Object Lessons from Tibet & the Himalayas is a research community that brings together academics, museums, and Tibetan scholars, groups and cultural organisations to think about the roles of objects and images in knowledge production, loss and recovery.
We want to ask new questions of Tibetan and Himalayan objects. Therefore, rather than focusing on the object’s religious significance we want to think about the ways objects enable us to understand historical, political and contemporary events and encounters.
Some of our big research questions are:
What did Tibetan and Himalayan objects do during moments of historical and political significance?
What types of object-based knowledge have been lost or ignored and what has replaced it?
How can we recover lost knowledge, and what does this process of recovery mean for museums, academics, and Tibetans?
What does innovation look like in the Tibetan material world?
Can we imagine a different kind of ‘Tibet’ for the museum?
This research community is led by Dr Emma Martin (National Museums Liverpool and University of Manchester) in collaboration with Dr Diana Lange (Humboldt University, Berlin), and Dr Trine Brox (University of Copenhagen) and Dr Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen (National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen).
We are keen to widen our network and we welcome contributions to the blog from researchers across the world who ask questions of Tibetan museum collections and material culture.