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Archive → September, 2012

Visiting Fellow at the Ancient Tea Horse Road Culture Research Institute, Yunnan University

Some people have been wondering about my whereabouts of late, so here is a brief update. I’m now officially in Kunming (Yunnan Province) as a Visiting Fellow at the Ancient Tea Horse Road Culture Research Institute located in Yunnan University. I will be here until Feb/March 2013. I did an interview with Professor Mu Jihong, the Director of the institute, a while back. You can find it here. My colleagues at the Institute have already given me a very warm welcome. This visit is being funded by an Australian Prime Minister’s Endeavour Fellowship (for which I’m very grateful), and also of course made possible by my supportive colleagues at The University of Western Australia.

During this time I will be conducting more fieldwork, but most importantly taking the opportunity of teaching relief to get on with some serious writing as I’m keen to complete the first part of this project and get onto some other aspects of the tea road (the ‘horse and mule festivals’ seems like a good avenue to follow and I hope to do some preliminary investigations).

First things first, I will be taking recreation leave to accompany some associates on a trek from Dali to Shaxi and then a tour of Lijiang, Menghai (Jinghong), and Puer (also part of my interest in developing high quality ‘cultural study tours’).There will be some new and interesting things to explore (hopefully including a meeting with a Dongba (shaman) in Lijiang).

Next week is ‘Mid-Autumn Festival’ and ‘National Day’ holidays. Premier Wen Jiabao also recently announced that for the first time all of China’s toll roads will be ‘free of charge’ during the eight days of holidays. So I expect there will be a lot of traffic on the road. Good idea to head to the hills were the only traffic jam involves mules and yaks!

More blogs on what I’m getting up to here in Yunnan (and elsewhere) will appear on this site in due course.