Program [PDF]

Lecture: "The View from the Palace: The Sikkim Royal Archives by Alex McKay

Thursday 05 May 2018, 5pm; Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (seminar room 1)

"Palmyra-Gespräche in Wien"
The Austrian newspaper "Kurier" featured a story entitled "Buddhas in Afghanistan: Aufbauen oder nicht?" in reference to the 6. ICOM Palmyra-Talks that took place on April 4th and that have been co-organized by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the "European Year of Cultural Heritage" and CIRDIS.

Ö1 Kulturjournal

"Palmyra-Gespräche in Wien"
The "Ö1 Kulturjournal" featured a short report on the 6. ICOM Palmyra-Talks that took place on April 4th and that have been co-organized by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the "European Year of Cultural Heritage" and CIRDIS.

Program [PDF]

Opening: "Introduction to the National Museum of Afghanistan Today" by Fahim Rahimi (Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan, Kabul)
Keynote: "Protection of the Cultural Landscapes at the Bamiyan World Heritage site in Afghanistan" by Dr. Masanori Nagaoka (Chief of Culture Unit, UNESCO Kabul Office):

The 6. ICOM Palmyra Talks ar co-organized by CIRDIS, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Kabul Museum Project

Wednesday 04 April 2018, 6pm; Austrian Academy of Sciences (historical festive hall)

Ö1 City Science Talk

"Rituale – Spielregeln des Lebens"
An "Ö1 City Science Talk im Ringturm" about the ritual of land diving (Gol) as performed on the Pentecost Island (part of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu).
Discussion with CIRDIS' Martin Gaenszle, Elke Mader (KSA, University of Vienna) and Hannah Monyer (Medical Faculty and German Cancer Reserch Center Heidelberg).

Monday 19 March 2018, 6pm; Ringturm, Schottenring 30, 20th floor, 1010 Vienna

A summary of the discussion was aired on Ö1 at 9pm on Wednesday 4 April.

Program [PDF]

Lecture: "An insider doing local history in Arunachal Pradesh. Dealing with ethics among the Apatani" ( Rimi Tadu, Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt)

Thursday 15 March 2018, 3pm; Department of South-Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies

Program [PDF]

Lecture: "The De-Facto Special Economic Zone in the Eastern Himalaya. Liberalisation and Transformation in Sikkim" ( Mona Chettri, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Friday 10 November 2017, 3pm; Department of South-Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (Seminar room 1)

The Himalaya Multimedia Database Project (directed by Prof. XU Jun) at the Sichuan University in Chengdu, invited CIRDIS to participate in the “International Symposium on Himalayan Studies” and to present and discuss recent research, archiving and teaching activities of Chinese, European and American scholars in the respective field. The symposium dealt with important issues such as joint publications, scholarly exchange, aligned programs of collaborative research and the establishment of connected digital multimedia archives. CIRDIS, represented by Verena Widorn at the conference, is confident to contribute especially to the latter concern with its expertise. After the official symposium, two intense working sessions were held with the young and committed team of the Himalaya Mutlimedia Database Project. CIRDIS hopes to continue this fruitful discussion and establish a longer-ranged collaboration.

Program & Abstracts [PDF]

With an introduction by Martin Gaenszle and contributions by Joanna Bialek, Linda Gustavsson, Grégoire Schlemmer, Alban von Stockhausen, Mélanie Vandenhelsken and Marion Wettstein.

Friday 12 May 2017 at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (SR 1, Dept. of Tibetan Studies)


Program [PDF]
Lecture: "Place-Knots – Himalayan Experience of Locality and Community" (Martin Saxer, University of Munich)

Friday 28 April 2017, Department of History of Art (Seminar room 1)


Some impressions from our very successful event 'Discovering Tibet'. The Book Presentation (Deborah Klimburg-Salter (ed), Discovering Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Tibetan Paintings) was accompanied by an opening address by Martin Gaenszle and lectures from John Clark (Victoria & Albert Museum) and Hildegard Diemberger (University of Cambridge). It also marked the opening of the three week long exhibition "Discovering the Western Himalayas" organised by CIRDIS.

We are currently preparing an online version of the exhibition. It is to be found on our website shortly.

Ben Hillman has been interviewed by Kerstin Tretina for the Austrian radio station Ö1's program "Praxis". The interview (in German) entitled "Dalai Lama und danach? - Tibets ungewisse Zukunft" aired on February 8 2017 and has been made available online on the website of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation: (minutes 26:02 to 34:06).

