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Notes INTRODUCTION 1. Shakya’s (2001) review of Lopez’s (1998) Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West is provocatively entitled “Who Are the Prisoners?” and his answer is, in a word, the West. Shakya correctly points out an empirical lacuna: the neglected issue of exactly how Tibetans in exile (to say nothing of those in Tibet) have registered the constructions of Tibet and its religion described by Lopez, if they’ve registered them at all. Shakya prematurely resolves this question by declaring that somehow Tibetan subjectivity has remained impervious , that “the majority of Tibetans living either in exile or in Tibet are not conscious of the western discourse on Tibet, and they continue to practice their faith as they did in the past, albeit mutatis mutandis” (186). In a sense, Shakya’s response resonates with the now wellrehearsed critiques of Said’s (1978) Orientalism (and of Foucault, from whom Said drew much inspiration), in the sense that Shakya complains that those subject to such constructions have been ceded little “agency.” There is no space here to consider the storied debates over structure and agency, ideology and practice, not to mention more recent critiques of “agency” that call attention to its Protestant-inflected liberal-humanist genealogy (Keane 2002, 2007; Mahmood 2001). Citing Shakya’s review with approval, Powers (2004) raises the ante, wondering aloud whether Lopez ever set foot in India. Powers notes that he “asked a number of Tibetans what ‘Shangri-la’ meant to them” (152). It meant very little, he discovered, though had he asked about, say, ‘Lamaism’ (bla ma’i chos [lugs]), to which Lopez dedicated considerable attention, he might just have garnered some interesting responses! Recall that no less than the Dalai Lama himself defended his religion against the charge of “Lamaism” in public addresses to Tibetans in India as early as 1960 (see chapter 3), and he did so even more visibly in his 1962 autobiography, My Land and My People, in both the English (Ngawang Lobsang Yishey Tenzing [1962] 1997:203) and the Tibetan versions (bla-ma 1962:291); for an unorthodox defense of Tibetan Buddhism as “Lamaism,” see K. Dhondup’s (1978) inter169 view with Tsultrim Kesang. Leaving aside the question of how Tibetans “really” think and feel, it scarcely requires argument that many of the reforms proposed for Tibetan Buddhist religious institutions in India—the way monks learn, the way they should be disciplined, the benefits reincarnate lamas should enjoy—have not emerged ex nihilo or as mere cultureinternal developments of earlier trends (e.g., the nineteenth-century nonsectarian [ris med] movement in Tibet) but out of complex interdiscursive engagements with the West. Addressing these matters with care means avoiding steamroller approaches to discourse that neglect the dynamics of uptake and the pragmatics of emulation, as well as approaches that react to the alleged “power” of such discursive formations by retreating into the presumed inviolable integrity of subjectivity. In this respect, this book is meant to address precisely the lacuna noted by Shakya and builds on a number of works that do the same (e.g., Frechette 2002; Adams 1998). 2. This is not a matter of dissimulation and “strategic” or “agentive” self-presentation, as vulgar readings of Goffman would suggest. There is no place here to address the conception of the subject presupposed in Goffman’s writings. Recall, for instance, Gouldner’s (1971:381) early, unsympathetic critique, where he argued that the actors in Goffman’s dramaturgical microsociology were all “busy contrivers of the illusion of self,” and that this was really just a portrait of one sociohistorical category of person: the late capitalist bourgeois subject who has experienced a “transition from an older economy centered on production to a new one centered on mass marketing and promotion, including the marketing of the self.” 3. Of course these feelings are often fleeting and depend on many things, including the sense of place. In places like Dharamsala, a hub of transnational traffic for things Tibetan, these feelings are more likely to surface, for instance. 4. One must take care in retelling the narrative of the Dalai Lama’s role in promulgating democratic ideals in top-down fashion, because pressures for democratization in the exile environment of India have been widely distributed and complexly motivated (see, for example, Sangay 2003:123); one need only recall the Tibetan Youth Congress’s strained relations with the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) on matters of democratization to recognize this. 5. Oxford English Dictionary Online, s...


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