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Tibetan Graduate Studies Seminar

The Tibetan Graduates Studies Seminar (TGSS) is a weekly series of colloquia and guest lectures at the Oriental Institute.
The intended purpose of the TGSS is to give MPhil and DPhil candidates a platform to present their work-in-progress and receive feedback from staff and affiliated scholars of the field.
Additionally, the weekly time slot will also allow visiting scholars to present their current research.
They are provided with the opportunity to engage in similar ways with both students and fellows of the Tibetan Studies department.

# Episode Title Description People Date
29 Dharmabhāṇakas, Siddhas, Avatārakasiddhas, and gTer stons This lecture offers a new look at the origins of Gter ma literature in an intertextual framework. Robert Mayer 08 Jun 2022
28 Early Explanations for the Appearance of Mahāyāna sūtras A presentation looking at how early Mahayana sutras explain where they came from. David Drewes 08 Jun 2022
27 Revelation and Rediscovery: Early Medieval Indian Origin Myths of the Tantras David Gray talks about revelatory or "treasure" texts from Indian and Tibetan perspectives in a comparative framework. David Gray 06 May 2022
26 Perfected Beings in Human Form: The Siddha Tradition in Śaiva Tantra John Nemec's talk on the origin of siddha and its polysemic application in Sanskrit textual sources. John Nemec 06 May 2022
25 Creative Commons The Dharmabhāṇaka’s Body and the Ontologization of Authority This talk by Natalie Gummer explores the role of Dharmabhāṇaka – those who recite the Dharma – in Mahāyāna Sutras Natalie Gummer 15 Mar 2022
24 Medicine Mountains along the Himalayas: Healing, Trade, and Ecology The Greater Himalayas extend through many different kinds of community. This lecture considers several ‘medicine mountains’, particular mountains that fold society and ecology together, and explores them as a comparative category Will Tuladhar-Douglas 25 May 2021
23 Why Go on Pilgrimage? Geomancy and the Transformational Powers of Sacred Places in Tibetan Buddhism and Bon This presentation considers the association between pilgrimage and healing in Tibet through an exploration of the process whereby natural sites are imbued with meaning Charles Ramble 25 May 2021
22 Reading khrims Between the Lines: The Rise of Legality in 13th Century Central Tibet Daniel introduces us to the term khrims and looks at the “rise of legality” in 13th century Central Tibet. Daniel Wojahn 25 May 2021
21 Virūpa is Virūpākṣa: Towards an Indo-Tibetan Siddha Corpus Westin Harris opens the dialogue between Tibetan, Nāth and Yoga studies centred around the figure of Virūpa Westin Lee Harris 12 May 2021
20 Buddhism and Gender Perspectives in Sikkim: Historical and Contemporary Approaches The talk explores the historical and contemporary influence of women in Sikkim from a Buddhist perspective Marlene Erschbamer 10 May 2021
19 Connections in the Making and Meaning of the Art of Bhutan and Tibet in the 17 th and 18 th Centuries: A Study of the Wall Paintings at Tango Monastery Pu Lan discusses her PhD project, which explores the 17th-century Monastery of Tango and how it illustrates the development of wall painting technology in Bhutan Pu Lan 31 Mar 2021
18 The Geluk Domestication of Tantra Brenton Sullivan presents his new book "Building a Religious Empire: Tibetan Buddhism, Bureaucracy, and the Rise of the Gelukpa" and discuss the third chapter, "Institutionalizing Tantra", in more detail Brenton Sullivan 31 Mar 2021
17 The Mongolian Kanjur - Should Tibetologists Care? Kirill Alekseev presents his latest research on the Mongolian Kanjur and its ramifications in Tibetan Studies Kirill Alekseev 16 Mar 2021
16 Layers of Protection: Everyday Life with Empowered Objects In her talk, Inger Vasstveit discusses “empowered objects” - small Buddhist objects that people wear on their person - in relation to the broader socio-political and cosmological environment in India Inger Vasstveit 02 Mar 2021
