Robert J. Barnett

Robbie Barnett founded and directs the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia, the first Western teaching program in this field. He ran an annual summer program for foreign students at Tibet University in Lhasa from 2000 to 2005 and teaches courses on Tibetan film, television, biography, and other subjects.

Dr. Barnett has edited and written a number of books on modern Tibet, including A Poisoned Arrow: The Secret Petition of the 10th Panchen Lama, Leaders in Tibet: A Directory, Cutting Off the Serpent's Head: Tightening Control in Tibet 1994-1995, and Resistance and Reform in Tibet (Indiana University Press, 1994). His most recent book is Tibetan Modernities: Notes from the Field on Social and Cultural Change, co-edited with Ronald Schwartz (Brill, 2008). In 2006 his book Lhasa: Streets with Memories was published by Columbia University Press. Recent articles include "Tsogt Taij and the Disappearance of the Overlords," in Inner Asia (2007); "Women and Political Participation in Tibet," in Janet Havnevik and J. Gyatso, eds., Women in Tibet: Past and Present ( Columbia University Press, 2006); and "The Secret Secret: Cinema, Ethnicity and 17th Century Tibetan- Mongolian Relations," in Inner Asia (2002).

Before joining Columbia in 1998, Professor Barnett worked as a journalist and researcher in the United Kingdom, specializing in Tibetan issues for the BBC, the South China Morning Post, VOA, the Guardian, the Independent and other media outlets. From 1987-1998, Dr. Barnett was director of an independent Tibet news and research project in London. He has also worked as a journalist for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), the BBC, The Observer (London), The Independent (London), and other news outlets.