Amdo Research Network

Amdo research network

Network Members

Any per­son who has con­duct­ed their own grad­u­ate-lev­el (MA/PhD/­post-PhD) research relat­ed to the ARN’s focus region, and is at the very least close to grad­u­at­ing from an MA degree in a rel­e­vant dis­ci­pline, may become a mem­ber of the ARN.

Aca­d­e­m­ic dis­ci­plines rel­e­vant to the ARN research focus are any human­i­ties sub­jects in the widest sense (includ­ing eco­nom­ics and polit­i­cal sci­ence) and med­i­cine. Excep­tions can be grant­ed by the board.

Mem­ber­ship is acquired by sign­ing up to join the ARN mail­ing list. The ARN board can deny or revoke mem­ber­ship through a major­i­ty vote.

Meet our current members

Please note: the dis­play of a mem­ber pro­file is voluntary—not all mem­bers are list­ed here


  • Fields of inter­est: Tibetan cul­tur­al and polit­i­cal issues in the con­text of PRC, pop­u­lar’ rit­u­als and their changes, issues on cur­rent Bud­dhist phe­nom­e­na (veg­e­tar­i­an­ism, self-immo­la­tions, etc), the trans­for­ma­tion of Yul-lha cults, lha-pa trance medi­um”, the roles of yul lha cults among the Nyingma­pa and Bon­po com­mu­ni­ties, reli­gious author­i­ty in Rebgong.
  • Email to Katia Buffetrille


MONIA CHIES (Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty, Berlin)

FRANZ XAVER ERHARD (Uni­ver­si­ty of Leipzig)

  • Fields of inter­est: Mod­ern and Con­tem­po­rary Tibetan Lit­er­a­ture from the 18th to the 20th cen­tu­ry; Tibetan Life Writ­ing; Mem­o­ry and Remem­ber­ing; Folk lit­er­a­ture; Cul­tur­al His­to­ry of Tibetan Societies
  • Cur­rent projects: Sec­u­lar Life Writ­ing in Ear­ly Mod­ern Tibet; Devel­op­ment of Tibetan news­pa­per and print media (19th and 20th century)
  • Email to Franz Xaver Erhard


  • Fields of inter­est: Cul­tur­al mon­u­ments in east­ern Tibet and their socio-polit­i­cal con­text; cul­tur­al change in nomadic areas; cul­tur­al secu­ri­ty and social devel­op­ment; sus­tain­able devel­op­ment in rur­al areas
  • Projects: Con­junc­ture of accep­tance and non-accep­tance on state reset­tle­ment projects in rur­al areas

PALDEN GYAL (Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, New York City) 

  • Fields of inter­est: Bor­der­lands, state-build­ing, empire and colo­nial­ism, his­tor­i­cal climatology. 
  • Cur­rent projects: Dis­ser­ta­tion project focus­es on the his­to­ry of Qing impe­r­i­al encoun­ters with the Tibetan poli­ties of Gyel­rong in the Sichuan-Tibet fron­tier, span­ning the 18th to 20th centuries. 
  • Email to Palden Gyal

NYINGBO GYAL (Niang­wu­jia) (Uni­ver­si­ty of Oslo, Qing­hai Nation­al­i­ties Uni­ver­si­ty, Xining)

  • Cur­rent projects:  a local deity cult in Reb­gong, Amdo: rit­u­als to Amye Taglung and reli­gious author­i­ty in Shetri, Gyalbo.(PhD thesis)
  • Email to Nyingbo-Gyal


  • Fields of inter­est: Reli­gious, eco­nom­ic, and polit­i­cal anthro­pol­o­gy; Sufism in North­west Chi­na, Xidaotang broth­er­hood; Mus­lim-Tibetan rela­tions in Amdo (past and present); Xidaotang trade activ­i­ties in Gan­su and Qing­hai (past and present); study of local autonomous powers
  • Cur­rent projects: Pol­i­tics and the Divine: an Ethnog­ra­phy of the Xidaotang, a New Path of Chi­nese Islam (Gan­su region, 18902012)’
  • Email to Marie-Paule Hille

BIANCA HORLEMANN (Inde­pen­dent Researcher)

  • Fields of inter­est: His­to­ry of Sino-Tibetan rela­tions in Amdo (with a spe­cial focus on 11th/12th cen­tu­ry Tsong kha), Golog his­to­ry, Mus­lim-Tibetan rela­tions, his­to­ry of the Chris­t­ian mis­sion­ary enter­prise in Amdo
  • Cur­rent projects: West­ern and Chi­nese trav­el reports on Amdo; Mus­lim war­lords in 20th cen­tu­ry Amdo
  • Email to Dr. Bian­ca Horlemann


LILIAN ISELIN (Uni­ver­si­ty of Bern)

  • Fields of inter­est: Pas­toral soci­eties of Tibet: Amdo (Sichuan); mobil­i­ties of pas­toral­ists; social and spa­tial trans­for­ma­tions; devel­op­ment and infra­struc­ture, tech­nol­o­gy and society
  • Cur­rent projects: Mobile Tech­nolo­gies and Nomadic Space: Mod­ern­iza­tion, Motor­iza­tion and Trans­for­ma­tions of space and place in Pas­toral­ist Amdo of Tibet (PhD, work­ing title)
  • Email to Lil­ian Iselin

REINIER LANGELAAR (Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty, Berlin)

LIN LUSHAN (Sichuan Uni­ver­si­ty, Chengdu)

  • Fields of inter­est: Land use and envi­ron­ment; resource dis­tri­b­u­tion and capa­bil­i­ty; indige­nous knowl­edge of environment
  • Cur­rent projects: Cli­mate Change and Tibetan Nomad Reset­tle­ment: A Case Study of Eco-migra­tion Project in the San Jiang Yuan (the Three Riv­er Head­wa­ters region, Qing­hai) (PhD thesis)
  • Email to Lin Lushan

QIE MAOCUO (Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty, Berlin)

YANG MINGHONG (Yun­nan Uni­ver­si­ty, Kun­ming; Sichuan Uni­ver­si­ty, Chengdu)

  • Fields of inter­est: Tibetan eco­nom­ic-social devel­op­ment and polit­i­cal issues in the con­text of PRC, Part­ner assis­tance to Tibet-Qing­hai, farmer’s liveli­hood in the Tibetan region, econ­o­my in Tibetan Bud­dhist monastery, eco­nom­ic mod­ern­iza­tion in Tibet.
  • Cur­rent projects: Spir­i­tu­al cap­i­tal and econ­o­my in Tibetan Bud­dhist monastery; eco­nom­ic mod­ern­iza­tion in Tibetan Autonomous Region: 19512021.
  • Email to Yang Minghong

JARMILA PTACKOVA (Ori­en­tal Insti­tute of the ASCR, Prague) 

  • Fields of inter­est: Impact of Chi­nese devel­op­ment pol­i­cy on pas­toral areas in Amdo. Inter-eth­nic and inter­cul­tur­al rela­tions in the Amdo area and the Sino-Tibetan frontier
  • Cur­rent projects: Rule and Author­i­ty along the Sino-Tibetan Fron­tier — The Kokonor Region from 14th to 17th Century
  • Email to Jarmi­la Ptackova

VALENTINA PUNZI (L’Ori­en­tale Uni­ver­si­ty, Naples, and Minzu Uni­ver­si­ty, Beijing)

  • Fields of inter­est: Con­test­ed spaces, local pow­ers, nomads’ spa­tial eth­no-tax­on­o­my, topono­mas­tics, belief nar­ra­tives, ter­ri­to­r­i­al gods, post-1958 oral his­to­ry, and col­lec­tive memory
  • Cur­rent projects: The Three Broth­ers of Amye Drakar. Sacral­ized land­scape and local iden­ti­ties in South­east­ern Amdo. (PhD thesis)
  • Email to Valenti­na Punzi

MONA SCHREMPF ( inde­pen­dent researcher, affil­i­at­ed with ZAS, IAAW, HU)

  • Fields of inter­est: social trans­for­ma­tions, Tibetan med­i­cine, trans­mis­sion and learn­ing, ecol­o­gy of med­i­c­i­nal herbs, rit­u­al heal­ing, Tibetan wom­en’s repro­duc­tive health, tourism, and social change, Bon com­mu­ni­ties, reli­gious and eth­nic revival
  • Cur­rent projects: Transna­tion­al Tibetan Med­i­cine – For­mu­la­tion Regimes, Ther­a­peu­tic Net­works and Styles of Prac­tice between Chi­na and Europe (writ­ing up mono­graph)  The Cult of Ama Jomo (Bhutan/Arunachal Pradesh; new project)
  • Email to Dr. Mona Schrempf


RAHEL TSERING (Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty, Berlin)

  • Fields of inter­est: Labrang, moun­tain cults, vil­lage life and fes­ti­vals, health and family
  • Cur­rent projects: Mas­ter the­sis about the labtse rit­u­al of the Amnye Brag dmar in Fudi village
  • Email to Rahel Tsering

BENNO WEINER (Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­si­ty, Pittsburgh)

  • Fields of inter­est: Eth­nop­o­l­i­tics, bor­der­lands, minori­ti­za­tion, empire and nation, colonialism
  • Cur­rent projects: Impe­r­i­al Bor­der­land to Social­ist State: Dis­in­te­gra­tion, Ter­ri­to­ri­al­iza­tion, and Minori­ti­za­tion on the Eth­nic Mar­gins of Mod­ern Chi­na;” Mak­ing Minori­ties in Mod­ern China”
  • Email to Ben­no Weiner

ADRIAN ZENZ  (Euro­pean School of Cul­ture and The­ol­o­gy, Korntal) 

  • Fields of inter­est: China’s eth­nic pol­i­cy, minor­i­ty edu­ca­tion, employ­ment prospects, gov­ern­ment recruit­ment and secu­ri­ti­za­tion in all Tibetan regions in Chi­na, as well as Xinjiang
  • Cur­rent projects: Secu­ri­ty-relat­ed pub­lic recruit­ment in Tibetan regions and Xin­jiang, and the state’s secu­ri­ti­za­tion response after the 2008 and 2009 riots as well as sub­se­quent inci­dents of unrest in those regions
  • Email to Adri­an Zenz

HUADAN ZHAXI (Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty, Berlin)

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