Mandarin Forum: A World in Sand: Nomadic Life and its Response to Desertification in Alpine Wetlands and Grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau

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Convener: University of Oxford China Centre (Dr Annie Hongping Nie)

Speakers: Dr. Zhang Yuan & Dr. Tang Yun

The first Mandarin Forum of Trinity Term! (Mandarin Presentation / English PPT / Bilingual Q&A / Sandwich Lunch Provided)

The grassland in Zoige County, on the eastern border of the Tibetan Plateau, is the largest alpine wetland and grassland area in China. In recent decades, however, it has also suffered disastrous desertification. Based on field work on the life-worlds of local Tibetans, this presentation offers an ontological discussion of the vulnerability of alpine wetlands and grasslands as well as the resilience of nomadic culture and society. It also seeks to illustrate the symbiotic relationship between the grassland environment and nomadic life-worlds. Drawing on the case study at hand, the presenters explore how contemporary China can avoid the trap of developmentalism and set up a true multi-ecological civilization.

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Dr Zhang Yuan Academic Visitor of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford; Associate Professor of Southwest Minzu University, New Century Excellent Talents in University, Outstanding Expert for State Ethnic Affairs.

Dr Tang Yun, Academic Visitor of School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography and Wolfson College, University of Oxford, Associate Prof. of Southwest Minzu University, Anthropology Editor of Journal of Southwest Minzu University.