Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

This book is the culmination of some fifteen years of collaborative work both in and outside of the People’s Republic of China. Ultimately, this work is my own synthesis of multimedia and multivocal sources on the cultural and linguistic politics of development for Tibetans in China. I take full responsibility for the stances I assume here and for any errors that may have escaped my notice. But the book is also fundamentally a collective product, the result of ongoing learning from multiple teachers...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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Note on Language

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pp. xvii-xx

This book is based on ethnographic research conducted in both Chinese and a dialect of Amdo Tibetan that is pronounced quite differently from the more well-known dialects spoken in and around Lhasa. Therefore, I want to be very clear about how I rendered those languages in print. In the main text and endnotes, all first mentions of foreign language terms, except proper names, are italicized. In parenthetical glosses of words I rendered in English, I identify the language with an abbreviation...

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Introduction: Olympic Time and Dilemmas of Development in China’s Tibet

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pp. 1-26

On a hazy evening in September 2004, Olympic time officially began in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), four years before the opening of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The fortysix-foot-high Olympic countdown clock was unveiled on the steps of the National Museum of China on Tiananmen Square. That was the same spot where, seven years earlier, the countdown clock for the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule had marked that epic event. On the Olympic clock, the...

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1. The Dangers of the Gift Master

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pp. 27-66

The ferocious Warrior Queen, the divine Dharma Protector Palden Lhamo, had been sensing my presence all along, but I was oblivious. By early March 2008, nearly halfway through China’s Olympic Year, I had been living in Rebgong’s urbanizing Guchu River valley for some four months. But it was only when Palden Lhamo ejected me from the Tibetan village house where I was a guest into the twilight of a cold March day that I began to experience the awful implications of the Warrior...

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2. The Mountain Deity and the State: Voice, Deity Mediumship, and LandExpropriation in Jima Village

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pp. 67-104

To begin to get at the stakes and heightened risks of hospitality relations for Rebgong Tibetans, we turn in this chapter to considering a public dispute within Lobzang and Drolma’s urbanizing village of Jima. The dispute revolved around the problematic presence of mountain deities and the state as competing agents of village development goals. I was a guest in Lobzang and Drolma’s home during those early years of the Open the West campaign (2000–7), and in the summer of 2007, I was drawn into...

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3. Othering Spaces, Cementing Treasure: Concrete, Money, and the Politics of Value in Kharnak Village School

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pp. 105-152

In this chapter, we delve further into the dialogic nature of development encounters by heading up the Guchu River to explore the awkward dynamics of a primary school renovation project I helped manage in the rural Tibetan village of Kharnak. My offer to help fund a new courtyard wall for Kharnak’s school turned out to be a much more complex undertaking than I had ever anticipated. Contrary to my original naive notion that I would remain in the background, my Tibetan...

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4. The Melodious Sound of the Right-Turning Conch: Historiography and Buddhist Counterdevelopment in Langmo Village

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pp. 153-195

In this chapter, we travel further upriver to the small and marginalized Tibetan community of Langmo, a neighboring village and rival of Kharnak. Here we explore the stakes and consequences of village history making as a dialogic process in the context of increasing stateled pressures on rural land use. I had met Langmo elders back in 2005, long before I knew Kharnak village leaders, when I was first looking for highland communities to research. Langmo elders, it turned out, had their own goals...

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5. Spectacular Compassion: “Natural” Disasters, National Mourning, and the Unquiet Dead

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pp. 196-235

In this chapter, we return from the Upper Narrows to the lowland town of Longwu to explore the most far-reaching stakes of development encounters in Rebgong. As the state of emergency escalated in the spring of 2008, I retreated inside my tiny cement-block apartment. Troops replaced residents in public spaces and streets while the television spectacle of central and provincial news and slogans filled the silence inside and out. I spent many a day and night scouring TV and online...

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Epilogue: The Kindly Solemn Face of the Female Buddha

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pp. 236-252

In the winter of 2007, just after Jima village’s harvest festival had come to its ambivalent conclusion, Li Xuansheng, Huangnan prefecture’s rotund and entrepreneurial Chinese party secretary,1 published one of the lead essays in the prefecture’s inaugural issue of Rebgong Culture (Ch. Regong Wenhua ), a glossy magazine aimed at Chinese investors and consumers (see figure 3). Li’s essay, entitled “Develop the Rebgong Culture Industry, Construct a Harmonious ‘Cultural Huangnan,’” (Li 2007) in fact repackages prefecture...

Notes

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pp. 253-286

References

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pp. 287-312

Index

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pp. 313-324