Introduction of Organization
Center for Tibetan Studies of Sichuan University，based on History Talents Training and Scientific Research Base established in national colleges and universities under the ratification of Educational Department, is a key scientific research institution by means of reorganizing and rebuilding the Tibet Archaeology and Historical and Cultural Research Center of former Sichuan University in 1999. This institute gives full play to the advantages of its southwestern location, academic speciality and tradition of attaching importance to the investigation and study of the Tibetan areas over the years, inherits the academic research fruits created by scholars of the older generation of the university, opens up the research field of new Tibetan areas, and has an important historical position in the research field of the Tibetan areas of the whole country.
The research institute, with the backing of the university’s programs for doctors of Chinese history, special history, Chinese archaeology and the circulating station for postdoctoral researchers, possesses distinct advantages of talents, region, tradition and multi-subject, multi-speciality comprehensive study in the China Tibetology research field. The institute will, on the basis of present major research projects of national level, further expand and enhance the research into significant projects of China Tibetology, put out some new achievements of high quality, bring up a group of core members with doctorate and highly academic level, establish its irreplaceable advanced position in the comprehensive study of Chinese Tibetan areas among Chinese institutions of higher learning.
The institute owns a team of research workers of different ages who are learned in their extensive subjects and specialities, capable of synthetical study, and good at external communication. Of the available 24 full-time and part-time researchers whose average age is forty-three, professors (research fellows) are 13, associate professors are 10, Tibetan researchers are 6. And 11 persons are doctors among senior research fellows.
The institute takes southwestern Tibetan areas (Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan etc.) and Gan-Qing Tibetan areas as its main research field. The research projects deal with the history of Tibet, the history of the Tibet-Hans relations, the economic history of the Tibetan areas, the sustained development of the Tibetan areas, archaeology and cultural relics of the Tibetan areas, Tibetan culture and art, the history of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan traditional culture, the relations between Chinese Tibetan areas and South Asia and Central Asia, the history of internal and external Tibetology, the socio-economical condition of the Tibetan areas , the history of the relations between southwestern nationalities, the history of Tubo and so on. The presently formed research directions are as follows: Firstly, the present condition of the Tibetan areas and social development; Secondly, the history of the Tibet and the Tibet-Hans relations; Thirdly, archaeology of the Tibetan areas and Tibetan culture and art. The institute plans to start and set up new research directions of one to three during five years on the present basis.
Distribution of researchers according to research directions
Achievements of full-time researchers
Achievements of part-time researchers
Center for Tibetan Studies of Sichuan University
Three Research Directions
Present Condition of the Tibetan Areas and Social Development
The research in this direction pays close attention to the present social and economic development and major realistic issues of the Tibetan areas, studies realistic problems and social characteristics of the areas from the point of development and stability, and provides guiding ideology and strategic foundation for our country to solve problems and make policy for the Tibetan areas. This research is extremely compound and crisscrossed, deals with theories and methods in numerous fields of nationality, society, economy, religion, education, history, culture and the like, and specializes in the comprehensive and applied projects. As the most important western comprehensive university which is a gateway to Tibet for its forward location, Sichuan University receives more attention of academic circles and the state department concerned for it has kept an age-old tradition of making investigation and engaging in study in Tibetan areas, taken on a quite number of national tasks in this field for many years, finished many correlated reports and treatises of high quality, crowned with remarkable achievements. In addition, South Asia Research Institute, Population Research Institute, Religion Research Institute, and Environmental Engineering College of our university have all looked on this direction as an important research field and gotten quite good fruits, which has not only given effective support to our study, but also helped the whole university to form comparatively strong comprehensive strength in the field.
