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.


Click here to learn more about the Modern Tibetan Studies Program.  Click here to support the Modern Tibetan Studies Program.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events.


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.

May 24, 2021

Announcement from the Director

It has been a privilege to direct Columbia’s Modern Tibetan Studies Program (MTSP) for the last couple of years, working together with a team of talented scholars, students, and colleagues at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and C.V. Starr East Asian Library.

March 01, 2021

MTSP alumna, Dominique Townsend, releases new book

In March 2021, MTSP alumna, Dominique Townsend, released her new book entitled A Buddhist Sensibility: Aesthetic Education at Tibet's Mindröling Monastery.  Dominique Townsend is currently assistant professor of Buddhist studies at Bard College. She is also a poet and the author of Shantideva: How to Wake Up a Hero (2015), a book about Buddhism for children and families.  

Selected Publications

Cover with painting of mountains

Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change

Lauran Hartley
Drawing of Lhasa on cover of book

Lhasa: Streets with Memories

Robert Barnett
Prayer wheels on cover

The Tibetan History Reader

Gray Tuttle