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Eric Mortensen (Guilford College)," Boundaries of the Borderlands : Mapping Gyalthang"

This project seeks to discern the physical and conceptual boundaries of the Tibetan region of Gyalthang, in southern Kham.  At issue are questions about the relationships between older conceptualizations of place and newer understandings of identity vis place in twenty first century Sino-Tibetan borderlands. How do the various peoples who live within its boundaries understand Gyalthang? Following the theoretical work of Jonathan Z. Smith (Map Is Not Territory, 1978), I argue that the complex and dynamic webs of ethnic identity in the region neither conform to fixed physical or conceptual boundaries, nor elevate Gyalthang or even Kham as a central ...
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