Member book, Viehbeck, "Transcultural Encounters in the Himalayan Borderlands"

Markus Viehbeck's picture

Dear list members,

I hope this very recent publication will be of interest:

Transcultural Encounters in the Himalayan Borderlands – Kalimpong as a “Contact Zone” (Heidelberg Studies on Transculturality), edited by Markus Viehbeck. Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2017. 350pp., ISBN 978-3-946054-58-0 (Softcover).

Open access html version and free e-book:

http://heiup.uni-heidelberg.de/catalog/book/301

This collaborative study investigates the hill station of Kalimpong and the larger Eastern Himalayan borderlands as a paradigmatic case of a “contact zone.” In the colonial and early post-colonial era, this space enabled a variety of encounters: between (British) India, Tibet, and China, but also Nepal and Bhutan; between Christian mission and Himalayan religions; between global flows of money and information and local markets and practices. Using a plethora of local and global historical sources, the contributing essays follow the pathways of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and investigate the new forms of knowledge and practice that resulted from their encounters and their shifting power relations. The volume provides not only a nuanced historiography of Kalimpong and its adjacent areas, but also a conceptual model for studying transcultural processes in borderland spaces and their colonial and post-colonial dynamics.

Contents:

Markus Viehbeck

Introduction: Cultural History as a History of Encounters—A “Contact Perspective”...................................................................................... 1

Part I: Christian Mission, Educational Institutions, and Identity Formation........................................................................... 23

Jayeeta Sharma

Kalimpong as a Transcultural Missionary Contact Zone ............................. 25

Andrew J. May

Our Miniature Heaven: Forming Identities at Dr Graham’s Homes .......... 55

Charisma K. Lepcha

The Scottish Mission in Kalimpong and the Changing Dynamics of Lepcha Society.............................................................................................. 71

Part II: Public Spheres, Public Media, and the Creation of Public Knowledge................................................................................. 93

Clare Harris

Photography in the “Contact Zone”: Identifying Copresence and Agency in the Studios of Darjeeling............................................................... 95

Anna Sawerthal and Davide Torri

Imagining the Wild Man: Yeti Sightings in Folktales and Newspapers of the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills.........................................................121

Prem Poddar and Lisa Lindkvist Zhang

Kalimpong: The China Connection...............................................................149

Part III: Things that Connect: Economies and Material Culture........................................................................................ 175

Emma Martin

Object Lessons in Tibetan: The Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Charles Bell, and Connoisseurial Networks in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, 1910–12 .177

Tina Harris

Wool, Toothbrushes, and Beards: Kalimpong and the “Golden Era” of Cross-Border Trade.................................................................................... 205

Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa

Sacred Economies of Kalimpong: The Eastern Himalayas in the Global Production and Circulation of Buddhist Material Culture...... 223

Part IV: Scholars, Power, and Knowledge Production .......... 243

Trine Brox and Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen

Prince Peter’s Seven Years in Kalimpong: Collecting in a Contact Zone .245

Markus Viehbeck

“The First Tibetan at a Western University?”—Entanglements of Scholarship, Buddhism, and Power in Kalimpong and Beyond........... 273

Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia

Looking Beyond the Land of Rice: Kalimpong and Darjeeling as Modern Buddhist Contact Zones for Sikkimese Intellectual Communities................................................................................................... 301

Epilogue........................................................................................................ 319

Prem Poddar and Cheralyn Mealor

Kalimpong as Fiction or Ethnography? Gorkha/Nepali Sensitivities in the Himalayas............................................................................................. 321

List of Contributors......................................................................................... 347

 

All very best, Markus Viehbeck