Sonam Wangmo


Research Interests:

  • Transformations and urbanizations in rural areas of China
  • Pastoral resettlement and tourism development in Eastern Tibet
  • China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and its impact on local societies
  • Digital platforms and social media influencers of ethnic minorities in China
  • Sociolinguistics of Tibetan and non-Tibetic languages in Tibet
  • Identity transformation and cross-border relations in the Himalayan region


Current Project:

My current project, funded by the British Academy, is titled “The Utilisation of Local Narratives in Tourism Development in Contemporary Eastern Tibet, China.” This study delves into how historical figures like Chinese Princess Wencheng and the legendary hero King Gesar of the Gling are portrayed and utilized as tourist attractions in the Kham region. By examining the politics involved in representing these figures, this project sheds light on previously understudied aspects of China's contemporary efforts to redefine narrative literature and the traditional culture of ethnic monitories and their political ramifications.


Courses Taught:

  • Tibetan History and Civilisation (Michaelmas 2023)
  • Tibetan Classical Set Texts Revision (Trinity 2024)
  • Tibetan Language Revision (Trinity 2024)


Recent Publications (Selected): 

  • “Covid-19 prevention at the grassroots level: Experiences, perspectives, and responses in Rural Kham, Eastern Tibet, China.” China Perspectives 135 (2023), 71-82.
  • “Migration history of Amdo-speaking pastoralists in Lhagang, Khams Minyag, based on narratives and linguistic evidence.” Co-authored with Hiroyuki Suzuki. In Bianca Horlmann, Ute Wallenböck, and Jarmila Ptáčková (eds.), Mapping Amdo: Dynamics of Power 2 (2019), 243-262.
  •  “A Historical Sketch of Buddhism in Tibet.” Co-authored with Dan Smyer Yü. Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Asian History (2018). Oxford University Press.
  •  “A study of written and oral narratives of Lhagang in Eastern Tibet.” Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 45 (2018), 69-88.
  • “Language evolution and vitality of Lhagang Tibetan, a Tibetic language as a minority in Minyag Rabgang.” Co-authored with Hiroyuki Suzuki. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 245 (2017), 63-90.
  •  “The relationship between monastic and local communities: the example of Lhagang village in Kham Minyag.” Études mongoles et sibériennes, centrasiatiques et tibétaines, Vol. 47 (2016).
  • “An investigation of the usage of colors in residential house of Daofu County in Eastern Tibet( 道孚民居建筑色彩探源).” In Luosang Kezhu(罗桑开珠), Collection of research papers on Tibetan architecture ( 明轮藏式建筑研究论文集). Beijing: China Tibetology Publishing House(北京:中国藏学出版社(2012) ,283-289