This collaborative research programme focused on the area of the Sino-Tibetan borderlands situated within the People‘s Republic of China, and referred to as Kham by Tibetans who make up most of the population there. Kham, however, has no administrative unity and is now divided between the provinces of Sichuan to the east, Yunnan to the south and the Tibet Autonomous Region to the west. How, then, does one define this entity called Kham, especially since over the course of history it has never strictly corresponded to any administrative unit or coherent entity ? How does one explain the rationale behind the current administrative division ? And how does one ultimately consider this land of encounters, a place of métissage (cultural blending) where so many particularisms emerge ? These are some of the questions this research project set out answer from a comparative perspective thanks to contributions from the fields of anthropology and history.
This project received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, European Research Council (ERC), Support for frontier research (SP2-Ideas), Starting grant No. 283870.