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Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet

Book Description

Based on the author’s cross-regional fieldwork, archival findings, and critical reading of memoirs and creative works of Tibetans and Chinese, this book recounts how the potency of Tibet manifests itself in modern material culture concerning Tibet, which is interwoven with state ideology, politics of identity, imagination, nostalgia, forgetting, remembering, and earth-inspired transcendence. The physical place of Tibet is the antecedent point of contact for subsequent spiritual imaginations, acts of destruction and reconstruction, collective nostalgia, and delayed aesthetic and environmental awareness shown in the eco-religious acts of native Tibetans, Communist radical utopianism, former military officers’ recollections, Tibetan and Chinese artwork, and touristic consumption of the Tibetan landscape. By drawing connections between differences, dichotomies, and oppositions, this book explores the interiors of the diverse agentive modes of imaginations from which Tibet is imagined in China. On the theoretical front, this book attempts to bring forth a set of fresh perspectives on how a culturally and religiously specific landscape is antecedent to simultaneous processes of place-making, identity-making, and the bonding between place and people.

Table of Contents

  1. Religion and Society
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Chapter One Introduction: Placiality of Tibet
    1. 1.1 Contextualizing Tibetas a “Hot Spot” and a “Power Place”
    2. 1.2 Mindscaping the Tibetan landscape
      1. 1.2.1 Mindscape
      2. 1.2.2 Landscape, place, and placiality
      3. 1.2.3 Eco-aesthetics
      4. 1.2.4 Affordances
    3. 1.3 A geographic navigation of my fieldwork
      1. 1.3.1 Beijing
      2. 1.3.2 Qinghai
      3. 1.3.3 Lhasa and Shangrila
    4. 1.4 Mapping the book
  8. Chapter Two Geopoetics of place, gods,and people in Sambha ()
    1. 2.1 Eco-aesthetics of an outsider looking in
    2. 2.2 Geopoetic affordances of the Tibetan landscape
    3. 2.3 Sambha mandalized
    4. 2.4 Inter-dwelling with gods and spirits
    5. 2.5 Ancestral rootedness of Sambha and beyond
    6. 2.6 “Place has its own being…”
  9. Chapter Three - Confessions of an Inner Liberation
    1. 3.1 The second Long March
    2. 3.2 Elation and desolationin the eco-sublime Tibetan landscape
    3. 3.3 Communist “liberation theology”
    4. 3.4 Puzzling statistics and the social scene of Old Lhasa
    5. 3.5 Searching for serfs in the midst of the “black bones”and the “white bones”
    6. 3.6 The clash of Marxist class struggle and Buddhist fate
    7. 3.7 Reminiscing about Old Tibet’s enchantments
  10. Chapter Four Memorability of placeamong anti-traditionalists
    1. 4.1 “Pulling one hair moves the entire body”
    2. 4.2 Forgetting as Remembering
    3. 4.3 Subalternity of radical modernism
    4. 4.4 Pathogenic force of modernity
    5. 4.5 Placial antecedence of the Subaltern
  11. Chapter Five Touching the skinof modern Tibet in the New Tibetan Cinema
    1. 5.1 Initiating cinematic landscape of a Buddhist Tibet
      1. 5.1.1 Repairing Buddhist moral fabric in The Grassland
      2. 5.1.2 Landscaping Buddhism in The Silent Holy Stone
    2. 5.2 Touching the Skin of the Modern Tibetan Landscape
      1. 5.2.1 Rescuing the Buddhist “soul” of the nation in The Search
      2. 5.2.2 A modern Tibet in Old Dog
    3. 5.3 After-effects and affordances of the New Tibetan Cinema
  12. Chapter Six Ensouling the Mountain
    1. 6.1 “Wherever I travel I can’t wait to rush home!”
    2. 6.2 “You know the origin of my ancestors”
    3. 6.3 “Machen Bomra [] is a living being”
    4. 6.4 “Bury them here…”
    5. 6.5 “Eco-aesthetics of Touching and Being Touched”
  13. Chapter Seven Drifting in the Miragesof the Tibetan Landscape
    1. 7.1 Tibet, branding a mindscape of utopia
      1. 7.1.1 An American experience
      2. 7.1.2 A Chinese experience
    2. 7.2 Tibet, branded as a dreamworld
    3. 7.3 Seeking material empowerments in the dreamworld
    4. 7.4 Drifting in the Mirages of the Tibetan Landscape
      1. 7.4.1 Geo-poetic affordance
      2. 7.4.2 Utopian attributes of Tibet
      3. 7.4.3 Escape, self-exile and metamorphosis in “magical Tibet”
  14. Chapter Eight - Conclusion – Mindscaping Tibetophilia
    1. 8.1 The missing Orient in Post-Orientalism
    2. 8.2 Tibet as a geopsychic terrain
    3. 8.3 Tibetophilia, topophilia, and eco-aesthetics revisited
    4. 8.4 An anthropological mindscape of Tibet
  15. References
  16. Index