About Us

Our goal at the Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University is to conceptualize and conduct research on Tibetan history, society, language, ecology/physiology and culture to understand traditional Tibet and how it has changed. We have expanded our research goal by adding a commitment to preserve and organize our unique corpus of primary data in a way that will be readily available to students, scholars and Tibetans globally. 

Picture of Professor Goldstein and TASS signing the first collaborative agreement in 1986.

This unique corpus of interviews covers three major areas:

  • Modern Tibetan history;

  • The traditional social and economic life in Drepung, Tibet's largest monastery; and 

  • The oral history of the lives of everyday rural and urban Tibetans.

Through maintaining a collaborative relationship with the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences (TASS) in Lhasa, we have undertaken a wide range of research projects on various aspects of past and present Tibet. 

Quick Facts 

  • The Center for Research on Tibet was founded at Case Western Reserve University in 1987 to generate and disseminate new knowledge about Tibetan culture, society and history.

  • Our campus location is in the Mather Memorial Building under the Department of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

  • The center is currently co-directed by professors of anthropology Melvyn C. Goldstein and Cynthia M. Beall.

Notable Achievements

  • Since 1988, the center has hosted eight Tibet Academy of Social Sciences scholars. 

  • Two young Tibetan researchers from the academy have received Master of Arts degrees in Anthropology. 

  • Another Tibetan student earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in 2001.

  • With support from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are in the process of creating a major online archive that will include 700-1000 hours of indexed, keyword-searchable, taped interviews and their English translations.