• Karma Phuntsok

    Karma Phuntsok, contemporary Tibetan artist, with CU Anthropology Professor Carole McGranahan and THI graduate students Rupak Shrestha, Marielle Butters, Dawa Lokyitsang, and Drew Zackary on Sept 1, 2016.

  • THI Audience with HHDL

    THI audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to CU Boulder and talk on "Educating the Heart and Mind" at Coors Events Center on June 23, 2016. The Cultural Events Board at CU Boulder co-organized the visit with the Tibet Association of Colorado. Photo Credit: Glenn Asakawa.

  • Gonkar Gyatso (Photo courtesy of artist)

    Widely considered the father of cotemporary Tibetan art, Gonkar Gyatso co-founded the Sweet Tea House artists’ collective in Lhasa in in 1984. He visited Colorado from April 4-10 as part of the THI-sponsored Tibetan Arts Week.

  • THI members at HSC IV

    The CU Tibet Himalaya Initiative had a strong presence at the Himalayan Studies Conference (HSC) IV held at the University of Texas Austin from February 25th-28th. CU Boulder will be hosting the next HSC in 2017. Visit www.colorado.edu/hsc2017 to learn more.

  • Galen Murton

    Geography PhD candidate Galen Murton published a recent photo essay "A Himalayan Border Trilogy: Trade and Infrastructure Development at the Nepal-China Borderlands" on his doctoral fieldwork in Nepal and Tibet. 

  • THI launch

    THI celebrated the success of its inaugural semester with an Official Launch in the Koenig Alumni Center on November 11, 2015. Twenty-five graduate students, faculty, and supporters gathered for this celebration with honored guest Ringu Tulku Rinpoche.


We are excited to host the Himalayan Studies Conference V in Boulder during Labor Day Weekend (Sept 1-4) in 2017.
Please visit the conference website here for more information.


Welcome to the Tibet Himalaya Initiative - an interdisciplinary hub for research, teaching, and public engagement on Tibet and the Himalayas. We were honored to launch the Tibet Himalaya Initiative in conjunction with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to CU Boulder on June 23, 2016. CU Boulder has unique research strengths in the study of contemporary Tibet and the Himalayas with faculty and graduate student expertise in Anthropology, Geography, Linguistics, Religious Studies, and Sociology. We invite guest speakers for lectures on Tibetan/ Himalayan culture and society, Buddhism, and Himalayan art, and host visiting artists, graduate colloquia, and film screenings throughout the year.

Events this Spring 2017:

March 21 | Alessandro Rippa, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München | THI & Geography
March 24 | Dinesh Paudel, Appalachian State University | THI & Geography
April 17 | Jacob Dalton, UC Berkeley | Tibet Himalaya Intiative & CU Libraries
April 20 | Film Screening | Castaway Man, Directed by Kesang Tseten | THI
April 27 | Jan Nattier, Soka University | Center for Asian Studies

Events last Fall 2016:

August 31st | Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche | CU Libraries and Dept. of Religious Studies
September 1st | Karma Phuntsok, Tibetan Contemporary Artist | THI Exclusive
September 7-8th | David Germano, UVA | Naropa University and Dept. of Religious Studies
October 7th | Sara Schneidermann, UBC | CAS, THI and Dept. of Anthropology
October 21st | Alton Byers, The Mountain Insitute | Dept. of Geography
November 4th | Sienna Craig, Dartmouth College | THI, Depts. of Geography & Anthropology

Our inaugural year featured over a dozen guest speakers, film screenings and colloquia. Throughout the year, we were delighted to host top scholars in Buddhist Studies, including Ringu Tulku, José Cabezón, Christian K. Wedemeyer, Anne Klein, Khenpo Jamyang Gyaltsen, and master translators Sarah Harding and Jules Levinson, for guest lectures sponsored by the Tibet Himalaya Initiative, the Center for Asian Studies, the Tsadra Foundation, and the Department of Religious Studies. Art historian Sarah Magnatta also delivered a guest lecture at CU Boulder on images of the Dalai Lama, and John Osburg gave a guest lecture on issues of morality and money among Chinese followers of Tibetan Buddhist masters.

In April, Tibetan Arts Week brought the widely recognized father of contemporary Tibetan art, Gonkar Gyatso, and acclaimed poet and filmmaker Dorje Tsering Chenaktsang (Jangbu) to Boulder for guest lectures, a film screening, and an art installation at the Boulder Creative Collective.

View a summary of Tibetan Arts Week here.