Gyatso Marnyi is a historian of empires and frontiers in East Asia. Combining textual sources with ethnographic fieldwork, his research focuses on the interaction and exchange between China and Inner Asia from the fourteenth to the twentieth century. He is currently working on a book project that examines the dispossession of Tibetans, the displacement of Chinese, and the segregation of Muslims along with China’s transition from empire to nation-state in the Northwest between 1862 and 1962. He is also editing a book that explores how different ethnic groups along the rivers of the eastern Tibetan Plateau have adapted to, negotiated with, transformed, and interpreted their natural surroundings.
Gyatso received his PhD in Chinese Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2020). He holds an MA in Buddhist Studies from Hong Kong University (2014), and a BA in Chinese Classical Philology from Nanjing Normal University (2012). Before coming to Yale, Gyatso was appointed as Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Modern Tibetan Studies at Columbia University.
EAST 400, RLST 366
Religion and Politics in China, Xinjiang, and Tibet
This course explores the religious and political interactions among the Chinese, Tibetans, Mongolians, and Muslims living in today’s northwest China from the fourteenth to the twentieth century. Focusing on parallel spatial arrangements and historical narratives of these ethnoculturally diverse peoples, the first part of this course investigates the evolving political systems, religious institutions, and social structures in China, Xinjiang and Tibet. Shifting from the center-periphery perspective to the bottom-up perspective, the second part examines major issues associated with interethnic relations. We critically read both primary and secondary sources. Key themes include Chinese imperialism and colonialism, Tibetan Buddhist expansion, Mongolian conquest, Islamization and Muslim resettlement, transregional trade, frontier militarization, ethnic violence, and inter-ethnocultural accommodation.