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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December 13, 2022

Documentary on Death in Tibet Explores Space Between Science and Belief

Reflecting on our December 6 screening of Tukdam: Between Worlds,a new documentary film by Donagh Coleman. The event was cohosted by the Modern Tibetan Studies Program and the School of the Arts at Columbia University, with funding from the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

November 22, 2022

New Course! The Third Pole: A Climate History of the Tibetan Plateau

We are very excited to announce that the Climate Humanities Initiative at Columbia University has awarded Professor Gray Tuttle (along with Dr. Hưng Nguyễn (Lamont-Doherty) and Ph.D. candidate Palden Gyal) funding to develop a course on the climate history of Tibet. 

Selected Publications

Book cover with old photo of nun and title

The Sakya Jetsunmas: The Hidden World of Tibetan Female Lamas

Elisabeth A. Benard
Drawing of Lhasa on cover of book

Lhasa: Streets with Memories

Robert Barnett
Purple and gold cover

Sources of Tibetan Tradition

Gray Tuttle
Kurtis Schaeffer
Matthew T. Kapstein
Cover of Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China

Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China

Gray Tuttle