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Zhang, Yinong

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Cornell U.
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
June 13, 2003
Project Title: 
Zhang, Yinong, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Embodying Memory: Transforming Religious Practices of a Tibetan Village in Post-Reform China,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg

YINONG ZHANG, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in June 2003 to aid research on 'Embodying Memory: Transforming Religious Practices of a Tibetan Village in Post-Reform China,' supervised by Dr. David H. Holmberg. This project was carried out primarily in a Tibetan village, Taktsang Lhamo, (Chinese: Langmusi) located on the contemporary provincial border of Gansu and Sichuan in western China between October 2003 and April 2005. After more than fifty years of incorporation into China, Tibetan society has experienced significant social transformations - from the overall attack on its culture and religion during the Cultural Revolution period (1966-1976) to the economic and social reform since the 1980s. Focusing on the revival of religious practices after the 1980s, when religious expression was again allowed by the Chinese government, this research was based on both the practical and emotional aspect of the everyday life in this village. In particular, the grantee observed religious and ritual events, festivals, language expressions, and ethnic interactions between Tibetan, Chinese, and Muslims. These practices constitute a significant body of social memories through which new ethnic identities have been reconstructed within the context of a rapidly changing Chinese state. Furthermore, by looking at the embodying process of social memories in these daily practices, the research also shows an internalization and negotiation between modern multi-ethnic nation state-building and local concerns about it.