David G. Atwill

Aug 17, 2020

Islamic Shangri-La

Inter-Asian Relations and Lhasa’s Muslim Communities, 1600 to 1960

University of California Press 2018

Centering on the Tibetan Muslims (the Khache) from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century, Islamic Shangri-La: Inter-Asian Relations and Lhasa’s Muslim Communities, 1600 to 1960 (University of California Press, 2018) questions the popular portrayals of Tibet as isolated, ethnically homogenous, and monolithically Buddhist.

Revealing in this monograph previously inaccessible and unknown accounts of the Khache in Tibet’s history, Dr. Atwill challenges standard Indian and Chinese narratives of the region which often paint the Khache as “foreign, separate, and mutually unrecognizable rather than as indigenous, integrated, and familiar.”

Highlighting Tibet’s responses to newly delineated territorial, religious, and national identities in the twentieth century, this book also places the Tibetan Muslim experience within the broader postcolonial Asian experience shaped by complex postcolonial historical trends that swept across Asia after WWII.

David G. Atwill is Associate Professor of History at Penn State University where he teaches a broad range of courses on China, Tibet, and world history.


Daigengna Duoer is a PhD student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation researches on transnational and transregional networks of Buddhism connecting twentieth-century Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Republican China, Tibet, and Imperial Japan.

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Daigengna Duoer

Daigengna Duoer is a Ph.D. student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation is a digital humanities project mapping transnational and transregional Buddhist networks connecting twentieth-century Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Republican China, Tibet, and the Japanese Empire.
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