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Dr Hildegard Diemberger

Dr Hildegard Diemberger

Affiliated Lecturer

Research Impact Coordinator

Fellow and College Lecturer, Pembroke College


Research Interests

Tibetan cultural area and Tibet-Mongolia interface; local-state dynamics and deals with the impact of radical change on traditional communities; landscape, space and time; local history and memory; changing notions of power and kinship; and debates over continuity, tradition and modernity.

The cultures and peoples of Tibet and the Himalayan regions have for centuries been seen by foreigners as principal sites for the study of the ‘traditional’. Today these areas face compelling challenges from global and regional change. The project “Tradition and Modernity in Tibet and the Himalayas” carried out research from 2001 to 2005 into aspects of the tradition-modernity issue in these understudied regions. Through the promotion of cooperative and interdisciplinary approaches to research, it produced a wealth of new materials based on primary field studies. It was based on international co-operation involving also Oxford University, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences, the Italian CNR, the French CNRS and Columbia University in New York.

Between 2004-2005 I was involved in a network, funded by the British Academy, investigating Nationalities Cadres and Discourse in Late Socialism: The USSR, Mongolia & China. The project allowed us to organise two international conferences on this theme, one at the East Asia Institute of Columbia University (April 2004) and one at the university of Cambridge in collaboration with CRASSH (April 2005). More generally, the project established an international network to research and analyse major forms through which nationality officials and leaders within the PRC elite communicate, theorise, strategise and enact the maintenance and extension of power


Between 2004-2007 I coordinated the Tibetan-Mongolian Rare Books and Manuscripts project as part of the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (MIASU). The project aimed to enhance the preservation, availability and understanding of some 2,300 Tibetan and Mongolian rare manuscripts and books in Britain, archiving them on microfilm and placing the most important on the web. I am currently working on an AHRC Research Project led by Prof. Caroline Humphrey: Tibetan woman-lama and her reincarnations: a study of the bSam-sdings rDor-je Phag-mo (15th-21st Century).

Research Supervision

Anthony Howarth