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Title: The emergence of modern Tibetan literature : gsar rtsom
Author: Shakya, Tsering Wangdu.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3396 2298
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis explores the development of modem Tibetan literature known as gsar rtsom (new composition), which emerged with great vigour in the 1980s. The first two chapters look at the cultural milieu of Tibet before the Chinese annexation in the 1950s. In doing so, they illustrate that while there were changes occurring in the periphery of the Tibetan cultural world, such as the influence of missionary activities and the impact of British rule in India, these changes never penetrated to the centre of society. The main body of the thesis describes how as a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, which brought unprecedented changes and upheaval in Tibetan society, there were profound effects on Tibet's intellectual world. Specifically, the emergence of modem Tibetan literature is directly related to the Chinese Communist Party's attempts to introduce a materialistic and Marxist notion of humanism, and the Party's policy of promoting a secular literary tradition. Modern Tibetan literature emerged first as the officially promoted narrative of an oppressed people. Modern literature was viewed as an instrument for mobilising the masses and disseminating the Communist Party's message. The colonising power determined the style and the subject matter of modern literature. Nevertheless, the thesis also demonstrates that the emergence of modern literature led to a repositioning of the intellectual tradition and the construction of an autonomous cultural space, which seeks to define a modernist discourse on the nature of Tibetan identity. The thesis examines the subject matter tackled by the leading figures such as Gedun Chonphel, Dorji Gyalpo, Lungdun Paljor, Jamphel Gyatso, Tashi Palden and Dondrup Gyal and explores how they addressed issues faced by Tibetans as colonised subjects. The study demonstrates that, within the limits imposed by the Chinese government. modern Tibetan literature has become the forum where, on the one hand, the colonising power is challenged and, on the other hand, the indigenous tradition is contested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available