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GROS Stéphane

CNRS Researcher

Contact : stephane.gros [at]


Social anthropologist (CNRS section 38)
Research Topics

A social anthropologist by training (PhD. Paris-Nanterre University, 2005), Stéphane Gros is a specialist of the ethnic minorities of Southwest China and the Sino-Tibetan borderlands. He has published a monograph entitled La Part manquante (Société d’ethnologie, 2012) about the Drung (Dulong), a minority of swidden agriculturalists of Northwest Yunnan province. This book engages with a broad array of theoretical and political debates and explores many themes that fall within the purview of a classical ethnographic enterprise : kinship, religion, mythology, exchange, domestic organization, and gender relations—particularly the seldom researched practice of facial tattooing among Drung women.
He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on issues of interethnic relations and ethnic classification, representations of ethnic minorities, poverty and categorization, as well as rituals and cosmology. He has edited or co-edited four collections of relevance to ethnographic theory, Chinese studies, and area studies.
He was the Principal Investigator for a European-Research-Council-funded project (Starting Grant No. 283870, 2012-2016) titled “Territories, Communities, and Exchanges in the Kham Sino-Tibetan Borderlands”. In the framework of this project, the multidisciplinary team investigated topics such as trade, territoriality, cultural politics, and identity, leading to the publication of three edited collections.
More recently, Stéphane Gros’ personal research investigates aspects of kinship and social organization, conversion to Christianity, as well as heritage politics and environmental discourses in this region.
He is currently co-editor of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research and has served previously as Managing Editor (2011-2014) for the launch of the open-access anthropology journal HAU : Journal of Ethnographic Theory.
Stéphane Gros was a visiting scholar at University of California, Berkeley (2017-2019) in the framework of the development of the Himalayan Studies program on campus.


- ethnicity
- power relations
- kinship
- cultural politics
- heritage politics
- Drung (Dulong)
- Tibeto-burman
- Sino-Tibetan borderlands

- China. North-west Yunnan : Gongshan district, the Dulongjang valley and the upper valley of the Salween, Western Sichuan (Khams), Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

Interview about the ERC-funded research project : "Territories, Communities, Exchanges in the Sino-Tibetan Kham Borderlands." 10 minutes. (In French)

Books and edited collections

2022, (with Gladys Chicharro, Aurélie Névot, and Adeline Herou) Le Féminin et le religieux, Paris : L’Asiathèque.

2019, Frontier Tibet : Patterns of Change in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands. Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press.

2016, Special issue ‘Frontier Tibet : Trade and Boundaries of Authority in Kham’, S. Gros (ed.), Cross-Currents : East Asian History and Culture Review 19 (online).

2014, Special issue “Des mondes en devenir. Interethnicité et production de la difference en Chine du Sud-Ouest” / “Worlds in the making. Interethnicity and the processes of generating difference in Southwestern China,” S. Gros (ed.), Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 24, p. 1-30.

2012, La Part manquante. Echanges et pouvoirs chez les Drung du Yunnan (Chine) . Nanterre, Société d’ethnologie. Vidéo dans laquelle S. Gros présente ce livre.

Recent articles
(Forthcoming) “The Sino-Tibetan Borderlands”, in Oxford Research Encyclopedias : Asian History. Oxford University Press (online).

2021, “Fertile Tattoos : Play, Embodiment, and the Transition to Womanhood in Drung Female Facial.” Asian Ethnology, 80 (3). URL :

2019, “China Real and Virtual : Minzu Space.” Cross-Currents : East Asian History and Culture Review. URL :

2017, “Nature De-Naturalized : Modes of relation with the environment among the Drung of Yunnan (China).” Anthropological Forum 27 (4) : 32-339.

Full list of publications in HAL