This course will offer a survey of the history of the Tibetan plateau and its cultures, focusing specifically on Sino-Tibetan cultural and political exchanges ranging from the later days of the Tibetan Empire (7th-9th centuries AD) to the present day. This journey will take us across more than 1,300 years of history, beginning with the consolidation of tribal confederations into the Yarlung Dynasty, the innovation of written Tibetan scripts, and the early spread of Buddhism in the seventh century AD. Following the collapse of the Tibetan Empire in the ninth century, we will learn how the ensuing period of fragmentation was not, in fact, a cultural dark age, but laid the ideological groundwork for the emergence of Buddhism as a titanic political and economic force on the Tibetan cultural stage in the 10th and 11th centuries. Having outlined aspects of the early cultural history of Tibet in the first four weeks, in weeks six through nine, we will focus on Sino-Tibetan exchanges, conflicts, and questions regarding political suzerainty under the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. We will approach the 20th century in the final four weeks of the course, first focusing on the so called great game and the colonial ambitions of Russia and England with regard to the Inner Asian Frontier and the consequences of the British Invasion of Tibet in 1904. Finally, we will conclude with lectures on the post-1959 Sino-Tibetan dialogue, assessing representations of Tibet from China, the West, and the Tibetan diaspora.