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Wednesday Seminar | Contested (Geo)Politics of Reincarnation: Tibet and China | 20 December, 2023 @ 3 P.M. IST | Zoom Webinar

20 Dec 2023
Dibyesh Anand
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 3:00 PM

Reincarnation is a fundamental part of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan and Himalayan socio-political world for many centuries. Modern nation-states are based on principles of territoriality and sovereignty, while the principle and practice of reincarnation defies both. Yet, as the Tibet question in contemporary international relations highlights, matters of emanation, reincarnation, and so on, go beyond Buddhism and religious scholarship. The talk will analyse the modern incarnation of the reincarnation/tulku system, both in China-controlled Tibet (proliferation of “living Buddhas”, domestication of the practice to allow only “patriotic” lamas) and in exile. While identifying tensions between sacrality and temporality when it comes to reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism within the wider contexts of China-Tibetan, China-India (including border relations) and China-West relations, the talk will also analyse the (im)possibility of reconciling traditional fluid non-modern ideas (such as reincarnation) with modern secularist ideas and practices of politics and international relations.


About the Speaker

Dibyesh Anand is the Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Employability) at the University of Westminster in London. A professor of international relations, he is the author of monographs titled, Geopolitical Exotica: Tibet in Western Imagination, Tibet: A Victim of Geopolitics, and, Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear. He has also spoken about, and published extensively on varied topics, including postcolonial politics and international relations, Tibet, China-India border dispute, Hindu nationalism, Islamophobia, and, colonial practices of postcolonial states. He is the Co-Chair of Westminster's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee and the Chair of London Higher's EDI Network.  He is on twitter @dibyeshanand


About the Chair

Tshering Chonzom Bhutia is Advisor and In-charge at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA). She is also Associate Editor with the India Quarterly journal. Prior to this, Tshering was an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies. She received her PhD in Chinese Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, in 2014. She has been a recipient of a ICSSR Project, and a China India Scholar-Leaders Initiative (CISLI) Fellow. She has also received other short-term fellowships in China, US and, Taiwan. Tshering has about two decades of expertise in research, policy advice, editing and programme coordination. Her areas of interest include negotiation theory and conflict resolution, the Tibet issue, and internationalization strategies of India, China, and select countries in the Asia Pacific region (through the lens of higher education cooperation). She has written and spoken on these issues at various national and international forums.


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