Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Faculty Experts


Areas of expertise
Dr. Schiaffini specializes in Chinese language and literature, modern Tibet, and modern Tibetan literature. She has also done research on Tibetan children's literature, and the development of early childhood education in Tibetan areas in the People's Republic of China.


Ph.D.,University of Pennsylvania 2002
Exchange Scholar,Princeton University 1998
MA,Stanford University 1996
,Beijing University 1994
BA,Complutense University of Madrid 1990


Part-time Assistant Professor of Chinese
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
August 01, 2006 - present
Assistant Professor of Chinese, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, Pomona College, 2004-2006. Director of the Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations, Pomona College, 2004-2006. Instructor of Chinese Language,


· Modern Tibetan literature; minority writers in China; how language and literature in China facilitated the process of creation and re-creation of national and ethnic identities.


· Children's Literature in China and Tibet.


· Comparative literature; comparative study between the Chinese "Search for Roots" movement and Latin American magical realism; Tibetan magical realism and the manifestations of magical realism in Latin America, Africa and other areas of the post-colonial world.


· The impact of Latin American writers in modern Chinese literature; the translation and understanding of Latin American literature by Chinese scholars.

· Bilingualism and K-12 foreign language acquisition.


Academic Publications:

-"On the Margins of Tibetanness: Three Decades of Modern Sinophone Tibetan Literature", book chapter in Shu-mei Shih and Chien-hsin Tsai eds. Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader, forthcoming in Columbia University Press.

-Lauran Hartley and Patricia Schiaffini eds., Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change, Duke University Press, 2008.

-"The condor Flies Over Tibet: Tashi Dawa and the Significance of Tibetan Magical Realism" in Lauran Hartley and Patricia Schiaffini edc. Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change, Duke University Press, 2008.

-"An Interview with Tashi Dawa", Latse Tibetan Library Newsletter, Vol. 4, Fall 2007.

-"Changing Identities: The Creation of 'Tibetan' Literary Voices in the People's Republic of China", in Contemporary Tibetan Literary Studies. Steven J. Venturino ed. Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies 2003. Leiden: Brill, 2007.

-"The Language Divide: Identity and Literary Choices in Modern Tibet", Journal of International Affairs, Spring 2004

-"Realism, Humor and Social Commitment: An Interview with the Tibetan Writer Phuntshog Tashi", World Literature Today, January-April 2004.

-"El 'otro' erótico y salvaje: las minorías étnicas en la imaginación literaria china", Quimera 224-225, January 2003.

-"Tashi Dawa: Magical Realism and Contested Identity in Modern Tibet", Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2002.

-"El Tíbet de Ma Jian: escándalo, paradoja y contradicción", prologue to the Catalonian edition of Ma Jian's Liangchu ni de shetai huo kongkong dangdang [Stick Out Your Furry Tongue or Emptiness], in Ma Jian, Treu la llengua saburrosa o buit (Andorra: Limits, 2002)

-"Del altiplano andino al altiplano chino: la influencia del realismo mágico en la literatura sino-tibetana", Revista Española del Pacífico 11, (2001)

-"Chino, tibetano o todo lo contrario: explorando las identidades de Tashi Dawa", Estudios de Asia y Africa 108, México, D.F.: El Colegio de México, 1999.


-"El alma anudada en la cuerda de cuero", Spanish translation of Tashi Dawa's "Ji zai pisheng jie shang de hun", Estudios de Asia y Africa [Asian and African Studies] 101. Mexico, D.F.: El Colegio de México, 1996.


"China en la Red", La Vanguardia Dossier, Número 2, Julio/Septiembre 2002.

"Gao Xingjian: Tras la renovación literaria y social", El Mundo, October 13th, 2000

Seminars & Presentations

-"Cultural Survival: The Significance of Tibetan Children's Literature in the Preservation of Tibetan Tradition and Language." Presentation at Wittenberg College, April 2011.

-"Challenges in the Study of Modern Tibetan Literature." Presentation of Patricia Schiaffini and Lauran Hartley?s book Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change (Duke University Press, 2008), Latse Tibetan Library, New York, 2008.

-"Teaching Foreign Languages in the Language-Immersion-Living Model." Training Sessions for Language Residents, Oldenborg Center, Pomona College, Claremont 2008.

-"Teaching Tibet at Liberal Arts Colleges." Presentation at the Roundtable "Tibetan Studies in the Undergraduate Curriculum: Programs, Resources, and Requirements." 2008 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Atlanta.

-"The Lure of the Big Screen: Tibetan Writers and Film." Symposium "Picturing Tibet: Film Practices and Critical Perspectives." Center for Media and Religion, New York University, 2007.   

-"A Tibetan Vendetta: Tashi Dawa and Alai's Fascination with Revenge." 120th Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Philadelphia, 2004.

-"Imposed Identities: Creating 'Tibetan' Literary Voices in the PRC." 2002 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Washington, DC.

-"Offsprings of Paradox: Sinophone Writers in Tibet." 30th Annual Southwest Conference on Asian Studies, Trinity University, 2001.

-"The Outsider's Gaze and the Insider's Will: Exploring the Origins of the Marvelous in the Works of Carpentier and Tashi Dawa." Symposium "Authenticities East and West", Society for Intercultural Comparative Studies, Princeton University, 2001.

-"The 'Condor' Flies Over Tibet: Tashi Dawa, the Emergence of a 'Tibetan' Magical Realism and its Significance in Debates about Identity and Nation." 2001 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Chicago, 2001.

-"Compliance or Hybridity: Exploring the Works of the Sino-Tibetan Writer Tashi Dawa." 29th Annual Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies, Lehigh University, 2000.

Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:

I am willing to talk to the media: yes

I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: yes

Can you do interviews in Spanish? yes

Other languages you are fluent in: Chinese

Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):

Contact Details:
(512) 863-(office)