DR Gerald Roche

DR Gerald Roche


  • Tibet
  • ethnicty
  • language endangerment
  • language revitalization
  • language shift
  • nationalism



  • I am an anthropologist and ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute. My research focuses on the cultural and linguistic diversity of China's Tibetan regions, and how this diversity is being transformed in the 21st century. My anthropological interests currently relate to language endangerment, maintenance, shift, and revitalization, as well as issues of language and social justice. Before joining the Asia Institute, I was a post-doctoral research fellow at Uppsala University's Hugo Valentin Centre, a trans-disciplinary research center focusing on the ethnic dimension of human life, particularly in relation to discrimination, genocide, and assimilation. Prior to this, I lived on the northeast Tibetan Plateau for eight years, working as an applied anthropologist, and also undertaking research for my PhD in Asian Studies from Griffith University. My PhD research examined issues of variation in change in a ritual complex of the Monguor (Tuzu) people. As an applied anthropologist, I have collaborated with local people on various educational and cultural initiatives, including the creation of the world's largest online archive of oral traditions from the Tibetan Plateau, and the publication of the first nationally-distributed English language textbooks designed specifically for Tibetans. My publications have appeared in Asian Ethnicity, Asian Ethnology, Language Documentation and Description, Anthropos, Himalaya, China Review International, Studia Orientalia, and Asian Highlands Perspectives, and I have forthcoming publications in Modern Asian Studies and the International Journal of the Sociology of Language. My current research project looks at ethnic politics and linguistic diversity in the Tibetan regions of China. The study examines the sociolinguistic predicament of the Monguor population of Rebgong, a multiethnic and multilingual region on the Northeast Tibetan Plateau where the Monguor constitute a linguistic m   


Member of

  • American Anthropological Association. Society for East Asian Anthropology 2010 -
  • Association for Asian Studies. General Member 2010 -


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • My research is currently supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (2015-2018) for a project titled 'Ethnicity and Assimilation in China: The Monguor of Tibet'.   


Education and training

  • PhD (Asian Studies), Griffith University 2011
  • B.Soc.Sci (Hon), The University of Queensland 2002
  • B.Sc, The University of Queensland 2000
  • B.A, The University of Queensland 2000



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am interested in supervising anyone working on Tibet, issues of ethnicity in China, or topics related to language endangerment, maintenance, shift, and revitalization.