15 Death by Poisoning: Cautionary Narratives and Inter-Ethnic Accusations in Contemporary Sikkim Kikee Bhutia talks about the contemporary discourses around ‘othering’ in Sikkim and analyse the region’s inter-ethnic challenges Kikee Bhutia 04 Feb 2021
14 Fervent admiration and devotion: Exploring devotional literature in the collected works of the 3rd Dodrupchen Renée Ford's introduction to the devotional literature in the collected works of the 3rd Dodrupchen composed in admiration of his late teacher Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. Renée Ford 02 Feb 2021
13 The Role of Prophecies in the Construction of the Geluk Tradition In this talk, Michael Ium explores the role of prophecies in the legitimation and construction of the Geluk tradition. Michael Ium 03 Dec 2020
12 Liu pin fo lou (Building of Six Classes of Sutra and Tantra), the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon in the Forbidden City Ziyi Shao takes us to the reign of the Qianlong Emperor and will show us around the Fan hua lou (Hall of Buddhist Efflorescence), one of the most complex and prominent Buddhist monuments in the Forbidden city Ziyi Shao 26 Nov 2020
11 Culture of Emotions: Uses and Interpretations of Musical Heritage in the Tibetan Refugee Community of Dharamsala Chloé Lukasiewicz talk on the significance of music in the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamsala, India Chloé Lukasiewicz 19 Nov 2020
10 Buddhism and the Rise of ‘the Tibetans’ (bod pa): Religion, Myth and the Promotion of Ethnicity in the Pre-modern Period Apropos 'the Tibetans': Reinier Langelaar's talk focuses on the mythical origins and the promotion of ethnicity in historical Tibet Reinier Langelaar 05 Nov 2020
9 Human Remains in Tibetan Material Religion: An object centered approach Ayesha Fuentes shares a unique and interdisciplinary insight into art conservation of human remains in Tibetan material religion Ayesha Fuentes 29 Oct 2020
8 Sacred Trash, Trash Talks, And Personhood Bo Wang discussing the practice of depositing garments as offerings to sacred mountains in Eastern Tibet Bo Wang 29 Oct 2020
7 The First Tibetan Block Print: The Khara-Khoto Collection of Precious Dhāraṇīs with the Emperor's Postscript Alla Sizova discusses the role of translation activities in the spread of Buddhism in the 12th century and outlines the extent of Tibetan influence on the Tangut culture. Alla A. Sizova 15 Oct 2020
6 Fictional Facts or Factual Fiction? The Social Reality behind Kha stag ʼDzam yag’s "Diary" and Lhag pa Don grub’s "Life of a mule driver" Fictional Facts or Factual Fiction? Lucia Galli's talk on self-representation and the social reality behind two Tibetan memoirs Lucia Galli 04 Jun 2020
5 The Nechung Oracle and the Construction of Identity in the Tibetan Diaspora The Oracle in Exile: Pema Choedon's talk on the Nechung Oracle and identity construction in the Tibetan Diaspora Pema Choedon 28 May 2020
4 The Mortality of the Dalai Lama and its Scriptural Sources: A Study in Tibetan Buddhist Political Theology I am currently focusing on the problem of the Dalai Lama’s mortality that is, the question of how to come to terms with his suffering and death, in light of the association between Tibetan kingship and the deity Avalokiteśvara. Ian MacCormack 21 May 2020
3 Preliminary Practices: Bloody Knees, Calloused Palms and the Transformative Nature of Women’s Labor The Preliminary Practices not only initiate practitioners into a specific tradition, but also more fundamentally, into Vajrayana Buddhism as it is practiced in contemporary Tibet. Kati Fitzgerald 14 May 2020
2 Creative Commons Writing about the Nechung Oracle Christopher Bell's talk about oracles, protector deities, and other mysteries Christopher Bell 07 May 2020
1 Creative Commons The sku bla of the Tibetan emperors and its metamorphosis in Yungdrung Bön In the late 12th century Yungdrung Bön text Grags pa gling grags a deity that has a special relationship to the Tibetan ruler plays a prominent part in the narrative of the Tibetan kings. Per Kværne 30 Apr 2020