Dear visitors,

please note that the Doctoral College (Initiativkolleg): “Cultural Transfers and Cross-Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands” has ended and our website will no longer be updated.

For information on our ongoing research, events and activities please refer to the website of our Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asian Cultural History (CIRDIS).

Upcoming Events:

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Please consult the "past events"-section for a full list of our previously (co-)organized events.

University of Vienna, Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy

Doctoral College (Initiativkolleg):

“Cultural Transfers and Cross-Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands”

Since ancient times, the Himalayas have been an area characterized by various and complex intercultural encounters. Although boundaries have always been an important factor in the region, they were often permeable and shifting, and the mechanisms of trade and the spread of cultural traditions both across and along the mountain ranges have been important elements for any understanding of the region.

The Doctoral College/Initiativkolleg (IK) "Cultural Transfers and Cross-Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands" will bring together the expertise of eight disciplines (Art History , South Asian Studies , Tibetology , Buddhist Studies , Cultural and Social Anthropology , Numismatics , Iranian Studies , and Geography) in order to support and supervise doctoral projects that examine many diverse aspects of cultural transfer in the broader Himalayan region, including the transfer of goods, images, rituals, texts, ideas and norms. Individual research topics will focus on various processes of cultural transformation, which have also been described as "acculturation", "hybridisation" or "syncretism". These include the adoption and integration of new symbols, images, ritual practices and textual traditions. Special emphasis will be given to boundaries and borderlands, to the making of boundaries and to cross-boundary transfers. By considering new concepts and theoretical approaches developed recently in the various fields, the IK aims to combine individual, focused studies of historical as well as contemporary cultures and traditions in the Himalayas with a broader and interdisciplinary view of intercultural processes. The IK thus provides the framework necessary for enabling a more comparative perspective on these topics.