IATS 2013: Panel on Tibetan and Mongolian Ritual Dance: Call for Papers
Geoffrey Samuel (Cardiff University/University of Sydney) and Ann David (University of Roehampton)
We invite proposals for papers on Tibetan and Mongolian ritual dance (’cham, tsam and related genres) for a panel at the Thirteenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, which is to take place in Ulaanbaatar from 21 to 27 July 2013.
Ritual dance, given its spectacular and public nature, has received attention since early encounters between Western scholarship and the Buddhism of Tibetan and Mongolian societies. That does not mean that it has been well or fully understood. Ritual dance in Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhism is a complex and multivalent phenomenon, appearing in a range of often quite different forms and open to interpretation in a variety of ways. While there have been a number of excellent monographs, most notably perhaps the late Richard J. Kohn's study of the Mani Rimdu festival, Lord of the Dance (SUNY 2001), there are many questions still to explore. We hope that the papers in this panel will provide the basis for an edited collection discussing Tibetan and Mongolian ritual dance in its full variety and complexity.
Topics on which papers are invited include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Ritual dance as ritual, including dance performed inside the temple as part of a larger ritual sequence.
2. Ritual dance as politics, including the role of tshe bcu and similar festivals in the political life of Tibetan, Mongolia, Bhutan, Sikkim, and other Tibetan Buddhist societies, past and present.
3. Ritual dance as dance, including the movement vocabulary of dance and how it is employed.
4. The relationship between ritual dance and yogic practice, including ’phrul ’khor ('yantra yoga').
5. Training in ritual dance as part of the curriculum of religious communities.
6. Controversies over the legitimacy of ritual dance (see e.g. Ter Ellingson, 'Dancers in the Marketplace,' Asian Music 10 (2), 1979, 159-178).
7. The role of high-status lamas as ritual dancers (e.g. the Gyalwa Karmapa's Black Hat Dance at Bodhgaya in February 2012).
8. Transformations in ritual dance, historical and contemporary.
9. Ritual dance and tourism.
For further details of the 13th IATS seminar see
Please send proposals and enquiries to both Geoffrey Samuel <SamuelG@cardiff.ac.uk> and Ann David <A.David@roehampton.ac.uk>