The research programme “Territories, Communities and Exchanges in the Sino-Tibetan Kham Borderlands (China)” has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, European Research Council (ERC), Support for frontier research (SP2-Ideas), Starting grant n° 283870.

It is hosted by the Centre d'études Himalayennes, at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

For further information and any questions, please contact the Principal Investigator, Stéphane Gros

CEH - UPR 299
7 rue Guy Môquet
94800 Villejuif CEDEX
Tél : 01 49 58 37 36
Fax : 01 49 58 37 28

Home > Aims and Themes

Aims and Themes

This collaborative research project on Kham explores factors of unity and diversity that characterize this region and its population. Research will take into account the expressions of identity within their contemporary dynamics, and particularly the strong Khampa (people of Kham) culture and identity claims today, since forty percent of all Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China live in Kham. Concurrently, this project’s goal is to help rethink our understanding of both China and Tibet, and to question the categories of “Chinese” and “Tibetan” which often appear too static and impermeable. To this end, a common effort will be made to move away from the externalist terminology (e.g. borderlands, periphery, margins, etc.) in order to re-centre our perspective on the encounters themselves and bring into focus the multifaceted roles the Tibetans, the Hans, and other ethnicities, common people as well as officials have played along this Sino-Tibetan corridor.
This collaborative work is divided in four main themes: 1) trade and commerce, 2) ethnicity, religion and local identities, 3) political entities and social organization, and 4) representations and cultural politics. Each will make a major contribution to the definition of spaces, communities, identities and areas of influence on different scales and at different eras, by uncovering the political, familial, economic and religious networks in order to analyse their relations at different periods and to provide explanatory elements regarding the contemporary context.
This project brings together a team of experienced and skilled international researchers that engage in multidisciplinary collaboration in a rapidly developing field. Each participant contributes to collection of first-hand data, based on historical archives and field surveys. It is our aim to strengthen international academic exchanges and to produce a strong network of collaboration on Sino-Tibetan Borderlands studies.

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