Imagining Tibet in China: Spiritualism of Nation and Nationalism (completed)
Principal investigator: Dan Smyer Yu
The “imagined Tibet” in the West has been critiqued as a highly-pronounced, global phenomenon; however, how Tibet has been imagined in China since the middle of the last century is rarely addressed by scholars. Unlike existing literature on the topic, this book isn’t another one of those writings in which Tibet is often seen from outsiders’ perspectives and thus is probed as if it had little agency of its own responding to the ongoing global popular fixation on things Tibetan. Instead this book focuses on a set of complex relationships between religion and place-making; religion and nationalism; nostalgia and imagination; utopia and state ideology; the state and ethnicity; secularism and spiritualism; and finally diversity and unity. All these complexities will be contextualized in modern/contemporary China. The theoretical goals of this project are to develop fresh perspectives to address nationalism and cultural revivals by exploring and synthesizing different strands of existing theories.