Mijares, S., Rafea, A., Sharling, T. D., Amponsem, J., & Mallory, M. (2020). The power of the Feminine: Facing Shadow Evoking Light. Egypt: The Human Foundation.

Book chapter

Sharling, T. D. (2013). Tibetan women: Devotedly defiant. In Angha, N., In Mijares, S. G., & In Rāfiʻ, A. R. (2013). A force such as the world has never known: Women creating change. Toronto, Canada: Inanna Publications and Education Inc.

Peer reviewed publications

Sharling, T. D. (2022). Theorizing a female Dalai Lama: An intersectional tool for feminisms. Anthropology of Consciousness, American Anthropological Association, (Spring 2022, Vol. 33, Issue 1).


Seizing on the opportunity provided by the Dalai Lama recently hinting at a female successor, this paper delves deep into theorizing a female Dalai Lama. It offers an intersectional tool to examine how such a conception not only overturns patriarchy pertinent in Tibetan Buddhism, but also disrupts the heteropatriarchal religious traditions beyond Tibetan Buddhism. Moreover, it brings to light affirmative imagination for feminist thinking and intervention premised on the understanding of feminisms as engaging with structures of power and systems of oppression.

Sharling, T. D. (2021). Finding hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightest: The Dalai Lama’s approach to promoting human values. Coreopsis Journal of Myth & Theatre, (Autumn 2021, Vol. 9, Issue 2).

Abstract The Dalai Lama has encouraged humanity to “find hope in the darkest days and focus in the brightest,” and to “not judge the universe” (Adams, 2012, p. 131). His message on the relevance of interconnectedness points to the need for a compassion-based ethics and a realistic mind to see through the crises facing humanity. This article explores how values such as compassion, ethics based on compassion, and an understanding of the oneness of humanity underscore the Dalai Lama’s conception of human values, and critically examines the ways in which the Dalai Lama has been showing the world the urgency of harnessing the potential of these values to finding a more pragmatic and positive approach to contemporary crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

Manuscript under review     

Sharling, T.D., & Bailey, B. (2023). An “Attractive” Female Dalai Lama Controversy: Humor, Ambiguity, and Power. HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research.    

Abstract In this paper we examine the (social) media controversy that erupted in 2019 when the Dalai Lama was questioned about his assertion, that if there were a female Dalai Lama, she must be “attractive.” Many Western-oriented media commentators treated his use of the word “attractive” as an affront to women and incompatible with their visions of his position. Others, including many Tibetans, have argued that these comments constituted a humorous joke and were not evidence of sexism. We analyze the 2014 interview interaction where this comment was first recorded, and two subsequent interactions, in 2015 and 2019, in terms of interactional framing and humor to show how parties from different cultural backgrounds could come to such different interpretations. We argue that these divergent interpretations are not just cultural misunderstandings between equals, but that powerful groups may not work to understand the frameworks in which less powerful groups are speaking and thereby lose the contextual meaning of utterances.

Journal publications

Sharling, T. D. (2015). Reproductive governance in the Tibetan community in exile: Of discrepancies and digressions. Hystericalfeminisms.

Non-academic publications

Sharling, T. D., & Palkyi, T. (2019). Protecting Tibetan Women’s Rights in the Age of Social Media. Tibetan Review.

As a society, we need to arrive at a collective understanding. Our inability to act could serve as a license for ingrained sexism and disguised misogyny to become ubiquitous in our community. Allowing such things to happen will not only silence women but will also deter women from entering public service. This is too big a price to pay.

Sharling, T. D. (2016). Unity: Standing Together In Joy And Sorrow. Tibetan Review.

Sharling, T.D., & Jigdal, T. (2015). China’s fears remain even after Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death.

Sharling, T. D. (2012). Exile— the nursery of nationalism. India Seminar.

Sharling, T. D. (2010). Rethink Sino-Tibet policy for India’s survival, conference panelists say.

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