29-03-2019: Lecture on Limbu Mundhum
Lecture: "Classification of Limbu Mundhum in Sikkim" by Buddhi L. Khamdhak (Namchi Govt. College, Sikkim, India)
Friday 29 March 2019, 3:00pm c.t.; Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (seminar room 1)
01/02-03-2019: Image Database Workshop in Kyoto, Japan
Deborah Klimburg-Salter, Jürgen Schörflinger and Verena Widorn participated at the International Workshop "Towards the Comprehensive Image Database on Bamiyan Buddhist Sites" organized by Minoru Inaba from the Institute for Research in Humanities (Zinbun), Kyoto University.
The workshop was part of a long lasting affiliation between members of CIRDIS (and its predecessors) and Kyoto University's Institute for Research in Humanities.
Besides the ongoing cooperations ("Kabul Museum Project", FWF-Project "Cultural Formation and Transformation: Shahi Buddhist Art and Architecture from Afghanistan to the West Tibetan Frontier at the Dawn of the Islamic Era" both by Deborah Klimburg-Salter) the possibilities for a future in-depth collaboration on a digital archiving initiative and image database dedicated to the extensive research documentation from Japanese missions to Afghanistan in the 1970s was in the focus of the workshop and the following meetings.
- Archaeological Missions of Kyoto University and Bamiyan (Minoru Inaba, Kyoto University)
- Discovering the Past and Documenting for the Future: The Story of an International Collaboration (Deborah Klimburg-Salter)
- Opportunities and Challenges on Economic Development through Mineral Extraction and Cultural Property Preservation in Mes Aynak, Afghanistan (Masanori Nagaoka, UNESCO)
- CIRDIS and the Himalayan Archives Vienna: A Brief Historical and Technical Overview with Insights into Ongoing Development (Verena Widorn and Jürgen Schörflinger)
04-02-2019: ECSAS2020 - Call for Panels
The submission for panel proposals for the 26th European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS), coorganised by CIRDIS, the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB) and the Institute for Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences is now open. ECSAS2020 will taking place 29 July – 1 August 2020 at the University of Vienna Campus.
22-01-2019: Lecture on Shrines in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Lecture: "Shrines in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: Reflections on Gonkar Gyatso's »Buddha's Picnic«" by Melissa Kerin (Washington and Lee University, Lexington, USA)
Tuesday 22 Januarry 2019, 6:30pm; Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (seminar room 1)
Happy Holidays and best wishes for a prosperous New Year 2019.
Martin Gaenszle and the CIRDIS Team
03-11-2018: ORF "Religionen der Welt" featuring Martin Gaenszle
The ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) documentation format "Religionen der Welt" was featuring Martin Gaenszle on the "gāi jātrā" festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal. The short clip was available in the "ORF TVthek" for seven days after the its airing.
24-10-2018: science.orf.at featuring an article about Robin Coningham's keynote
Aus Trümmern lernen
The ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) online section "science" is featuring an article about Robin Coningham's keynote lecture "Seismic safety" which was opening the symposium "After the Earthquake" organized by Nina Mirnig (IKGA), CIRDIS and the UNESCO.
10-10-2018: uni:view featuring an article about Mélanie Vandenhelsken's research at CIRDIS
Rituals for a reason
The University of Vienna's "uni:view" magazine is featuring an article about Mélanie Vandenhelsken's research project: "Trans-Border Religion: Re-composing Limbu rituals in the Nepal–Sikkim borderlands".
19-10-2018: Lecture on the Indo-Burma frontiers in WWII
Lecture: "Bodies, Bandits and Badmashes: reading recalcitrance, resistance and governance through allegories of violence in the WWII Indo-Burma frontiers" by Aditya Kiran Kakati (Junior Visiting Fellow, Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna)
Thursday 19 October 2018, 3pm c.t.; Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (seminar room 1)
Guest Researcher: Melissa Kerin
It is our pleasure to welcome Melissa Kerin as guest research at our center. She will stay with us until February 2019 and work on finishing a manuscript, Bodies of Offerings: The Materiality and Vitality of Tibetan Shrines, which received an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (2014-15) and Howard Foundation Fellowship (2018-19).
Melissa Kerin is an associate professor of art history at the Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virgina (USA).
Her primary field of research is the art and material culture of South Asia from the medieval and modern periods. Along with a number of articles and chapters, Kerin has authored two books. Her third book project, under contract with Oxford University Press, is an edited volume analyzing the ethical treatment of cultural heritage in the U.S., South Asia, the Middle East. Since joining the faculty of Washington and Lee’s Art and Art History Department in 2011, Kerin has taught a range of courses related to the interconnections among art, religion, memory, and identity. Kerin holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School.
