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Geoff Barstow / Profile

PhD Candidate | Graduate Student

Geoff is a second year PhD student in Tibetan Studies at the University of Virginia.  His research interests include the early development of Avalokitesvara mythology in Tibet and the attendant narratives concerning the history of the early kings.  He lives in Charlottesville with his wife Eliza and daughter Margaret.


I am interested in the early development of the Avalokitesvara mythology in Tibet, particularly as that mythology came to be embodied in the Mani Kabum (ma Ni bka’ ‘bum) corpus.  As part of this, I am interested in how that mythology was developed as a tool to legitimize the Nyingma school in Tibet, as well as Tibet’s place in the Buddhist world.  Attendant to this broad interest, I am interested in the history of Tibet’s Imperial Period, notions of divine kingship and a host of other topics concearning early Tibet and its encounters with Buddhism.

Scholarly Disciplines
Buddhist Studies (4), Religious Studies (5), Tibetan Studies (4)
General Interests
History (9), Religion (3), Tibet (3)
Time Periods of Interest
10th Century (1), 11th century (2), 12th century (2), 13th century (2), 8th Century (1), 9th Century (1), Tibetan Dark Ages (1), Tibetan Imperial Period (1), Tibetan Renaissance (1)
Places of Interest
China (4), Nepal (4), Tibet (8)


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  • Graduate Student, University of Virginia


  • M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School
  • B.A. Kathmandu University
  • B.A. Hampshire College

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