Program [PDF]

Book Presentation "Discovering Tibet" (Deborah Klimburg-Salter (ed), Discovering Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Tibetan Paintings) and Exhibition Opening "Discovering the Western Himalayas"

Opening by Martin Gaenszle and lectures by John Clark (Victoria & Albert Museum) and Hildegard Diemberger (University of Cambridge)

Thursday 16 March 2017, Department of History of Art (Seminar room 1)
Exhibition: 16 March – 7 April

Program [PDF]

Lecture: "China's Ethnic Policies and Ethnic Security in Tibet" (Ben Hillman, Crawford School / Australian National University)
Monday 16 January 2017, ISTB (South Asian Studies: Seminar Room 3)

Workshop: "Himalayan Boderlands in Transition"
Wednesday 18 January 2017, ISTB (Tibetan and Buddhist Studies: Seminar Room 1)


It is our pleasure to welcome Prof. Rai as guest research at our center, where he will pursue his work on a study of Chamling mundhum rituals and ritual language.

Vishnu S. Rai, Ph.D. (University of Bern), is professor at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu (Nepal), where he has taught English Language Teaching (ELT) and linguistics. In ELT his expertise lies in language-literature interfaces and in linguistics his interests are in sociolinguistics, ethnolinguistics, semantics and morphology. He has carried out field research on various endangered languages of Nepal, such as Puma, Chamling and Tilung.

From 2004-2008 he was a member of the “Chintang and the Puma Documentation Project” (CPDP), jointly run by Leipzig University, and Tribhuvan University and funded by the Volkswagenstiftung as part of the DOBES (“Dokumentation bedrohter Sprachen”) programme. He has published many articles and books on language revitalization, Kiranti language and culture, as well as multilingual education. Dr. Rai is also a creative writer who writes both in Nepali and English.

With great pleasure we can announce the successful application of Mélanie Vandenhelsken for an FWF standalone-project entitled "Trans-border Religion: Limbu Rituals in Nepal and Sikkim" (FWF P-29805) based here at our center. We would like to extending our congratulations and are much looking forward to welcoming her and to a fruitful cooperation.

We will provide you with more information in the upcoming weeks once Vandenhelsken has started her work here with us.

We have prepared a hands-on workshop about tibetan altars for this year's  Kinderuni. And we all had A LOT of fun! See for yourself… :)

Program: english [PDF], german [PDF]

Date & Location: 18.7.-30.7.2016 at the ISTB, University of Vienna
Teacher: Laxmi Nath Shrestha
Application Deadline: 30.06.2016
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Members of CIRDIS will take part at this year's Kinderuni (University for Kids), a summer program of the Vienna University. We have prepared a hands-on workshop entitled "Wie entsteht ein tibetischer Altar? Wir basteln Tormas mit verschiedenen Materialien". For detailed information please follow >this link< to the Kinderuni-Website.

Program [PDF]

6.5.-7.5.2016 at the ISTB (SR 1, Dept. of Tibetan Studies)

Key Note Lecture: 6.5.2016, 9:00 - 10:00
Prof.Dr. Axel Michaels (Sout Asia Institute, Heidelberg University): Nepalesische Dokumente und Archiv-Forschung in Nepal

Keynote [PDF]
Invitation [PDF]; Photo: Melissa Kerin

We would like to invite you to a small workshop entitled "Exploring the Ontology of Himalayan Shrines" with talks given by Verena Widorn, Melissa Kerin, Gerald Kozicz and Uwe Niebuhr. The workshop will take place on Tuesday the 22nd of March 2016 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at the seminar room 2 of the Department of Art History at the University of Vienna.


The software-stack of the WHAV's online image archive is currently undergoing a major update. Please excuse the occasional inconvenience you will be experiencing until we have finished restoring all of the previous functionality.


Michael Alram will receive the distinguished Huntington Award in recognition of his outstanding career and contributions in field of numismatic research. The award ceremony will take place Tuesday the 7th of June at the American Numismatic Society in New York.


Verena Widorn together with Sean Mc Allister, Jürgen Schörlfinger and Jan Seifert participated at the 6th annual "Digitale Bibliothek"-conference entitled "Vernetzte Welten". A summary of their presentation "Himalaya Archive of Vienna (HAV) – Strategien und Probleme eines Universitätsarchivs" as well as the presented tech-demo are available online.


An excerpt of the audio recordings and images documenting the Dasain-festival in Tamku, Eastern Nepal (recorded 1984 by Martin Gaenszle) has been selected as the Collections of the University of Vienna's object of the month February 2016.


CIRDIS in co-operation with the AAS (Austrian Academy of Sciences) is organizing the workshop:

MOVING BORDERS: Current Research on Afghanistan between Inner and South Asia
25th and 26th of Jannuary 2016, Theatersaal of the AAS

It is our pleasure to be welcoming you to CIRDIS' all new online presence!

In case you are searching for specific content from our previous website, it will remain available under

Photo: Alban von Stockhausen

The University of Vienna's Online magazine uni:view in conversation with Prof. Martin Gaenszle.


For the past events and the news archive of CIRDIS 2006–2015 see: