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Dr. Alice Travers

Researcher in History

Alice Travers

East Asian Civilisations Research Centre (CRCAO)
CRCAO-UMR8155, Collège de France
52 rue du Cardinal Lemoine
F-75005 Paris



Current Position


My research and publications have focused on social history in pre-1959 Tibet, especially on the Lhasa aristocracy and on the intermediate / middle classes of Central Tibet, first for my PhD dissertation (2009) and then as a CNRS researcher, in the framework of two successive ANR-DFG projects, i.e. the "Social History of Tibetan Societies (SHTS, 2012–2016), and "Social Status in the Tibetan World" (TibStat, 2016–2020).

In addition, I have been working since 2010 on military history under the Tibetan government of the Ganden Phodrang (1642–1959) in the context of a post-doc research (ATER at the EHESS), dedicated to the various reforms and the reshaping of the Tibetan army from 1895 to 1951; then, from 2012 to 2016, on particular aspects of military law. Since 2016, I have been the Principal Investigator of an ERC-funded research project on The Tibetan Army of the Dalai Lamas, 1642–1959 (TibArmy).


  • 2009                     Ph.D. in History, University Paris Nanterre, France (Dissertation: "La noblesse tibétaine du Ganden phodrang
                                 (1895–1959): permanences et transitions") with highest honours
  • 2004                     DEA (equivalent to Master 2) in History, University Paris Nanterre, France
  • 2003                     B.A. in Tibetan Language and Civilisation, INALCO;
                                 Maîtrise (equivalent to Master 1) in Anthropology, specialisation on Tibet Society, University Paris
                                 Nanterre, France
  • 2000                     Maîtrise (equivalent to Master 1) in History, specialisation on French Contemporary History,
                                 University Sorbonne Paris 1, France
  • 1999                     B.A. in History, University Sorbonne Paris 1, France
                                 B.A. in German Language and Civilisation, University Sorbonne Paris 3, France

Academic Positions

  • 2010–2011           Junior Lecturer and Researcher (ATER) at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS,
                                 Paris), in the Master "Eastern and Southern Asia" (AMO)
  • 2004–2007           Doctoral research contract at the University Paris Nanterre, France


  • 2018                     Bronze medal of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
  • 2010                     Price of the best PhD dissertation of the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations
                                 (INALCO, Paris)

Additional Academic Activities

  • 2017–present       Member of the scientific board of the Institute for Tibetan Studies (IET) at the Collège de France 
  • 2014–present       Member of the editorial board of the Revue d’études tibétaines (RET)
  • 2012–present       Member of the scientific board of the French Society for Tibetan Studies (SFEMT)
  • 2012–present       Member of the scientific board of the research team CRCAO-UMR 8155 (Collège de France, CNRS,
                                 Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Université Paris Diderot, France)

Selected Publications

  • Changing Emblems of Social Domination: A Brief Note on Tibetan Aristocratic Crests in the First Half of the 20th Century. In: J. Bischoff, P. Maurer, C. Ramble (eds.): On a Day of a Month of the Fire Bird Year: Festschrift for Peter Schwieger on Occasion of his 65th Birthday, Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute, 705–720, forthcoming.
  • Renewing the United Front Policy History Through the Writing of History: Remarks on the Production of Collective Memory in the Materials for the Study of the History and Culture of Tibet (1981–2012). In: R. Barnett, F. Robin, B. Weiner B. (eds): Re-remembering Early Contact Between Tibetans and the Chinese Communist Party in the Post-Mao Period. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.
  • Buddhism and the Military in Tibet During the Ganden Phodrang Period (1642–1959) with F. Venturi (eds). In: Special Issue of the Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, EFEO, 27 (2018), 254.
  • Commerce and Communities: Social and Political Status and the Exchange of Goods in Tibetan Societies with J. Bischoff (eds). Berlin: Bonner Asienstudien Bd. 16, EB-Verlag 2018, 283.
  • Wool Trade on the Himalayan Border and Social Mobility in Central Tibet (1907–1947). In: J. Bischoff, A. Travers (eds): Commerce and Communities: Social and Political Status and the Exchange of Goods in Tibetan Societies. Berlin: Bonner Asienstudien Bd. 16, EB-Verlag 2018, 161–196.
  • The Lcags Stag Dmag Khrims (1950): A New Development in Tibetan Legal and Military History? In: J. Bischoff, S. Mullard (eds): Social Regulation: Case Studies From Tibetan History. Leiden: Brill 2016, 99–125.
  • The Tibetan Army of the Ganden Phodrang in Various Legal Documents (17th–20th Centuries). In: D. Schuh (ed.): Secular Law and Order in the Tibetan Highland. Contributions to a Workshop Organized by the Tibet Institute in Andiast (Switzerland) on the Occasion of the 65th Birthday of Christoph Cüppers from the 8th of June to the 12th of June 2014. MONUMENTA TIBETICA HISTORICA, Abt. III Bd. 13. Andiast: IITBS GmbH 2015, 249–266.
  • Between Private and Public Initiatives? Private Schools in Pre-1951 Tibet. In: A. Moran, C. Warner: Himalaya, Special Issue Vol. 35(2), 2015.
  • How Should We Define Social Status? The Study of "Intermediate Groups" in Central Tibet (1895–1959). In: C. Ramble, P. Schwieger, A. Travers (eds): Tibetans Who Escaped the Historian's Net. Studies in the Social History of Tibetan Societies, Kathmandu: Vajra Publications 2013, 141–160.
  • The Horse-Riding and Target-Shooting Contest for Lay Officials (drung ’khor rtsal rgyugs): Reflections on the Military Identity of the Tibetan Aristocracy at the Beginning of the 20th Century. EMSCAT [online].
  • The Careers of the Noble Officials of the Ganden Phodrang (1895–1959): Organisation and Hereditary Divisions Within the Service of State. In: K. Norbu Gurung, T. Myatt, N. Schneider, A. Travers (eds.): Revisiting Tibetan Culture and History: Proceedings of the Second International Seminar of Young Tibetologists, Paris 2009. Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 21(1), 2011, 155–174.
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