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Rewriting Shangri-La

Tibetan Youth, Migrations and Literacies in McLeod Ganj, India

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Heidi Swank

In Rewriting Shangri-La: Migrations and Everyday Literacies among Tibetan Youth in McLeod Ganj, India, Heidi Swank examines differing histories of migration and exile through the lens of everyday literacies. The youth on whom this ethnography focuses live in a community that has long been romanticized by Tibetans and non-Tibetans alike, positioning these youth to see themselves as keepers of a modern day Shangri-la.
Through this ethnography - based on a decade of research - Heidi Swank suggests that through seemingly mundane writings (grocery lists, text messages, etc.) these youth are shifting what Shangri-la means by renogotiating important aspects of life in this Tibetan community to better match their lived - not romanticized - experiences as exiles in rural India.