critic from Beijing who has made frequent trips to the region, are the focus of this talk. Both have written extensively about Tibet and its people. Ying, who is developing a course in this topic area, will also talk about the trip she made to Tibet in the summer 2005 and her experience with the writings of Ma and Wen. Ying has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from University of Texas, Austin, and a B.A. from Yunnan Normal University in China. Christopher Reed Coggins, associate professor of geography and Asian studies at Simon’s Rock College of Bard, will present “Tibetan Sacred Landscapes and the Constitution of Place in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands.” In his talk, Coggins will discuss the tension between global and state conservation efforts and those of local Tibetan villages. In Tibetan communities of northwest Yunnan province, sacred mountains, forests, and ponds have survived decades of state-led industrialization and ideological regimentation, and they continue to define cultural identity and sense of place. Global nature conservation discourse and Western desires for an authentic and enduring Tibet now converge with official regional development plans. Renaming Zhongdian County “Shangri-La,” planners are capitalizing on tourist demand for a “real Tibet,” which seekers believe has been destroyed or will soon vanish. Some villagers employ geopiety to promote their home places in the marketplace of small-scale ecocultural tourism and to protect their territories from appropriation by those engaged in the large-scale tourism industry. Looking at Hamagu Village, this talk outlines points of conflict and cooperation between tourists’ desires for immersion in a mythicized paradise and local peoples’ goals for establishing greater economic and cultural autonomy. For more information about the lecture, please call 845-758-7388 or e-mail # # # (9.29.05)

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This event was last updated on 10-20-2005