Diana Lange was trained in Sinology, Central Asian Studies and Economy at the Leipzig University and at the Tibet University in Lhasa. She holds a Ph.D. in Central Asian Studies from Humboldt University of Berlin (2008) where she is employed as a research associate. Her research is focused on Tibet and its neighbouring regions with a specialization in material and visual culture as well as cultural interactions.
Diana Lange has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Tibet and the Himalayas since 1999 on various research projects. In her current habilitation project she concentrates on knowledge production and representation of knowledge in visual culture. Her research activity is based on a single collection and its collector: the British Library’s Wise Collection of Thomas Alexander Wise (1802-1889). The 55 ethnographic and cartographic images of this collection are the most comprehensive set of large-scale visual representations of mid-19th century Tibet. They were commissioned by the British official William Edmund Hay (1805-1879) and drawn by a Tibetan monk. The main goals of this project are: (1) using the Wise Collection as a case study to examine the processes by which knowledge on Tibet was acquired, collected and represented, and (2) understanding the intentions and motivations behind these processes.
During her research on the Wise Collection Diana Lange came across a considerable number of illustrations of Qing garrisons on maps of Central and Southern Tibet. In the TibArmy project she will analyse of the presence of the Qing officials and garrisons in mid-19th century Tibet from a visual perspective, by studying the illustrations and translating and analysing relevant primary Chinese and Tibetan sources.