March 5, 2016

Tibetan Armies of the 17th & 18th Centuries

Prof. Elliot Sperling, one of the most proficient scholars of Tibetan studies and Associate Professor at Indiana University, talks on The Tibetan Armies of the 17th […]
September 12, 2015

The History of Tibetan Civilization: A Talk Series with Elliot Sperling (Session 1 to 4)

March 3, 2015

A speech for the release of “Trails of the Tibetan Tradition: Papers for Elliot Sperling”

Dharamshala, February 23rd 2015 It is a special occasion for me to be here with two very good friends of mine: with Elliot Sperling to whom […]
August 12, 2014

Self Delusion

I have been asked by the editors to prepare an essay that sums up some of the positions I’ve taken on Tibet issues over the years. […]
January 31, 2014

Concerning the Lingering Question of Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho’s Paternity

For some time the idea has circulated that Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho, the Fifth Dalai Lama’s regent, was also the latter’s son. While a number of Western historians have accepted this story, recent scholarship, mostly from Tibet and China, has rejected it, based most conclusively on a sound analysis of the chronology of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s absence from Tibet and the time of birth of the regent. Almost all modern scholars have agreed that the rumor is unmentioned in contemporaneous Tibetan sources. However, with the publication of Sle-lung Bzhad-pa’i rdo-rje’s autobiography a source from the period in question that mentions the rumor has finally become accessible. Nevertheless, the context in which the story appears anchors it in the hostility and resentment over the recognition of Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho as the Fifth Dalai Lama and places it with other allegations meant to impugn the hierarch’s legitimacy. As such, it doesn’t trump the solid chronological case for rejecting the rumor of the regent’s blood tie to the Dalai Lama.
January 26, 2014

Collateral Damage

The January 15th arrest of Ilham Tohti, an Uyghur, a professor, and an activist for the rights of the Uyghur people inside the People’s Republic of […]
November 2, 2013

A Tangled Relationship: Sino-Tibetan Relations and Modern Sensibilities

A lecture presented at “Anonymous: A Symposium on Tibetan Identity and Culture” in conjunction with the exhibition Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art.
August 7, 2013

Si tu pan chen chos kyi ’byung gnas in History: A Brief Note

Abstract Situ Chökyi Jungné’s (1699/1700-1774) history of the Karma Kagyüpa is a vital source for the history of his subsect and for Tibetan history from the […]
May 8, 2013


Note:  A postscript was added to this essay on May 15, 2013** About a year-and-a-half ago I was having dinner with a group of friends in […]