Dear all,


We would like to draw your attention to the following announcement (sorry for cross-posting):


In connection with the pending start of a new research project ("Kalimpong as a 'Contact Zone'," directed by Prof. Birgit Kellner and Dr. Markus Viehbeck at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context," University of Heidelberg), we invite proposals for papers for the following panel at the Thirteenth Seminar of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from July 21–27, 2013.


Panel: "When Different Worlds Meet: Transcultural Encounters in the Eastern Himalayas"

While cultural exchange is an immanent and continuous element of human societies, there are certain places and conditions that accentuate this element and make it more visible. With the intensification of trade in the wake of the British Younghusband invasion to Tibet in 1904, the border region between Tibet and India in the Eastern Himalayas gained importance as the main transit hub for the exchange of Tibetan and Western commodities. Economic development was accompanied by population growth: the historical mixture of various local ethnic groups was enriched by an influx of traders and the settlement of British Indian colonial officers, Christian missionaries, Tibetan dignitaries, Western Tibetologists and spiritual seekers, etc. This development did not only yield a pathway for the exchange of material goods, but also for the exchange of knowledge between worlds that knew very little about each other.

In this panel, we would like to address these encounters with regard to various interconnected key areas, such as trade, religion, politics, media, scholarship, education, etc., and with different methodological and disciplinary approaches.


Please send proposals for papers (half page abstracts) directly to Markus Viehbeck (, until September 23, 2012, at the latest.


Thank you also for forwarding this announcement – which I attach as a PDF document – to your colleagues with an interest in this area, and for making it public via department bulletin boards etc.


With kind regards,

Markus Viehbeck



Dr. Markus Viehbeck

Assistant Professor | Buddhist Studies


Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context"

University of Heidelberg

Karl Jaspers Centre

Voßstraße 2, Building 4400

D-69115 Heidelberg