Projekte / Projects
Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource (ITLR)
The ITLR is designed to serve as a digital platform for researchers from the fields of classical Indology, Tibetology, and Buddhology when dealing with Sanskrit/Indic-Tibetan lexical items; and as a long-term basis for collaboration among scholars worldwide from these related fields. The ITLR is thus primarily a digital treasury of reliable and comprehensive Indo-Tibetan lexical data that have been put at the disposal of the broad scholarly community interested in Indian and Tibetan texts and thought. The ITLR will accumulate and store lexical items that are the products (or by-products) of research done within the framework of selected projects devoted to the investigation of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist literature of all genres
the by-products of research of individual scholars, which under normal circumstances would otherwise often end up tucked away in scholarly footnotes and thus remain largely inaccessible.
One of the long-term aims of the ITLR is to provide the necessary infrastructure for collaborative research and other forms of cooperation between scholars from the fields of Indology, Tibetology, and Buddhology, and between traditional and modern academics as well.
Which areas will be covered?
Although lexical items from the various branches of Buddhist philosophy are bound to be in the majority, the entries will not be restricted to Buddhist terminology, but will also include other Indian religio-philosophical terms, and indeed any lexical items and names that occur in the texts. In keeping with the vision of the ITLR to leave the number of entries open-ended lexical items from all fields of knowledge and literary genres will be incorporated. It is envisaged that lexical items from a whole host of fields and sub-fields will flow into the ITLR via multiple channels.
Who is involved?
The aim of the ITLR is to bring together Sanskritists, Buddhologists (with knowledge of Sanskrit or classical Tibetan), classical Tibetologists (with main research interests in Indo-Tibetan and Buddhist materials), and specialists in Digital Humanities. Fortunately, a number of colleagues from several universities and other institutions have already agreed to cooperate, either on an institutional or individual level. Beside scholars from the University of Hamburg, these include scholars from the International Institute for Digital Humanities (DHII) in Tokyo, University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto, University of Naples, Mie University, University of Oxford, Koyasan University, Nishogakusya University, Minobusan University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Leiden University, Renmin University of China, Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente in Rome and the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing. Further potential partners are being sounded out. Scholars who are interested to contribute to the ITLR are welcome to contact us.
The ITLR is the first project initiated by Prof. Dr. Dorji Wangchuk (immediately after he assumed his position at the Department for Indian and Tibetan Studies at the University of Hamburg). The first ITLR workshop, “Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource (ITLR): Conception, Development, Implementation,” took place in Hamburg December 16–17, 2009. The second workshop, “Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource (ITLR): “TEI Encoding for Classical Asian Texts,” took place July 12–14, 2010. A third workshop, “Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource (ITLR): Experimentation and Implementation I,” is scheduled to take place in Hamburg July 19–22, 2011, and a fourth, “Indo-Tibetan Lexical Resource (ITLR): Experimentation and Implementation II,” in Tokyo in December 2011. We have been fortunate to gain support for the development of the ITLR database from the International Institute for Digital Humanities (DHII), Tokyo, and from the SAT [Saṃgaṇikīkṛtam Taiśotripiṭakam] Daizōkyō Text Database, Tokyo. Since 2010 meetings, each comprising members of the ITLR team in Hamburg, Mr. Kiyonori Nagasaki (general manager, DHII), and Dr. Toru Tomabechi (DHII), have regularly taken place (May 2010; October 2010; February 2011; May 2011), in which concrete steps towards the development and improvement of the ITLR database were agreed and followed up on. (For more details, see Cooperations).
