Juha Komppa

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Dr Juha Komppa, DPhil Candidate, ISCA, University of Oxford, an art historian and a literary scholar.

Educated in Beijing , Hong Kong and Oxford , he is currently completing his doctorate in anthropology at the University of Oxford on Tibet in Chinese imaginings.

He has published on Tibetan material culture and on various aspects of his fieldsite, Xiahe/Labrang.



DPhil Candidate, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford

Educated in Beijing, Hong Kong and Oxford, he is currently completing his new doctorate in anthropology at the University of Oxford on Tibet in Chinese imaginings. Besides, he is associate member of the Amdo Qinghai Project at the University of Helsinki. He has published on Tibetan material culture and on various aspects of his fieldsite, Xiahe/Labrang. He holds degrees in Art History, Comparative Literature, and Material Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, and has taught at Hong Kong, Macau, Oxford, and Helsinki.

Beholding Labrang: Chinese Imaginings of Tibet and Things Tibetan

This path-breaking doctoral research is on Tibet in contemporary Chinese Han imaginings, but covers also the historical development of such images. Based on extensive fieldwork in China 2007-2011, the study takes in both the Han experience as visitors in the Tibetan areas in southwest Gansu (Amdo) and their views from afar on sites in China proper. It presents the diversity in perceptions and representations regarding things Tibetan in China, and explains the formation of these views, official and private. Theoretically, assumptions about authenticity, ethnicity and visuality are considered. The work also locates the Chinese images in relation to the much more studied ones of the West and of the Tibetans themselves.

Further research interests: Tibetan folk beliefs and religious practices, secular material culture and cultural preservation in Amdo, Chinese and Asian antiquities, contemporary Chinese frontier literature, the exotic.

Publications:

  • 2012 Bargaining for Deities and Chattels: Recent Developments in Xiahe as Reflected in the Local Antiques Trade. Studia Orientalia. Helsinki: The Finnish Oriental Society (forthcoming)
  • 2010 Tourism, Pilgrimage and the Fluidity of Material Culture in Labrang/Xiahe. René Gothóni ed. Pilgrims and Travellers in Search of the Holy. Oxford: Peter Lang, 219-258
  • 2009 The Changing Face of Labrang: Politics, Religion and Cultural Preservation in Xiahe. http//www.budcon.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=248:the-changing-face-of-labrang-politics- religion-and-cultural-preservation-in-xiahe-juha-komppa-&catid=47:articles&Itemid=117&lang=en From Heat to Dust to Things Truly Wonderful: the Long Road into a Display Case. http://imponderabilia.socanth.cam.ac.uk/articles/article.php?articleid=8
  • 2008 Material Culture in Eastern Tibet. Marjo-Riitta Saloniemi, Juha Janhunen, Tiina Hyytiäinen, and Oppi Untracht eds. Tibet – A Culture in Transition. Tampere: Tampere Museums' Publications 103, 158-185