With a complex relationship spanning the past 1,500 years, Tibet and China have a complex and intertwined history. Through wars fought, treaties signed—and then ignored in future conquest, trade has always been a constant. On Saturday, March 4, National Geographic writer and University of Wyoming Writer-in-Residence Mark Jenkins presents Tea Trade, and Tyranny: Tibet and China over Time.
The free talk takes us on a journey down the forgotten Tea Horse Road, and takes place at 2:30 p.m. at the Cody Theater in downtown Cody, with three student presentations sharing details of their international fieldwork preceding the talk, beginning at 1 p.m.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is one of several co-sponsors of the event, which is part of the University of Wyoming Center for Global Studies’ “World to Wyoming” lecture series. Jenkins is a critically acclaimed and internationally recognized journalist. In the presentation, he reveals—with National Geographic images—the modern lives of the Tibetans and the Chinese, and the geopolitics that have always connected them.
For almost 1,000 years a stone-paved road that connected Ya’an, the tea-growing capital of Sichuan province, with Lhasa, the 12,000-foot high capital of Tibet. Tea was essential to daily life in Tibet, and China’s feudal kingdoms needed war horses. For centuries China and Tibet were on equal footing, but the ascendency of China in the second half of the twentieth century has devastated Tibet and Tibetan culture.
The 1 p.m. student presentations include Emily Beagle with European Bioenergy Systems and Beetle Kill Management; Jeremy Goldsmith with Evaluating Why and How Gambians Migrate; and Denise Muro with Portrayals of Displaced Syrian and Iraqi Women in Germany.
Jenkins covers geopolitics and adventure for National Geographic. His writing has won numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club Ross Award for “The Healing Fields,” his story about landmines in Cambodia, as well as a National Magazine Award for photojournalism with colleague Brent Stirton, for “Who Murdered the Mountain Gorillas.” Both topics were the focus of previous “World to Wyoming” tours. Jenkins’s is the author of four books and his work has appeared in dozens of national and international magazines. He has his bachelor of arts in Philosophy and a master of science in Geography from the University of Wyoming.
The public talk in Cody is sponsored by UW’s Center for Global Studies, UW’s Global and Area Studies Program, the UW Outreach School, the Wyoming Humanities Council, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and the Cody Theater, with additional support from Rocky Mountain Power Foundation.
Northwest College in Powell hosts the full program on March 2, with student presentations at 2:25 p.m. in Fagerberg 70, and Jenkins speaking at 6:30 p.m. in the Yellowstone Building. Additional dates and locations include February 15/University of Wyoming; March 1/Sheridan College; and March 5/National Wildlife Museum in Jackson. For more information and specific times of those programs, visit http://bit.ly/teatradetyranny.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s pages on Facebook and Google+.
Image: World-traveling and internationally known journalist Mark Jenkins speaks on Tibet and China over Time on March 4 in Cody, March 2 in Powell. Courtesy photo.