Worlds in the making


Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie, vol. 23 (2014)

Des mondes en devenir. Interethnicité et production de la différence en Chine du Sud-Ouest / Worlds in the making: Interethnicity and the processes of generating difference in Southwestern China

The image of a monolithic, immobile China is rather antiquated and yet the obvious complexity of this country-cum-continent is now more readily accepted,
if not understood. This special issue address this topic from historical and anthropological perspectives in the hope of contributing to a better understanding of this inner (“ethnic”) diversity that characterizes China today, like yesterday, and especially its southwestern border regions. Several contributors to this volume (David Atwill, Lara Maconi, Patrick Booz) are members of the international research programme entitled “Territories, Communities, and Exchanges in the Sino-Tibetan Kham Borderlands” funded by the European Research Council (ERC, Starting Grant no. 283,870) and coordinated by Stéphane Gros. While this special issue is the result of exchanges within this research project, other colleagues have been invited to contribute to it in order to broaden the scope. Together we have set out to compare a variety of visions and conceptualizations of these regions of China located at the crossroads between Southeast Asia and Tibet, and to provide additional insight and criticism of the analytical categories we use whenever we think Otherness and identity building.


Stéphane Gros – Introduction


David G. Atwill – A Tibetan by Any Other Name: The Case of Muslim Tibetans and Ambiguous Ethno-religious Identities

Stéphane Gros – Devenirs identitaires dans les confins sino-tibétains : contextes et transformations

Edwin Schmitt – The Influence of Inter-ethnic Relations on Historical Shifts in the Value Systems of Agricultural Goods and Practices among the Ersu and Han of Sichuan, China

Sylvie Beaud – La diversité des Han de Yangzong 陽宗 (Yunnan) au prisme des discours sur l’origine du Théâtre de Guan Suo 關索戲

Lara Maconi – Dans les yeux des artistes : visions chinoises de Muli 木里 et du Kham pendant la Seconde guerre sino-japonaise (1937-1945)

Vanessa Frangville – Négocier les identités ethniques dans « Le Projet sur le cinéma non-han » : le cas du micro-film de Yang Rui sur les Wa du Yunnan


Tang Yun 汤芸 & Zhang Yuan 张原 – Crossing Borders and Paradigms: the Intermediaries and the Reformation of Anthropology

Patrick Booz – In and Out of Borders: The Beifu 背夫 Tea Porters Encounter Tibet

Valérie Vandenabeele – Le respect de l’environnement naturel des Tibétains du Parc national de Pudacuo 普達措 (Yunnan 雲南) : attribut identitaire ou atout touristique ?

Tami Blumenfield – Resilience in Mountainous Southwest China: Adopting a Socio-Ecological Approach to Community Change


Charles McKhann – Erik Mueggler, The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of West China and Tibet

Pascale-Marie Milan – Tenzin Jinba, In the Land of the Eastern Queendom: The Politics of Gender and Ethnicity on the Sino-Tibetan Border

Download the flyer (PDF)

Cite this blog post
Stéphane Gros (2015, October 27). Worlds in the making. The Himalayas and beyond. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from

Stéphane Gros

Stéphane Gros is a social anthropologist at the CNRS (France), Centre for South Asian and Himalayan Studies (CESAH). He is the author of a monograph on the Drung of Northwest Yunnan province in China (La Part manquante, 2012), and has written numerous articles and book chapters on issues of interethnic relations and representations of ethnic minorities, poverty and categorization, as well as rituals and cosmology. He has edited or co-edited four collections of relevance to ethnographic theory, Chinese studies, and area studies. For 2012-2016, he was the Principal Investigator for a collaborative project titled "Territories, Communities, and Exchanges in the Kham Sino-Tibetan Borderlands", funded by a ERC (European Research Council) Starting Grant. His personal research currently investigates aspects of kinship and social organization, conversion to Christianity, as well as heritage politics and environmental discourses.

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