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Tibet’s Earliest Guidebook: A Journey

Book Launch and Lecture by Matthew Akester

Friday, November 18, 2016
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

During the 1990s, Matthew Akester walked the length and breadth of Central Tibet in the tracks of the greatest modern master of Tibetan Buddhism, Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo, 1820-1892. Akester will share his extraordinary research adventure involving more than a decade of independent travel, textual archaeology, field interviews, and photo research, and introduce his new book Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo’s Guide to Central Tibet, an illustrated translation of the earliest and best-known guidebook to Tibet.

During his journey, Akester visited more than 200 places listed in the Guide, meeting the people who rebuilt them after the Cultural Revolution or who could remember what they once were, searching out Tibetan literary sources that shed even the faintest light on their history, and mapping them on a landscape rendered unrecognizable by the rapid construction of a new Chinese Tibet. This book is a monumental contribution to Tibetan studies, a treasure of insight into central Tibet’s history and monuments, the world of traditional pilgrimage, and the life and times of the great Khyentsé Wangpo.

A book signing of Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo’s Guide to Central Tibet will take place after the lecture. Copies are available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

This talk is presented in conjunction with the Museum exhibition Monumental Lhasa.

Presented with Serindia Publications and the Khyentse Foundation.

About the Speaker

Matthew Akester is an independent researcher and translator who has been based in the Himalayan region for the past 25 years. His interests include the history of Lhasa, contemporary Tibetan history, and autobiography and memory in Occupied Tibet. In addition to the present book, he has published several translations and research articles spanning both classical and modern studies. He has worked as consultant for organizations including the Tibet Information Network, Tibet Heritage Fund, and Columbia University’s Modern Tibetan Studies program. He was a lecturer with the School for International Training and an editor and contributor to numerous books and studies of Tibetan history and culture.

​Tickets: $20.00

Member Tickets: $18.00

Student Tickets: $10.00

For select programs the Museum offers $10 student-rate tickets. These tickets are available in advance of the event and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the front desk. Tickets must be redeemed in person with the presentation of a student ID. Limited to one ticket per student ID.