So the University of Copenhagen is to close down its ‘Tibetology’ department, losing, according the heat over on Facebook a valuable resource on Tibetan studies. Whether this is due to budgetary matters or political pressure from the Chinese regime there will be no tears shed here. Why so? Let’s just say we have seen more than our fair share of academics who are happy to carve careers and qualifications from the ‘corpse’ of Tibet, while carefully cooperating with the Chinese authorities and ensuring a tight-lipped silence on the suffering of the Tibetan people. Ah that’s academic neutrality, a distanced objectivity some may say, horse-shit is our response! In reality it’s a form of complicity with China’s tyranny against Tibet and an endorsement of the Chinese regime.
After all any educational institution or academic seeking to study in occupied Tibet has to co-operate with the requirements set by China’s government, and considerable efforts are made to ensure compliance. A building in downtown Beijing well known to those in Tibetan Studies is the so-called ‘China Tibetology Research Center’ it’s main role would seem to be promoting the official view on matters related to Tibet, effectively pushing a propaganda line, under the guise of academia. Yet it attracts the uncritical co-operation of academics within Tibetan studies, who in their myopic fascination with Tibet’s culture appear uncaring at the manipulation and control exerted upon either themselves or their chosen subject.
An even greater and more disturbing indifference from those engaged in the area of Tibetan Studies is extended towards the grim reality experienced daily by Tibetans. They follow their studies, often in full knowledge of the torture, forced labor, ‘ethnic cleansing’ and wider genocidal assault against Tibet’s culture, while closing their eyes to the misery and oppression endured by Tibetans. All the while happily conforming to the demands imposed by China’s authorities, and excused as a required expedient in the pursuit of ‘knowledge’, or should that more correctly read professional and academic status and career?
Sure there’s a need to ensure that Tibet’s rich culture is maintained and recorded to enable its study, especially for exiled Tibetans, however there’s sufficient information, resources, artifacts and cultural material already housed in institutions around the world to facilitate such studies. Unfortunately the anthropologist, social scientist, linguist or archaeologist demands in situ study, nothing like being ‘in the field’. Then there’s the benefits of academic cooperation with their Chinese counterparts to consider, life sure is tough in the world of Tibetan studies!
Whatever the reasoning behind the decision to close that Department anyone who has witnessed the troubling censorship applied by ‘Tibetologists’ regarding the plight of Tibetans will be applauding the news that this University at least will be ending the gravy train bound for Lhasa. No more funded trips and placing career and academic interests ahead of human rights and the Tibetan cause.
4 thoughts on “As The Culture Of Tibet Suffers Academics Circle Like Vultures!”
Pathetic politics in a country can mean a mistaken action for the sake of education and advancement out of ignorance. It can have an adverse effect and be a retrograde step, diminishing universal progress for the restoration of the adored subject as well.
It is, at the same time as being nothing truly lost, in the sense of mere academic observation being too high a cost (or many costs), there may be some individuals (or maybe even one) that might, by not being able to participate, be sorely missed and thereby become detrimental by not being present, not by their own intention, but by the decisions of others.
Again another disgusting success of the CCP perhaps, but this time effectively and unfortunately being unwittingly applauded by you, if you express disparagement towards academia in it’s entirety.
Not thanking the hidden potential within at least one human being attracted by the entirety of Tibet, including the collective hidden gem of the land, the people and it’s culture, might be the rejection of one grain of sand, the potential keystone keeping the whole of a mountain from crumbling to dust in a sudden rush.
A declaration of ‘goodbye to bad rubbish’ might mean there is nowhere suitable for the lotus flower to blossom.
Hi, thanks for taking time out to contribute on this issue. On discussion prior to posting this article there were a number of varying takes, including a desire not to castigate academia per se. However it was felt the matter has been far too long ignored, especially from within the Tibetan movement, and left more or less unchallenged. The criticism is presented in terms of academics within Tibetan Studies, in publishing it is hoped to generate discussion, introduce questions not perhaps considered and expose a basic concern, is academia absolved of ethical concerns or operational integrity on the reasoning that the pursuit of knowledge is paramount? It’s hoped those objectives are being served by the piece.
I thank you very much for replying in this way.
In no way do I doubt the sincerity and accuracy of what the article says and what you say today. I agree also with the principle current reality of these days that the situation within and for Tibet is utterly unacceptable. So all and everything that can be done must be done.
I do not disagree that opportunism is rife in the world and is especially unfortunate when horrible misery and destruction is ignored and even made to seem somehow acceptably ‘ignorable’ by some. A great sorrow.
Things always change, even vile habits by people who don’t personally care.
Even vile activity by frightened CCP people will come to end. It is an undeniable fact.
Suffering in Tibet which blemishes the entire planet will alter and cease as education and understanding overcome the emanation of that particular part of human kind’s collective psyche, caused by empty fear and utter greed combined.
We humans are so great and have so much vital potential, yet many things are still to be overcome.
With greatness comes such a potential for positivity and imaginative creativity but very unfortunately also a consequential capability for clouded thinking and very warped pleasure which some people prefer to consider as external and call (as a type of ‘get out clause’), evil.
You are welcome.