Amdo Research Network


Wel­come to the

Amdo Research Network


Dur­ing the past two decades, the num­ber of researchers work­ing in Amdo has grad­u­al­ly increased. 

Yet infor­ma­tion about indi­vid­ual or group projects and net­work­ing between researchers has remained under­de­vel­oped. Thus, in 2013 the Amdo Research Net­work was fund­ed at the Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty of Berlin, with­in the Tibetan Stud­ies pro­gram of the Cen­tral-Asian Sem­i­nar, which has a strong focus on the Amdo area in terms of for­mal lan­guage train­ing, teach­ing and affil­i­at­ed researchers.

Amdo, one of the three main Tibetan regions, com­pris­es the north­east­ern sec­tor of the Tibetan Plateau. 

The geo­graph­i­cal def­i­n­i­tion of Amdo is cur­rent­ly com­pli­cat­ed by the use of the Chi­nese admin­is­tra­tive divi­sions, which do not fol­low old region­al or polit­i­cal sen­ti­ments. Today, Amdo is con­cen­trat­ed in Qing­hai Province, but also includes parts of Gan­su and Sichuan Provinces. At the same time, part of Qing­hai, i.e., Yushu, judg­ing by its lin­guis­tic and cul­tur­al affin­i­ty, is locat­ed in Kham. In yet oth­er areas, e.g. Golok, the pop­u­la­tion does not iden­ti­fy with any of the three above men­tioned regions. For the pur­pos­es of the Amdo Research Net­work (ARN), we have decid­ed to also include these ambiva­lent cas­es, with­out forc­ing any con­clu­sive iden­ti­fca­tion on them. We have also includ­ed Yushu, which, through its cur­rent posi­tion in Qing­hai, shares with the rest of Amdo not only the same provin­cial bor­ders, but also its dai­ly fate. 

Amdo” is a Tibetan word and its use pro­vides us with an entry point into a region which is large­ly informed by Tibetan Stud­ies. How­ev­er, the choice of this name should not sug­gest that we define the region as a pure­ly Tibetan space. The lim­i­ta­tions of the Amdo Research Net­work are rather geo­graph­ic than eth­nic and, it should also include research into oth­er pop­u­la­tion groups, e.g. the Mon­gols, Huis, Salars, Hans or Monguors, as well as their inter­ac­tion with the Tibetans and their influ­ence on each oth­er. Con­se­quent­ly, the ARN’s research focus is geo­graph­i­cal rather than eth­nic in nature (see Sulek and Ptack­o­va, Map­ping Amdo: Peo­ple and Places in an Ongo­ing Tran­si­tion, in Map­ping Amdo: Dynam­ics of Change, 2017).

What is Amdo? 

Back to top: