On March 19th, 2013, as part of the Tibetan Studies Student Association Lecture Series sponsored by the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and the IU Student Association, Dr. Roberto Vitali shared some of his preliminary findings that critically reexamined one of the defining moments in Tibetan-Mongol relations—the Drikung Rebellion of 1290. This rebellion resulted in the devastating massacre at Drikung Monastery by the Mongol armies of Qubilai Qan.
Past Events Highlights
On February 28th, 2013, Professor Carole McGranahan presented a puzzling story that painted an unusual picture of Mao Zedong in Tibet. McGranahan, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was part of the Tibetan Studies Student Association Lecture Series sponsored by the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, and the Indiana University Student Association.
On February 20th, 2013, Dr. Robert Vitali presented to the Central Eurasian Studies Colloquium a little known version of the least known historical period of Tibet—the “period of fragmentation” following the collapse of the Tibetan Empire in the 10th century. This period, spanning from about the 10th to the early 13th centuries, has been characterized by many scholars as a “dark age” for Tibet, as very little information exists about it in the historical record. Dr. Vitali shed some light on this little understood period, in particular, challenging the dominant historical narrative that claims that Buddhism was extinguished during this time in Tibet.
As part of the Central Eurasian Studies Colloquium, Dr. Saule Satayva gave a talk entitled, Recovering the Richness of Central Asian Nomadic Culture: The Challenges for Public Memory.
To engage directly with the challenges brought by the global scope of Medieval Studies, IU’s Medieval Studies Institute brought together scholars whose work spanned the Eurasian continent to discuss their common challenges as well as their common grounds for cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Panelists included Asma Afsaruddin (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures), Christopher Atwood (Department of Central Eurasian Studies), Christopher Beckwith (Department of Central Eurasian Studies), Manling Luo (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures), and John Walbridge (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures). The panel was moderated by Rosemary McGerr, Director of the Medieval Studies Institute and Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature.
On January 16th, 2013, Indiana University was paid a special visit by the Ambassador of Estonia to the United States, Marina Kaljurand. This visit was sponsored by the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, the West European Studies Center, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia.
The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center commemorated its 50th anniversary with a lecture by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake. In his lecture, Assistant Secretary Blake discussed the growing importance of Central Asia in American Foreign Policy.
Highlights from the Fiftieth Anniversary of the IAUNRC and the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society
Recently, the IU community had a rare chance to engage with Pema Tseden and his films during a three-week long film series, Tibetan New Wave Cinema, at the IU Cinema. The series was sponsored by the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC), Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, and the IU Student Board, attracting nearly 400 people. All three of his feature-length films—Silent Holy Stones (2005), The Search (2009), and Old Dog (2010)—were screened, and Pema Tseden himself was invited to interact with the audience at the presentation of his most recent film.
Timor Sharan, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Exeter (UK), draws upon his own years of experience working in different donor agencies and policy research organizations in Afghanistan as well as his training in Development Studies and Political Science to map out the complexities of international intervention efforts in Afghanistan with their intended, and many unintended, consequences.