In the Land of the Eastern Queendom

The Politics of Gender and Ethnicity on the Sino-Tibetan Border

Jinba Tenzin

  • Published: December 2013
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies, Anthropology
  • Bibliographic information: 188 pp., 9 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Series: Studies on Ethnic Groups in China
  • Contents

The story underlying this ethnography began with the recent discovery and commercialization of the remnant of an ancient "queendom" on the Sichuan-Tibet border. Recorded in classical Chinese texts, this legendary matriarchal domain has attracted not only tourists but the vigilance of the Chinese state. Tenzin Jinba's research examines the consequences of development of the queendom label for local ethnic, gender, and political identities and for state-society relations.
Tenzin Jinba is professor of anthropology and sociology at Lanzhou University.

"A rollicking romp through the complexities of local identity. Tenzin tells this story in rich ethnographic detail and engages a series of important debates on nationhood, Tibetanness, gender, and peripherality."
-Stevan Harrell, University of Washington

"As both an outsider and insider, Tenzin does a fantastic job of demonstrating the complexities and contradictions of multiple forms of identification."
-Emily Yeh, University of Colorado at Boulder


Foreword by Stevan Harrell
Preface and Acknowledgments


1. Setting Foot in the Queen's Land
2. Masculine and Feminine Internal Others in China
3. From the Valley of Beauties to the Eastern Queendom
4. The Queendom and Grassroots Politics
5. The Moluo Tourism Association: How Far to Go?



"In his willingness to wrestle on the page with these fraught questions of Tibetan identity politics, Jinba has not only provided a refreshing new standpoint on the politics of ethnicity and ethnic representation in the context of Tibet, he has also thrown down the gauntlet for the debate-to-come about the collision of Tibetan and Chinese nationhood."
-Tashi Rabgey, Insight Tibet

"A highly recommended reference for feminist scholars working on the intertwining of ethnicity and gender as well as policy makers and practitioners seeking to design policies that closely align with local concerns and sensitivities."
-Phan Phuong Hao, Asian Journal of Women's Studies

"A refreshing contribution to our understanding of the complexities of gender and ethnicity along the Sino-Tibetan border regions."
-Enze Han, The China Quarterly

"...this is a short and intriguing reading that artfully weaves ethnography with larger discussions of the politics of gender and ethnicity. It opens up new dimensions to study ethnic politics and state-society relations at the grassroots level in contemporary China....The book thus...sheds significant light on the complexities of the Tibet question by drawing attention to local politics in quotidian Tibetan lives in the age of booming tourism."
-Xiaofei Kang, Signs