Past Event

A Pilgrim’s Diary: Khatag Dzamyag’s nyindep and Tibetan diary-keeping practices

February 25, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
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Zoom Webinar

Speaker: Dr. Lucia Galli, Centre de Recherche sur les Civilisations de l'Asie Orientale, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, 2017-2020; and current member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

This presentation offers an overview of diary-keeping practices in the Tibetan literary and historical milieus by taking as a case study the personal account of a 20th-century Eastern Tibetan trader named Khatag Dzamyag (Kha stag ’Dzam yag, 1896-1961). Belonging to the diaristic genre of nyinto (nyin tho)/nyindep (nyin deb), the work lends itself to multiple approaches. Recent studies in the literary field have already marked the existence of a hybrid form of (auto)biographical narratives, in which the factual and the fictional merge, mix, and intertwine. Facts are constantly subject to manipulation through processes of narrativization, selection, expansion, and omission that all together contribute to the coming into play of fiction. By taking life stories as a metaphor for the phenomena of human life, mind, and action, (auto)biographical narratives thus become a means of “doing living”, i.e. a way to understand the meaning of life while acting, thinking, and living it. Taking a narratological approach, Dr. Galli will reflect upon the dual structural core of Dzamyag’s autobiographical first-person pronoun – as self that is both “narrating” and “narrated”, extending the discussion to the way in which traditional structures and institutions of self-representation are actively engaged and reinterpreted throughout the nyindep.

This event is hosted by the Modern Tibetan Studies Program. 

Contact Information

Lauran Hartley