Conference: Transcultural Encounters in the Himalayan Borderlands, Kalimpong, March 06-08

Markus Viehbeck's picture

Dear Colleagues,

As part of the Cluster of Excellence "Asia & Europe in a Global Context", University of Heidelberg, the project "Kalimpong as a 'Contact Zone:' Encounters between Tibet and Western Modernity", directed by Prof. Birgit Kellner and Dr. Markus Viehbeck organizes a conference, which gathers various international scholars in Kalimpong to discuss the cultural entanglements that shaped the Eastern Himalayas in the first half of the 20th century.

Venue: Himalayan Hotel, Kalimpong, March 06-08, 2015

For full details, please visit the conference website:


Friday, March 06, 2015

09:15-10:45: Keynote Lecture

- Markus Viehbeck: Welcome & Introduction

- Tanka B. Subba: Processes of Cultural Identity Negotiations in the Himalayan Region

- Chair: Jayeeta Sharma

11:15-12:30: Session 01

- Clare Harris: Photography in the 'Contact Zones' of the Himalayas

- Anna Sawerthal: A Newspaper for Tibet: The Self through the Form of the Other

- Chair: Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa

14:00-15:45: Session 02

- Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa: Recovering the New Himalayan Woman: Gender, Mobility and Alternative Modernities in the Construction of Kalimpong as a Contact Zone

- Carole McGranahan: Earth and Sky: The Pangdatsang Family, Social Death, and Tibetan Politics in Kalimpong, 1945-1965

- Jayeeta Sharma: Circulation, Intimacies, and Writing ‘Connected’ Himalayan Histories

- Chair: Davide Torri

16:15-17:45: Session 03

- Isrun Engelhardt: A Dedicated Initiator of Cultural Exchange: Tharchin's Innovative Communication of Knowledge between the Tibetan and Western Worlds

- Trine Brox & Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen: The Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia - 7 Years in Kalimpong

- Chair: Clare Harris

Saturday, March 07, 2015

09:30-10:45: Session 04

- Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia: Beyond the Native Informant: Kalimpong and Darjeeling in the Making of Modern Sikkimese Intellectual Cultures

- Markus Viehbeck: Scholarly Networks in Kalimpong and beyond: Knowledge Production and Powers of Representation

- Chair: Carole McGranahan

11:15-13:00: Session 05

- Vibha Arora: The Rise of the Lepcha Subaltern and the Kalimpong Stimulus

- Charisma Lepcha: Scottish Mission in Kalimpong and the Changing Dynamics of Lepcha Society

- Chair: Jayeeta Sharma

14:00-16:00: Graduate Student Roundtable

- Kishan Harijan: The Role of Trade and Commerce in the Socio-Economic Conditions of the Darjeeling Hills (1861-1962)

- Mingma Lhamu: The Politics of Mobilization of the Gorkhas: The Role of the Nepalese King (1914-1918)

- Garima Rai: Interrogating Migrant Subjectivity in Indian Nepali Writings from Darjeeling Hills (1950-1980)

- Shradhanjali Tamang: Indigenous History and the Tamba Tradition

- Binayak Sundas: Understanding the History of the Gorkhas/Gurkhas as a Socio-Political Process, 14th-20th Centuries

- Reep Pandi Lepcha: Myths and Folktales of Lepchas: A Critical Assessment

- Chair: Anna Sawerthal

16:30-17:45: Session 06

- Mona Chettri: Cultural Revivalism and Contact Zones in the Eastern Himalaya

- Rajendra P. Dhakal: Changing Orientations: A Study of the Hill Communities

- Chair: Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia

Sunday, March 08, 2015

09:30-10:45: Concluding Roundtable: From Local Histories to Global Knowledge

- Sandip Jain & Markus Viehbeck

- Daniel Tharchin & Anna Sawerthal

- Udaymani Pradhan, Bharatmani Pradhan & Jayeeta Sharma

11:15: Farewell

- Markus Viehbeck: Acknowledgments & Farewell


The conference is open to the public, attendence is free.


With kind regards,

Markus Viehbeck


Contact details:

Dr. Markus Viehbeck

Assistant Professor | Buddhist Studies

Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context"

Heidelberg University