Gray Tuttle

Gray Tuttle

Research Interest

Modern Tibetan history; Manchu Qing Empire frontiers; role of Tibetan Buddhism in Sino-Tibetan relations.

Professor Tuttle’s current research project, for a book tentatively entitled “Amdo (Qinghai/Gansu): Middle Ground between Lhasa and Beijing,” focuses on Tibetan Buddhist institutional growth from the seventeenth to the twentieth century and how economic growth in the Sino-Tibetan borderlands fueled expansion and renewal of these institutions into the contemporary period.

In his Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China (Columbia University Press, 2005), examines the failure of nationalism and race-based ideology to maintain the Tibetan territory of the former Qing empire as integral to the Chinese nation-state. He discusses the critical role of pan-Asian Buddhism in Chinese efforts to hold onto Tibetan regions (one quarter of China’s current territory).

He also co-edited Sources of Tibetan Tradition for the series Introduction to Asian Civilizations, The Tibetan History Reader, and Ethnic Conflict and Protest in Tibet and Xinjiang (Columbia University Press).

Professor Tuttle teaches courses on modern Tibetan history, the history of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist relations, and global core courses on Tibetan civilization as well as Tibetan frontiers, biographies, and sacred geography in comparative contexts.

He received his AB from Princeton, his MA in regional studies (East Asian), and his PhD in Inner Asian and Altaic studies from Harvard. He joined the Columbia faculty in 2005 and received the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award in 2019.

For more information (CV, publication links, etc.), click here.



Tuttle, Gray, and Ben Hillman, eds. Ethnic Conflict and Protest in Tibet and Xinjiang: Unrest in China’s West. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Tuttle, Gray, and Kurtis R. Schaeffer, eds. The Tibetan History Reader. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.

Tuttle, Gray. Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.