Kloos, Stephan



2011-now: researcher at Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences

2004-2010: PhD in Medical Anthropology, University of California, San Francisco & Berkeley

2000-2001: MSc Program in Medical Anthropology (participated), Brunel University, London, UK

1995-2002: BA & MA (Magister) in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Universität Wien


Research Interests

Tibetan Medicine; Asian medical traditions; pharmaceutical assemblages; history of medicine; postcolonial theory; science studies


Research Area(s)

India, China, Mongolia, Bhutan



Monographs and Edited Volumes

In preparation. ‘Politics of Compassion: Tibetan Medicine and Nationalism in Exile’.

2004. ‘Tibetan Medicine among the Buddhist Dards of Ladakh’. Vienna: Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, Heft 57, 183 pages.

Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

Forthcoming. ‘The Politics of Preservation and Loss: Tibetan Medical Knowledge in Exile’. Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity.

In press. ‘How Tibetan Medicine Became a “Medical System”’. East Asian Science, Technology and Society.

2012. ‘Die Alchemie Exil-Tibetischer Identität: Anmerkungen zur pharmazeutischen und politischen Wirksamkeit tibetischer Pillen’. Curare 35(3).

2008. ‘The History and Development of Tibetan Medicine in Exile’. Tibet Journal 33(3): 15-49.

Chapters in Edited Books

In press. ‘Good Medicines, Bad Hearts: The Social Role of the Amchi in a Buddhist Dard Community’. In: L. Pordié (ed.): Medicine at the Borders: The Social Life of Tibetan Medicine in India. Durham: Duke University Press.

2011. ‘Navigating “Modern Science” and “Traditional Culture”: The Dharamsala Men-Tsee-Khang in India’. In: Adams, V.; Schrempf, M. and S. Craig (eds.): Medicine between Science and Religion: Explorations on Tibetan Grounds. pp. 83-105. Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books.

2006. ‘Amchi Medizin zwischen Rand und Mitte’. In: Gingrich, A. and G. Hazod (eds.): Der Rand und die Mitte. Beiträge zur Sozialanthropologie und Kulturgeschichte Tibets und des Himalaya. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

2005. ‘Le développement dans la négociation du pouvoir: Le cas de la medicine tibétaine à Hanu, Inde Himalayenne’. In: L. Pordié (ed.): Panser le monde, penser les médecines. Essais sur les traditions médicales. pp. 101-122. Paris: Karthala.


2013. Review: ‘Hofer, T. (2011) Tibetan Medicine on the Margins: Twentieth Century Transformations of the Traditions of Sowa Rigpa in Central Tibet, PhD Dissertation, University College London, 366 pages’. Dissertationreviews.org

2013. Review: ‘Craig, S.R. (2012) Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine, Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 321 pages’. Somatosphere.net | Science, Medicine, and Anthropology

2012. ‘Legends from Hanu: Oral Histories of the Buddhist Dards in Ladakh’. Ladakh Studies Journal 28.

2012. Review: ‘Fassin, D. (2012) Humanitarian Reason. A Moral History of the Present. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 336 pages’. Social Anthropology 20(3): 338-339.

2012. Review: ‘McGranahan, C. (2010) Arrested Histories. Tibet, the CIA, and memories of a forgotten war. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 307 pages’. Social Anthropology 20(1): 115-116.

2009. Review: ‘Prost, A. (2008) Precious Pills. Medicine and Social Change among Tibetan Refugees in India. Oxford & New York: Berghahn Books, 136 pages’. Asian Medicine 4(2): 553-554.

2006. Review: ‘Adams, V. (1995) Tigers of the Snow and Other Virtual Sherpas: An Ethnography of Himalayan Encounters, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 304 pages’. Amazon.com.


Conference Presentations

2012. ‘The Interstitial Body: mapping the space between medicine and the nation’ (invited panel organizer and chair), AG Medical Anthropology International Conference, Vienna.

2012. ‘Of National Bodies, Borders, and Medical Nations: rethinking the body politic’ (invited double panel chair, co-organizer and discussant), American Anthropological Association Conference, San Francisco.

2012. ‘Alternate Imaginaries: Tibetan medicine, ethical bodies, and the modern nation’, (invited paper), American Anthropological Association Conference, San Francisco.

2012. ‘The Politics of Preservation and Loss: Tibetan Medical Knowledge in Exile’ (invited paper), Universität Rostock 6th Symposium on Cultural Encounters and the Discourse of Scholarship.

2012. ‘Introduction to Medical Anthropology’ (3 day invited seminar), Central University for Tibetan Studies, Sarnath.

2011. ‘Making a “Medical System”: Tibetan Medicine in Exile’ (invited paper), Cardiff University.

2011. ‘When Experts Meet: the politics of theorizing the other’, American Anthropological Association Conference, Montreal.

2011. ‘Die Alchemie exil-tibetischer Identität: Anmerkungen zur pharmazeutischen und politischen Wirksamkeit tibetischer Pillen’, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde – Tagung.

2010. ‘Wie “wissenschaftlich” ist die Tibetische Medizin? Beobachtungen zur Effektivität, Qualität und Überprüfbarkeit eines traditionellen Heilsystems’ (invited paper), Bhutan Exhibition, Wien Energie Haus.

2010. ‘Tibetan Medicine in Exile: the ethics, politics and science of cultural survival’, University of California, San Francisco.

2010. ‘Of Potency and Impotence: Traditional Tibetan Medicine and Modern Quality Control’, Austrian Academy of Sciences.

2009. ‘Joining Forces: The Marriage of Modern Science and Tibetan Medicine in Exile’, 7th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines, IASTAM.

2009. ‘Is Tibetan Medicine “Indian”? The Recognition of Sowa Rigpa in India’, 7th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines, IASTAM.

2008. ‘Marketing the Tibetan Cause: Tibetan Medicine between Business and Politics’ (invited paper), Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

2008. ‘Shifting Registers of Illegitimacy: Tibetan Medicine in India’ (invited paper), French Institute of Pondicherry.