20/21-09-2018: International symposium - Manuscript, print and publication cultures in South Asia
International Symposium: "Manuscript, print and publication cultures in South Asia: From the 19th century to the present"
Thursday-Friday, 20-21 September 2018; Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB) (SR 1); Spitalgasse 2, entrance 2.7, 1090 Vienna
Organisation: Johanna Buß (ISTB), Alaka Chudal (ISTB), Cristina Pecchia (IKGA)
In collaboration with:
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA)
University of Vienna, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB), and
Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies
Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft (ÖFG)
Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asian Cultural History (CIRDIS)
The De Nobili Research Library
22/23-10-2018: International symposium - After the earthquake
International Symposium: "After the earthquake: Research, protection and preservation of Nepal’s cultural heritage"
Monday-Tuesday, 22-23 October 2018, Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (room 2.25)
Organisation: Nina Mirnig (IKGA)
In collaboration with:
Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA), Austrian Academy of Sciences
UNESCO Chair on Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, Department of Archaeology, Durham University, UK
Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asian Cultural History (CIRDIS)
New FWF-Project on Rene de Nebesky-Wojkowitz
We are very excited to announce the successful application of Martin Gaenszle for an FWF stand-alone project entitled The Scientific Legacy of Rene´ de Nebesky-Wojkowitz" (FWF P-31570) based here at our center. Uwe Niebuhr, whose long term research interest in de Nebesky-Wojkowitz served as the basis for this project, will be the lead investigator and Verena Widorn, who vitally contributed in the conception and realisation of the application will be responsible for the art historical analysis and contextualization of the collected material. Detailed information about the Nebesky project will be provided in our research section in the coming weeks.
We are thrilled about this important addendum to our research spectrum and would like to congratulate Martin Gaenszle, Uwe Niebuhr and Verena Widorn!
03-05-2018: Lecture on the Sikkim Royal Archive by Alex McKay
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)
24-04-2018: Kurier - Buddhas in Afghanistan
"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.
05-04-2018: Ö1 Kulturjournal - Palmyra-Gespräche in Wien
"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.
04-04-2018: 6. ICOM Palmyra Talks
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)
New FWF-Project on Shahi Buddhist Art and Architecture
With great pleasure we can announce the successful application of Deborah Klimburg-Salter for an FWF standalone-project entitled "Cultural Formation and Transformation: Shahi Buddhist Art and Architecture from Afghanistan to the West Tibetan Frontier at the Dawn of the Islamic Era" (FWF P-31246) based here at our center and carried out in cooperation with Michael Alram (Coin Collection of the KHM, Vienna; Austrian Academy of Sciences). We would like to extending our congratulations and are much looking forward to the exciting addition to CIRDIS.
19-03-2018: Ö1 City Science Talk with M. Gaenszle, E. Mader and H. Monyer
"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.
15-03-2018: Lecture on Researching Local History as an "Insider" by Rimi Tadu
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
10-11-2017: Lecture on Liberalisation and Transformation in Sikkim by Mona Chettri
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)
(07-09)-07-2017: CIRDIS at the International Symposium on Himalayan Studies
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.
Online Exhibition - Discovering the Western Himalayas
The exhibition "Discovering the Western Himalayas", organized by CIRDIS and opened in the course of our very successful event 'Discovering Tibet', has meanwhile been transformed into an online exhibition and is >available here< from now on.
12-05-2017: Workshop "Kiranti – Language and Culture in Comparative Perspective"
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)
28-04-2017: Lecture on Locality and Community by Martin Saxer
Friday 28 April 2017, Department of History of Art (Seminar room 1)
Impressions from the Lectures, Book Presentation and Exhibition 'Discovering Tibet'
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.
Radio Interview with Ben Hillman (Ö1)
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: http://religion.orf.at/radio/stories/2824575/ (minutes 26:02 to 34:06).
16-03-2017: 'Discovering Tibet' - Lectures, Book Presentation and Exhibition
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
16&18-01-2017: Lecture by Ben Hillman & Himalayan Borderlands Workshop
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)
Guest Researcher: Prof. Vishnu S. Rai
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.
New FWF-Project on Trans-Border Religion
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.
18-30 July 2016: Nepali Summer School
Date & Location: 18.7.-30.7.2016 at the ISTB, University of Vienna
Teacher: Laxmi Nath Shrestha
Application Deadline: 30.06.2016
21 July 2016: CIRDIS@Kinderuni
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.
06&07-05-2016: Nepal-Workshop "Aktuelle kulturwissenschaftliche Projekte und Positionen"
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
22-03-2016: Exploring the Ontology of Himalayan Shrines [Workshop]
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 WHAV is back online
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 voted to receive this year's Huntington Award
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.
Lecture and tech-demo presented at the conference "Digitale Bibliothek 2016"
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.
Collections of the University of Vienna: Object of the Month February 2016
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.
25/26-01-2016: Afghanistan Workshop with keynotes by Frantz Grenet
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
Our New Website is Online!
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 http://www.univie.ac.at/cirdis/2006-2015.
Rituals with Political Relevance
The University of Vienna's Online magazine uni:view in conversation with Prof. Martin Gaenszle.