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Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Ecoaesthetics. By Dan Smyer Yü. Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2015. 257 pages. Hardcover. isbn: 978-1-61451-553-1. us$94.12

Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Ecoaesthetics. By Dan Smyer Yü. Boston:... Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Ecoaesthetics boldly re-envisions the placiality of Tibet through the lens of post-Orientalism. Drawing upon over a decade of fieldwork in China as well as contemporary film, literature, public discourse, and memoirs by Tibetans and non-Tibetans, Dan Smyer Yü adapts the concept of placiality to link the “materiality and immateriality of place” (23), thereby connecting the landscape of Tibet as a physical place with cultural productions on Tibet. This theoretical framework aims to decenter a discourse pioneered in Donald Lopez’s pathbreaking work Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) that critiques the imagining of Tibet through an Orientalist lens. Smyer Yü’s study rejects the totalizing framework of Orientalism, and critiques thereof, in favor of a “post-Orientalizing” stance that takes Tibet as a mindscape—“a range of reflexes, intellectual reflections, emotional responses, memories, moving images, and mental data storage of scents, colors, sounds, temperatures, and meteorological patterns, all of which originate from human lived experiences enveloped in the physical environment” (20). Moving adroitly through this landscape with self-referential narratives and thick ethnographic descriptions, the author reflects on his own engaged subjectivity and identifies his book as “an anthropological http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Religion and Chinese Society Brill

Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Ecoaesthetics. By Dan Smyer Yü. Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2015. 257 pages. Hardcover. isbn: 978-1-61451-553-1. us$94.12

Review of Religion and Chinese Society , Volume 4 (1): 5 – Apr 27, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2214-3947
eISSN
2214-3955
DOI
10.1163/22143955-00401007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Ecoaesthetics boldly re-envisions the placiality of Tibet through the lens of post-Orientalism. Drawing upon over a decade of fieldwork in China as well as contemporary film, literature, public discourse, and memoirs by Tibetans and non-Tibetans, Dan Smyer Yü adapts the concept of placiality to link the “materiality and immateriality of place” (23), thereby connecting the landscape of Tibet as a physical place with cultural productions on Tibet. This theoretical framework aims to decenter a discourse pioneered in Donald Lopez’s pathbreaking work Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) that critiques the imagining of Tibet through an Orientalist lens. Smyer Yü’s study rejects the totalizing framework of Orientalism, and critiques thereof, in favor of a “post-Orientalizing” stance that takes Tibet as a mindscape—“a range of reflexes, intellectual reflections, emotional responses, memories, moving images, and mental data storage of scents, colors, sounds, temperatures, and meteorological patterns, all of which originate from human lived experiences enveloped in the physical environment” (20). Moving adroitly through this landscape with self-referential narratives and thick ethnographic descriptions, the author reflects on his own engaged subjectivity and identifies his book as “an anthropological

Journal

Review of Religion and Chinese SocietyBrill

Published: Apr 27, 2017

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