Methods and Techniques for Documenting and Preserving Tibetan Culture

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Smithsonian Institution




Free (certificate fee: USD$ 5, optional)

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This course elaborates on the methods to document and preserve living cultural traditions of the community life on the Tibetan Plateau today. It is offered by the Smithsonian Institution through edX, an online education platform.

In this course, the historical culture is discussed alongside the vast reservoir of living culture—the foodways, celebrations, crafts, music, occupations, and skills. Along the course, cultural researchers and filmmakers will discuss their methods for conducting fieldwork and recording interviews with family members and community figures. This course is conducted entirely in Tibetan with the Tibetan translation of the Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interview Guide as its text. It will prepare researchers to add to the relatively limited number of recorded and achieved contemporary Tibetan oral histories.

Some of the course contents are:

  • Preparing before the interview
  • Interviewing for cultural documentation
  • Collecting traditional music
  • Creating a systematic filing system
  • Sharing material with the community