Mapping Global Chicago is a collaborative undergraduate research lab and part of the University of Chicago’s Global Studies Program. Students in this lab work together to create public scholarship investigating the idea of the “global city” here in Chicago. In 2021, our first MGC cohort focused on how the global COVID pandemic has changed our city; the research on this page is the result of student-led work on areas such as education, health work, and social justice. In 2022, the lab focused on “Healing in the Diaspora” while providing an introduction and overview into Tibetan Medicine, they also conducted interviews with the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago. Future labs will focus on other concerns based on student proposals, researching specific neighborhoods, industries, or institutions connecting Chicago to a broader, “global” space through flows of capital, bodies, and ideas. Both this year and moving forward, these projects involve diverse and interdisciplinary research methods undertaken by students from across the University.

Healing in the Diaspora

The Root Tantra is the first of Four Tantras, and describes the Tibetan medical system as a tree. This tree is based in three routes of approaching wellbeing.

Mapping Diaspora

Our data showcases the different migration and population patters of the Tibetan Diaspora as well as engagement with Tibetan Culture and politics around the world.

Narratives of Diaspora

What does life look like in Chicago for members of the Tibetan Diaspora? What are their migration stories and views on American culture? How have they preserved their sense of Tibetan identity and community?


The Tibetan population comes with stories and experiences that have guided their migration journey and transition to Chicago. Their identity is brought together through distinct social, medicinal, and religious principles passed down through generations, rooted in the Tibetan cause: the universe is nothing but a cycle of karma.

2022 Research Teams

Healing in the Diaspora: Radhika Kaicker, Layla Khazeni, Susie Truitt

Mapping Diaspora: Karena Danelian, Gabi Karlan, Sabrina Schlesinger, Hannah Siegel, Helene Worthington

Narratives of the Diaspora: Ellie Alden, Ethan Chen, Nati Giustini

Documentary: Eric Bebenov, Lisa Singh, Carol Zhao

We would also like to extend a special thanks to the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago (TAC) for welcoming us into their community center and collaborating with us to conduct our research this year.

Mapping Global Chicago 2023

Interested in getting involved? Have an idea for next year’s theme?

Get in touch with Professor Callie Maidhof (