Ge Le, the academic leader in this field, has taken charge of many correlated significant projects and accomplished it,with some great fruits that arouse wide interest at home and abroad, such as Herdsmen of Northern Tibet: Social and Historical Investigation in the Naqu Area of Tibet, Forty-year Vicissitudes of Tibetan Families: Investigative Reporting of One Hundred Tibetan Families. In recent years, Tibetan Traditional Culture and Modernization, the national major research project directed by him, is the most important one with the largest scale in this field. History, Tradition, and Modernization of Tibet Changdu and The Social Formation of Tibetan Feudal Serfdom have been published and other serial ones will be put out, which will become the newest systematic outcomes. Moreover, other workers’ publications are all related to this research in different fields from different angles, which is beneficial to knowing the present social situation, accelerating the development of the Tibetan areas. And meanwhile it marks the leading position of our institute in this research field. And these results are as follows: Ran Guangrong’s Chinese Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Historical and Cultural Study of the Upper Reaches of the Minjiang River, Investigative Reporting of Bai Ma Zang Ren, Selected material of Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, and The Way of Developing Sichuan Tibetan Areas. Yang Jiaming’s How to Train Qualified Junior Middle School Teachers for Tibetan Areas, To Probe and Practise the higher normal Education for nationalities of the Tibetan Areas, Bilanguage Education and Teaching Research of The Tibetan Areas, and Study of Stability and Development of Ganzi Tibetan Areas. Xu Ping’s Life of Tibetan Peasants and Tibetan Peasants: A Investigative Report written by Ban Jue Bu Lun Chun. Li Tao’s Study of Rural Urbanization of Two Tributaries’ Valleys of Ya Lu Zang Bu Jiang River and Rural Urbanization of Tibet, the Inland and Coastal.
The said research has gotten close attention of international Tibetology circles for its very important academic position in the field of Tibetology. Because of the current international situation and Tibet issues which may be more complicated and sharper in the 21th Century, the research has realistic significance for accelerating economic development and social progress of the Tibetan areas, defending the national unity, strengthening southwestern frontier, and helping make state policy concerning Tibetan problems as well.
Backbone of this research:
Ran Guangrong (professor, tutor of Doctor candidates)
Xu Jun (lecturer, Doctor)
History of the Tibetan and the Tibet-Hans Relations
The history of Tibetans has a close tie with the central state power of successive dynasties. Strictly speaking, with its historical development the Tibetan nationality gradually came within the jurisdiction of central state power and became one kind of Chinese multi-nationality. This research is decided on the basis of the premise. It emphasizes the exploration of inner link between Tibetan history and the Tibet-Hans relations and internal relation between Tibet region and central state power in order to develop further into the study of the relation of past ages between Tibet region and central state power. It deals with numerous fields of Tibetan history, religion, the Tibet-Hans relations and the relation between Tibet region and central state power. And it also refers to some theories and methods of the study on history, religion, nationality and archaeology. Since Sichuan University is the largest comprehensive university in western areas and distinguished for its traditional subjects of religion, archaeology, nationality etc., our research is naturally with abound advantages. The university has engaged in the study for many years, taken on a number of national projects, and published some influential monographs and more than seventy treatises, so in China it has unique advantage and leading standing in the research field. The achievements of the research of the Tibet-Hans relations and the relation between Tibetan region and central state power have been approved by scholars of the same occupation all over the country.
History of the eastward development of Tibetan Civilization, written by Shi Shuo who is one member of our institute, is thought highly by Chinese academic circles, awarded national prizes many times, and recently considered as one of the most influential and important achievements in this field for its important academic breakthrough in the field of the relation between Tibet region and central state power. And it firstly proves the deep intrinsic certainty from a brand-new perspective that Tibet is a part of Chinese territory which cannot be separated. Some of his other correlated treatises have also been published on Chinese Social Science and other publications. Moreover, Study of the Administrative System of the Yuan Dynasty, Tubo’s Culture of the Silk Road and Culture of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are also highly appraised by scholars of the same trade. These books, written by Zhang Xun, respectively elaborate the relation between Tibet region and central state power from various aspects of system, traffic, culture, communication and so forth, broaden the vision of researchers and enlarge the field of research. Wang Qilong’s A Critical Biography of Ba Siba brings to light the deep connotation of the said relation of the Yuan Dynasty by studying the Tibetan monk Ba Siba who actively carried the relations between Tibet and Central Plains in his time. The scholars of Tibet University which is our cooperative are so good at the research of the Tibetan history and Tibetan traditional culture that they often give strong backing to our study of this field. Our researchers are younger in average and most of them have gotten doctorate and Master degree. They can read Tibetan language and master at least a kind of foreign language, and have scored great success in Tibetology circles. For the promising young researchers, the study in this research direction has great potentials and bright future and is expected to have the most authoritative academic position in China during two to three years.
