Profile image of Gillian Tan

Dr Gillian Tan

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department

SHSS Arts & Ed

Campus

Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Qualifications

Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2016
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2009
Master of Arts, University of Chicago, 1998

Contact

Biography

Dr Gillian G Tan’s research combines long-term ethnographic fieldwork among nomads of eastern Tibet with theoretical developments in phenomenology and the anthropology of nature. Her work elucidates the multiple ways in which people understand, and live in, their worlds. Her doctoral research explored different perceptions and articulations of change in a Tibetan community among various actors: nomads, the international development industry, the Chinese government and an incarnate lama. Her current research, An Ecology of Religion: re-examining relationships among people, environment and religiosity on the Tibetan plateau, suggests an alternative understanding to human-nonhuman-environment relations and proposes that these interactions adapt to changes based on a system of logic influenced by religious beliefs.

Gillian completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from St John’s College, Santa Fe and the University of Chicago. She has been a Fondation Fyssen postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Collège de France, where she worked under the direction of Philippe Descola. Gillian has received various Australian and international awards and scholarships, presented at national and international conferences, and published articles and book chapters. Her monograph will soon be published with the University of Washington Press. She is also an international director for a Tibetan non-governmental organization that trains young Tibetans in filmmaking and produces documentaries of contemporary Tibetan life.

Read more on Gillian's profile

Research interests

Anthropology of Nature

Interface between religion and ecology

Nomadic pastoralism and relationship with the state

Tibet-China

Ethnography

Affiliations

Member of the Australian Anthropology Society

Member of the American Anthropological Association

Teaching interests

Anthropology of Nature

Interface between religion and ecology

Nomadic pastoralism and relationship with the state

Tibet-China

Ethnography

Units taught

ASS203 Being Human (with the Nonhuman)

ASS329 Crime and Violence

ASS102 Culture and Communication

ASS233 Myth and Ritual

ASS330 Cyborg Anthropology

Knowledge areas

Human-environment relations

Tibet - China

Nomadic Pastoralists

Religion and Ecology

Ethnographic Field Methods

Media appearances

https://www.accaonline.org.au/acca-summer-listening-biography-things-dr-gillian-tan

Research groups

Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization

Member, Diversity and Identity research stream

Member, Culture and Heritage research stream

Awards

2012-2014 Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

2010  Fondation Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellowship

2005-2008 Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)

2007  Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) Daphne Elliott Bursary

2006  Australian Government Endeavour Cheung Kong Award

Publications

Filter by

2018

Differentiating smoke: smoke as duwa and smoke from bSang on the Tibetan plateau

G Tan

(2018), Vol. 28, pp. 126-136, Anthropological Forum, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal

Pastures of change contemporary adaptations and transformations among nomadic pastoralists of Eastern Tibet

G Tan

(2018), Berlin, Germany, A1

book

Society against the state as society against surplus

G Tan

(2018), Vol. 51/52, pp. 177-185, Arena journal, Fitzroy, Vic., C1

journal
2017

In the circle of white stones: moving through seasons with nomads of Eastern Tibet

G Tan

(2017), Seattle, Wash., A1

book
2016

"Life" and "freeing life" (tshe thar) among pastoralists of Kham: intersecting religion and environment

G Tan

(2016), Vol. 47, pp. 1-15, Etudes mongoles et siberiennes, centrasiatiques et tibetaines, Paris, France, C1

journal

Introduction: everyday religion among pastoralists of high and inner Asia

G Tan, N Schneider

(2016), Vol. 47, pp. 1-4, Etudes mongoles et siberiennes, centrasiatiques et tibetaines, Paris, France, C1

journal
2014

An ecology of religiosity: re-emphasizing relationships between humans and nonhumans

G Tan

(2014), Vol. 8, pp. 307-328, Journal for the study of religion, nature and culture, Sheffield, England, C1

journal
2013

An ethnography of life and changes among Tibetan nomads of Minyag Dora Karmo, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province

G Tan

(2013), Vol. 43-44, pp. 1-18, Etudes Mongoles et Siberiennes, Centrasiatiques et Tibetaines, Paris, France, C1

journal

Transforming history and myth: on the mutuality and separation of shared narratives in Eastern Tibet

G Tan

(2013), Vol. 24, pp. 193-212, Australian journal of anthropology, Chichester, England, C1

journal
2011

History's motion : on absolute time and space in Tibet

G Tan

(2011), pp. 163-175, Force, movement, intensity : the Newtonian imagination in the humanities and social sciences, Melbourne, Vic, B1-1

chapter
2010

A modern portrait of a Tibetan incarnate lama

G Tan

(2010), pp. 123-135, New views of Tibetan culture, Melbourne, Vic., B1-1

chapter

Eating as a total social fact

G Tan

(2010), pp. 92-94, The Malaysian way of life : perspectives of a nation's culture and politics, Kuala Lumper, Malaysia, B1-1

chapter
2009

Senses of waiting among Tibetan nomads

G Tan

(2009), pp. 66-75, Waiting, Melbourne, Vic, B1-1

chapter

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Troubled Waters: Tibet's Rivers and Their Connection to Climate Change

Prof John Powers, Dr Gillian Tan, Asst/Prof James Pittock, Prof Petra Maurer, Dr Sara Beavis, Dr Ruth Gamble, A/Prof Per Sorensen, Dr Yangmotso Yangmotso

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2019: $75,544

Supervisions

No completed student supervisions to report