Indiana University Bloomington
Choose which site to search

Tibet and the West


This class carries Culture Studies credit & COLL S & H distribution credit

This course examines Western perceptions of Tibet during the past 700 years. It presents Tibetan history and culture during this period and compares Tibetan civilization with the popular concepts about Tibet that prevailed in the West during this same period. The modern Western view of Tibet as "Shangrila," reflected in such novels and films as Lost Horizon will be examined, as will Tibetan perceptions of Westerners and Western civilization.

UNDERGRADUATES: Undergraduates are expected to read only Don Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-la.

GRADUATES: Graduates are expected to read Edward Said, Orientalism; Don Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-la; and The Dalai Lama, The Universe in a Single Atom.Though not required, graduate students are urged to read the various essays collected in Thierry Dodin and Heinz Räther, Imagining Tibet and encouraged to read Robert Irwin, For Lust of Knowing; and Martin Brauen, Dreamworld Tibet. They are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with those items listed below, particularly those that are marked with an asterisk (*).

Regions Covered



Department of Central Eurasian Studies