Celebrating 20 Years of Modern Tibetan Studies

More than two decades ago, a novel idea was born – to bring a contemporary focus to Tibetan studies. Upon its establishment in fall 1999, the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University became the first academic program dedicated to modern Tibet. Twenty years later, we step back to survey the achievements of the Program and its unique contribution to the study of modern Asia, with an eye to the future.


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Upcoming Events


June 15, 2022

Sonam Tsering promoted to Senior Lecturer of Modern Colloquial Tibetan

After his eighth-year review, Sonam Tsering has been promoted to Senior Lecturer. This is the first time for one of our language instructors to earn this title, and his promotion thus marks an important milestone for the Tibetan Language Program as well. Gen Sonam Tsering has served as Director of the Tibetan language program at Columbia since 2014, and is responsible for teaching all three levels of modern Tibetan.

September 25, 2021

Dr. Lauran Hartley appointed as new Director of MTSP

Dr. Lauran Hartley has been appointed as the new Associate Research Scholar and Director of the Modem Tibetan Studies Program (MTSP) at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. As part of her appointment, Lauran will also be teaching courses for the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Selected Publications

Cover of Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China

Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China

Gray Tuttle
Cover of Benno Weiner's book

The Chinese Revolution on the Tibetan Frontier

Benno Weiner
Book cover

Ethnic Conflict and Protest in Tibet and Xinjiang: Unrest in China's West

Gray Tuttle
Ben Hillman
Mapping the Modern book cover

Mapping the Modern in TIbet

Gray Tuttle (ed.)