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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

ARN Guiding Principles


The Amdo Research Network (ARN) was established to connect scholars who share common research interests in “Amdo,” a region historically and contemporary of multicultural and multiethnic influence. It aims to bring Amdo to the forefront of the academic interest and show it as a region worth studying in itself. The ARN seeks to increase the visibility of scholarship about Amdo, and to provide a platform for related academic exchanges and cooperations. The ARN is strongly interdisciplinary in nature.


Research Focus Region

The research focus of the ARN is on the "Amdo region". For the purposes of the ARN, "Amdo" is defined as including Qinghai Province. The Kham Tibetan region of Yushu is thereby explicitly included in the scope. By being part of the same province, it possesses an inherent connection with other Amdo regions, and Yushu has been a fieldwork focus of a number of ARN members. "Amdo" also includes the approximate regions of Gansu and Sichuan Provinces that are inhabited by Tibetans speaking the Amdo dialect, as well as immediately neighbouring regions inhabited by other ethnic groups, such as e.g. Mongols, Hui, Salar, Monguor and Han.  


Consequently, the ARN's research focus is geographical rather than ethnic in nature, including not just Amdo Tibetans but all of these ethnic groups. For a more detailed definition and overview of "Amdo", see Sulek and Ptackova, Mapping Amdo: People and Places in an Ongoing Transition in "Mapping Amdo: Dynamics of Power,” 2017.


ARN Membership

Any person who has conducted their own graduate-level (MA/PhD/post-PhD) research related to the ARN's focus region, and is at the very least close to graduating from an MA degree in a relevant discipline, may become a member of the ARN. 

Academic disciplines relevant to the ARN research focus are any humanities subjects in the widest sense (including economics and political science) and medicine. Exceptions can be granted by the board. 

Membership is acquired by signing up to join the ARN mailing list. The ARN board can deny or revoke membership through a majority vote.



ARN Website and Mailing List and Facebook

The ARN's objectives and work are represented in public through the ARN website. It is the aim of the ARN board to keep this website maintained and up-to-date.

ARN members have the right to present their research interests, current work, and current contact details at the ARN website. The ARN may choose to remove any such information that is not maintained by a member and hence has become overly out-of-date.

ARN members have the right to be included in the ARN mailing this. Members may use this list to communicate research interests, circulate drafts or ask relevant questions. Very frequent communications or fairly specialised discussions should however best take place through separate channels. Members who abuse the mailing list in ways contrary to its intended purposes, or who violate basic principles of netiquette, may be removed from the list.

The ARN possesses as well a Facebook account. The website and mailing list and Facebook account are maintained by persons designated by the board.



Working Language

Due to the diverse and international nature of research on Amdo, and the intention to disseminate this research as widely as possible, the ARN's working language for both workshops and publication series is English.


If workshop presenters are unable to hold a presentation in English, adequate translation must be provided. However, non-English presentations should remain more an exception than a rule. Likewise, publications in Mapping Amdo may be based on professional translations to English, as long as they meet the required academic standard.


ARN Workshop
  • Workshops are held every approximately two years.
  • They are organised by a workshop organising committee, with members appointed or confirmed by the board. 
  • The organisers are free to choose a certain Workshop topic and choose the participants accordingly.
  • They should not exceed a duration of three days.
  • They should allow not only the participation of established scholars, but also of junior researchers and young scholars, such as MA and PhD students who are close to finalising their degree, and have completed most of their fieldwork (or other types of research).
  • Workshops should actively pursue the participation of more senior scholars, especially as discussants, in order to positively impact the academic standards and abilities of other (particularly more junior) ARN researchers.
  • The research presented must be based in or related to the ARN's focus region. However, the ARN has also invited presentations by senior scholars that may be largely based on other regions, with the aim that others may learn from their knowledge and methods.
  • Workshop participants are expected to present new and relevant research findings, resulting from their own fieldwork or other types of research (documents etc.).
  • Presentations should never be based on merely summarising the work of others.
  • In order to keep the workshop accessible also for the junior scholars, the aim of the workshop organising committee should be to find an external funding in order not to rise any conference fee.



Mapping Amdo - edition of the ARN publishing academic papers on the Amdo area:
  • Publishing of the Mapping Amdo volumes follows usually the ARN workshops.
  • Publication is supervised by a team of editors, who are appointed or confirmed by the board.
  • Publications have to be based on significant original research conducted in or in relation to the ARN's focus region, and reflect an ability to conduct research that involves knowledge of an original language relevant to the ARN's focus region,
  • They must conform to acceptable standards of academic work and a minimum standard of English writing skills.
  • All publications will undergo a peer-review process. Submissions may be rejected by the editors based on negative peer review evaluation reports. Peer reviewers must be conducted by persons with a completed PhD in a relevant field, who possess relevant knowledge and expertise, and who have published peer-reviewed publications.
  • If the number of submissions exceeds the number of papers that can be published in a given volume, the editors may choose to publish only the best submissions, or those that best fit a given theme.
  • Those submitting publications need not have presented a paper at an ARN workshop.


During the workshop and within the publication it should be allowed for a multi-perspective and multidisciplinary approach and participation in order to emphasise the multiethnic and multicultural nature of the Amdo region.