© 2015

Tibet on Fire

Buddhism, Protest, and the Rhetoric of Self-Immolation

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. John Whalen-Bridge
    Pages 1-15
  3. John Whalen-Bridge
    Pages 59-80
  4. John Whalen-Bridge
    Pages 81-121
  5. John Whalen-Bridge
    Pages 137-150
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 151-216

About this book


Using Kenneth Burke's concept of dramatism as a way of exploring multiple motivations in symbolic expression, Tibet on Fire examines the Tibetan self-immolation movement of 2011-2015. The volume asserts that the self-immolation act is an affirmation of Tibetan identity in the face of cultural genocide.


Tibetan Self-immolation Engaged Buddhism Dramatism Rhetoric Kenneth Burke Performance of Protest Tibetan Buddhism Irreversible speech Angry monk syndrome Buddhism China democracy Free Speech globalization identity Image media Nation New Media politics press Protest Protests religion

About the authors

John Whalen-Bridge is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at National University of Singapore

Bibliographic information


“Aside from its particular focus on performances and rhetoric–which may interest those already familiar with the self-immolations–Tibet on Fire also serves as a general introduction to the Tibetan self-immolation phenomenon, and provides comprehensive, introductory-level background on Tiber-China history, Tibetan Buddhism, and international politics vis-à-vis the Tibet-China conflict. Tibet on Fire may thus also be of interest to those seeking a general introduction to the self-immolations themselves as well as the Tibet-China conflict in general.” (Benjamin Wood, Journal of Global Buddhism, Vol. 17, 2016)