Tibet Foundation

Cultural Trauma and Contemporary Tibetan Writing

Apr 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM

This event finished on Apr 15, 2014.

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A talk by Dr Lama Jabb

The weight of Tibet’s recent history and current plight can be felt in contemporary Tibetan writing.

The violent takeover of Tibet in the 1950s and subsequent Communist Chinese rule have been traumatic experiences that have left indelible marks in the Tibetan psyche. The Chinese state continues to control and shape the narrative of modern Tibetan experience, but in recent times Tibetan writers have been breaking (at great personal costs) a long-held silence through poetry and prose and visual arts.

In this lecture, Dr Lama Jabb will examine some of their audacious writings to demonstrate how the cultural traumas of the 1950s and the Cultural Revolution, which threatened the very existence of Tibetan culture, are now being remembered to reinforce Tibetans’ collective identity.


Dr Lama Jabb is Junior Research Fellow in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Wolfson College. He was born and brought up in a nomadic community in Northeastern Tibet and received formal education in Tibet, India and the UK. In 2013 he completed his DPhil on Modern Tibetan Literature and the Inescapable Nation at the University of Oxford. He is fascinated by the ways in which both the past and living traditions shape contemporary Tibet.

Currently he is studying the unexplored genre of Tibetan bird stories within its broader cultural framework. He is particularly focusing on a volume called The Treasury of Intellect: Narrating the Worldly tale of the Winged Ones, that fuses Tibetan oral and literary arts.

Open to all, entrance free. Doors open 6pm for 6.30pm start.


Name :
SOAS (Kamran) Dham Lecture Theatre
SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG, United Kingdom


Name :
Tibet Foundation
020 7930 6001