Inner Asia 2012 - 14,1
Inner Asia / publ. by the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge. Edited by Caroline Humphrey, Uradyn E. Bulag and David Sneath. - Vol. 14, issue 1 (2012). - Leiden : Brill, 2012. - 241 S.
ISSN 1464-8172 (Print-Ausgabe)
ISSN 2210-5018 (Online-Ausgabe)
Abstract: In 1903–04, British forces under the command of the Indian Political Officer, Colonel Francis Younghusband, invaded Tibet. After failed negotiations and a series of battles in which Younghusband's modern weaponry vanquished Tibetan forces, the British entered Lhasa and imposed a treaty on the Tibetans. While a fear of Russian influence in Lhasa was the main reason given for the invasion, Tibet's policy of isolating itself from British India was probably a more significant cause. The subsequent withdrawal of the British from Lhasa created a power vacuum which enabled the Chinese to re-establish their authority at Lhasa. This article gives an overview of the main issues, events and personalities involved in the invasion.
Abstract: How did the Tibetans and the Chinese view the British invasion of Tibet in 1904, and why did the Chinese not summon more force to resist? Using Chinese and Tibetan documents from the period, the article analyses views and consequences of the British invasion and the result it had on Chinese attitudes towards Tibet. Looking at the documents, we can see the determination of the Tibetans to defend themselves and how there were different shifts and opinions within the Manchu government about how to deal with the British. They show the Tibetans communicated with the Chinese representative, the Amban, but did not regard his say as authoritative because it had become clear the Chinese could not provide any support. They also suggest that the Chinese non-involvement in Tibet was not just out of weakness but could have been as part of a policy of 'using barbarians to fight barbarians'.
Abstract: This paper presents new research regarding the contentious issue of looting during the Younghusband Mission to Tibet of 1904. For the first time, it presents translations from Tibetan texts that not only catalogue items looting from Tibet, but also build a narrative of the mission from a Chinese and Tibetan perspective. It discusses the 'mind of the mission' by outlining the social and cultural milieu that formed the backdrop for the British officers and men who found themselves in Tibet, and explores the position of the 'archaeologist' to the Mission. It shows how items looted from Tibet are now represented in British museums and collections, and compares these to the 'Memorial Hall of the Anti- British' in Gyantse.
Abstract: This article presents an overview of Tibetan sources relevant to the Younghusband military expedition to Tibet. By focusing on three recent publications of Tibetan historical materials, it highlights the importance of looking at different perspectives on this momentous and controversial episode that marked the early twentieth century and had far-reaching consequences.
Abstract: Chinese sources, especially first-hand materials such as archive collections, field-work reports and Amban Youtai?s diary, have been little considered or consulted in the international debate on issues of modern Tibetan history. Although these Chinese sources would make their studies more balanced, Western scholars who do not understand Chinese characters tend to rely English sources only, with very few of them using Tibetan sources as well. However, just as it has become more and more common in academic circles in China for Chinese scholars to use English or other foreign-language sources in their studies of Tibetan history, so also should Western scholars realise how important the Chinese sources are for studies of Tibetan history, for Tibet has been related to China so closely and for such a long time.
Abstract: This article provides an overview of the contents of the Younghusband Collection of Blockprints and Manuscripts that Waddell had assembled during the military expedition to Tibet in 1903–04. Cataloguing this collection offered the opportunity to engage with the controversial provenance of the materials and the new opportunities offered by digital technology to deal with items of cultural heritage.
Abstract: In this paper I follow the social life of the Tibetan books belonging to the Younghusband-Waddell collection. I show how books as literary artefacts can transform from ritual objects into loot, into commodities and into academic treasures and how books can have agency over people, creating networks and shaping identities. Exploring connections between books and people, I look at colonial collecting, Orientalist scholarship and imperial visions from an unusual perspective in which the social life and cultural biography of people and things intertwine and mutually define each other. By following the trajectory of these literary artefacts, I show how their traces left in letters, minutes and acquisition documents give insight into the functioning of academic institutions and their relationship to imperial governing structures and individual aspirations. In particular, I outline the lives of a group of scholars who were involved with this collection in different capacities and whose deeds are unevenly known. This adds a new perspective to the study of this period, which has so far been largely focused on the deeds of key individuals and the political and military setting in which they operated. Finally, I show how the books of this collection have continued to exercise their attraction and moral pressure on twenty-first-century scholars, both Tibetan and international, linking them through digital technology and cyberspace.
Abstract: Daughter of a Victorian clergyman, Caroline Mary Ridding (1862–1941) was one of the few experts who could catalogue the materials that came to the UK in the wake of the Younghusband Mission. In 1911, after completing her work on the part of the collection received by the Cambridge University Library, she was put forward as the curator of the Oriental department of the library. This proposal was rejected with five favourable and six contrary votes but was nonetheless remarkable and shows how the acquisition of competence in rare and emerging subjects such as Oriental studies could open spaces for women at a time in which they were still largely excluded from academia. It also shows how books could make people and shape lives. Having graduated in classics from Girton College, Cambridge, Ridding became a Sanskritist and eventually taught herself Tibetan. After spending a significant amount of unpaid time poring over esoteric Buddhist documents that few people at the time could read, she eventually became a respected member of the Royal Asiatic Society and the first woman to be employed by the Cambridge University Library. This article explores the relationship between the life of this eccentric woman and oriental books and manuscripts, against the background of the rapidly transforming society of the late British Empire and the new aspirations that women had started to develop towards the turn of the century.
Abstract: This article focuses on a novella written by Ge Fei, a Han Chinese writer known for his experimental or avant-garde writings. Set in Tibet, Encounter reconstructs from different perspectives the British expedition to Tibet. This paper attempts to show that, although Encounter may depart on the surface from the other works written by Ge Fei, it nevertheless remains true to the author's preoccupation with notions of time and history.
Abstract: A film, a television series, four plays and an opera have been produced in China since 1997 dramatising the invasion of Tibet by the British in 1903 04. These works were part of an official effort to enhance patriotic spirit among Chinese and Tibetan people through historical example, as well as an attempt to represent Tibetans as participants in a broader Chinese resistance to Western aggression and humiliation. They coincided with an official call for film-makers to make propaganda more appealing and a decisive turn in Chinese cinema towards commercialised films and Hollywood-style narrative. The paper contextualises these dramatisations and their ideological features within the history of Tibetan representations in Chinese film and television dramas, and discusses foreign critiques of the most influential of the dramatisations of the Younghusband expedition, Feng Xiaonings 1997 film Honghegu (Red River Valley). It notes difficulties with criticisms about the lack of accuracy in these Chinese films, discusses several ways in which they match the historical record, and compares them with the little-known television series Jiangzi 1904.
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