A Canon in the Making: The History of the Formation, Production, and Transmission of the bsTan ’gyur, the Corpus of Treatises in Tibetan Translation
A project led by Dr. Orna Almogi, funded by the DFG
The main subject matter of this project is the study of the history of the formation, production, and transmission of the bsTan 'gyur from the early stages, which took place in sNar thang monastery at the beginning of the 14th century, to the later stages, which are reflected in the five available bsTan 'gyur editions. The project also aims at contributing to the better understanding of the role of editors in the three levels of formation, production, and transmission concerning Buddhist corpora within the Tibetan cultural sphere, and it is intended to be carried out on two levels: bibliographical and historical. While the study of the catalogue of the Old sNar thang edition, which was compiled by dBus pa blo gsal (b. 13th c.), one of the main editors of this first edition, stands at the centre of the bibliographical investigation, the assessment of numerous Tibetan sources among a wide range of literary genres stands in the centre of the historical investigation, particularly findings concerning the history of the production and transmission of various bsTan 'gyur editions.
Academic Research Program Initiative (ARPI)
Ever since the establishment of the Khyentse Center for Tibetan Buddhist Textual Scholarship (KC-TBTS), it has never lost sight of three of its main objectives and activities namely, (a) to train students to investigate Tibetan Buddhist texts using historical-philological tools and techniques, (b) to promote and establish cooperation between the Center and international institutions and scholars, particularly from the target regions (Tibet/China, India, Nepal, and Bhutan), and (c) to develop and support research projects with a focus on Tibetan Buddhist textual studies. The three-year project “Academic Research Program Initiative” (ARPI), funded by the Khyentse Foundation, is a direct outcome of the workshops conducted in South Asia by the Center since it foundation. ARPI has been conceived with the sole aim of training traditional Buddhist monk and nun scholars in pursuing modern academic (i.e. historical-philological) study of Tibetan Buddhist texts and ideas and helping to establish research centers within Tibetan Buddhist monastic institutions that will operate independently, on the one hand, and create an environment for fruitful collaboration between traditional and modern scholars from western universities, on the other. The activities of the ARPI are being carried out under the auspices of the Khyentse Center.
Hindi Lexicography and the Cosmopolitan in the Encounter Between Europe and India around 1700
The focus of the project is the digital publication and study of a newly retrieved manuscript of a Hindi Dictionary from 1703 written by a French Capuchin missionary François-Marie de Tours. The original manuscript of the dictionary was considered as lost for a long time but was recently rediscovered in the Bibliothéque Nationale de France. Besides a close study of semantical issues, orthography, phonetics and grammatical aspects of the dictionary the focus is also on its socio-cultural context in order to explore the scope of the encounter of Indians and Europeans in the early colonial period. Furthermore, the project also explores the translatability of cultures and the exchange of ideas. The project is based at the Department for Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Sweden and is funded by the Swedish Research Council. The results of the project will be published in digital and book form. The investigators of the project are Prof. Dr. Heinz Werner Wessler, Uppsala University, Sweden and Dr. Ram Prasad Bhatt, Hamburg University, Germany.
Great Tradition and Little Tradition: the cultural traditions of central Himalayas
Oral tradition reflects the socio-cultural and historical traditions of people passed down to generations by word of mouth. It is not only the repository of peoples’ wisdom, but it also refers to their specific preserved textual and socio-cultural knowledge and their way of perceiving the surrounding world. In this age of modernization and globalization, the oral traditions, along with the native tongues and distinctive social practices that are particularly relevant to a community and help reinforce a sense of identity and continuity with the past, are rapidly being lost. This is very much visible in the central Himalayan region of India. Due to a number of reasons, such as modernization, migration, construction of huge hydropower projects etc. the cultural traditions, customs and languages of the region are disappearing very rapidly. For these reasons, UNESCO has listed Garhwali in the category of endangered languages. This project focuses on collecting and documenting the oral traditions of the Garhwali people and its aims are to ensure the preservation of knowledge, experiences and study the socio-cultural phenomena and the cultural continuity unique to the central Himalayan region of India.
A research team that includes Prof. Dr. Claus Peter Zoller, Oslo University, Norway, Dr. Ram Prasad Bhatt, University Hamburg, Germany, and Prof. Dr. Heinz Werner Wessler, Uppsala University, Sweden is carrying out this collaborative research project.