The Tibetological research in this direction remains to be enriched and developed, because it has a vast range of prospects.
Backbone of this research: Shi Shuo (Professor, Doctor candidate)
Zhang Yun (Associate professor, Doctor)
Archaeology of the Tibetan Areas and Tibetan Culture and Art
Tibet has a long history, with civilization of several thousands. Besides studying on historical documents, researchers attach more attention to the historical cultural relics left by Tibetan ancestors to explore and sift the culture heritage. The study of this field is comprehensive on Tibetan traditional culture and art, which is made on the basis of field archaeology and documents. The Tibetan areas have plentiful and unique cultural traditions in the aspects of religion, philosophy, history, language, literature, art and other things, but the record is insufficient in comparison with that of other regions of our country, so the material objects of archaeology are greatly valuable in academic field, especially for Tibetan areas. Due to their specific characteristics of historical development, many original cultural elements have still been kept in these areas while the culture of other places has been changed. For instance, the early Buddhist Scriptures of Sanskirt of Central Asia have been lost in India but most of them have been in existence in Tibetan Buddhist Scriptures. And the style and content of ancient art had been lost in India and Central Asia but in Tibetan areas they still had vitality till modern times. Because in the past time the way of this research was monotonous and out-of-date, and the data of field archaeology and tradition documents were not connected closely, the research of the traditional culture and art is relatively sluggish by comparing with other places.
Specifically, the researchers of this field, on the basis of field archaeology and the acquisition of rich, systematical and scientific data, compares Tibetan language and Chinese documents with archaeological objects to study systematically on the relation between the ancient civilization of Tibetan areas and the civilization of Central Plains, the culture and art of Tubo Period, the history of religious sects of Buddhism after Tubo Period, the art of Buddhism (e.g. the construction of monasteries, murals, statues, classics, Tang ka, stone inscriptions, grottos) , and Tibetan traditional drawings and sculptures. And they also research into many other important academic topics from a new angle: How did the Tibetans of plateaus adapt their culture to the complicated natural condition? How did hunting, gathering, agriculture and livestock farming originate and develop in various ecological environment? How did the corresponding spiritual civilization come into being, including art, religion, customs, ideology, etc.? And how about the cultural communication with neighbours in these areas? All these researches complete a fairly comprehensive academic system.
Due to the Chinese vast territories, multi-nationality, complicated natural environment and long history, the culture of different areas is with distinct traditional features and regional diversification. The study of this field is to make an all-round investigation of the traditional culture and art of the Tibetan areas, the reflected special humanistic phenomena, the interaction of varied culture, and the distributions, development, changes and formation of Tibetan culture. The study will help people to understand the scientific fact deeply and restore the history that Chinese multi-nationality has created Chinese civilization together. The research achievements will play a big part in developing the correlated subjects of nationality, history, religion and so on.
Since China is in a new situation of responding to the Party’s call for developing western areas at present, effective policies are necessarily to be made. For this reason, the first thing is to be familiar with western history, current situation and traditional culture, and the specially important thing is that the disequilibrium of cultural development and its historical source are to be judged scientifically. Because of the special position of Tibet in western areas, the outcomes of the research will be beneficial to the reality, and the study of this field is with remarkable practical significance.