Universität Bonn

Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies

Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies

The Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies is one of 8 departments at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies and divided into two work areas.

Mongolian studies focus in both research and teaching on the transnational Mongolian cultural region and its global relations in the past and present. Bonn university is the only German university with a designated professorship for Mongolian studies, with studies and research covering qualification levels ranging from bachelor’s degree programs (as a major or as part of the dual-subject option) to master’s degree programs and doctoral studies. Our profile has a clear disciplinary focus with a high level of interdisciplinary compatibility.

Students and doctoral students will have access to ideal support conditions at our department; they will be encouraged and equipped with the necessary skills to conduct independent research and receive support with funding applications, e.g. for stays abroad, conferences, field trips or summer schools.

Strong networking with partners in Germany and abroad promotes research and exchange in many areas. Besides scientific conferences, symposiums, workshops and Mongolia colloquiums, the Mongolian Studies section at the University of Bonn regularly initiates, organizes and supports external communication of research findings, e.g. through presentations, exhibitions, workshops, movie nights and educational events as well as other events designed to foster interactive cultural exchange. 

Tibetan studies look at a specific cultural region in the middle of Asia, reaching from Baltistan (Pakistan) to Ladakh, Spiti, Lahaul, Kinnaur, Sikkim, Tawang (all parts in India), the Tibetan settlements in Nepal, Bhutan and the Tibetan settlements in China. The Tibetan language can be subdivided into some fifty languages, which again are made up of some two hundred dialects, most of which are hardly known in the rest of the world. Due to the dissemination of Vajrayana Buddhism, the liturgical language is spread across a vast region reaching up to Northeast Asia (Mongolia, Buryatia, Siberia).

In Bonn, Tibetan studies go beyond the usual scope of a mere “philology”, extending research to topics from history, linguistics, social sciences as well as to the scientific description of objects from Tibetan material culture and arts.

(Doctoral) students will find a dynamic place for study and research that allows for individual interests to be pursued and wishes to be considered. With the Tibetan studies section participating in numerous third-party funded projects, (doctoral) students can learn and conduct research in an interdisciplinary context.

At the IOA branch library in Brühler Str. 7, the Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies offers an excellent collection of Mongolian and Tibetan literature (incl. digitized archive records) as well as extensive academic literature on the Mongolian and Tibetan cultural areas in other languages. The collection also includes maps as well as historical and contemporary media (incl. audio and video recordings).

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