image of DiGA Kickoff Workshop

DiGA Kickoff Workshop


The first DiGA workshop aspires to establish and consolidate dialogue among scholars variously engaged in South Asian studies and Digital Humanities. Drawing sharp borders between disciplines and fields of research negatively affects the progress of knowledge; at DiGA we advocate for interoperability and exchange.

The DiGA project does not intend to exist in isolation; it aims at exploring similar initiatives, focusing on the common objective of bringing collections to the Digital Space. The first DiGA workshop wants to showcase examples of best practice in South Asian studies in connection to the use of digital tools for dissemination, sharing and preservation of cultural heritage. Such an approach has long been adopted for manuscripts studies both in Buddhist and Brahmanic contexts; these results and ongoing endeavors cannot be ignored by archaeologists and art historians. This is particularly relevant when bridging collections of images and texts, one of DiGA's objectives. Key to the interoperability between databases of collections originally in various media is the implementation of vocabularies.

The DiGA workshop is organized in four thematic sessions and includes two roundtables for end of the day discussions. Our project will be introduced at the opening, then the floor for the following sessions is left to invited experts. The first session, devoted to Gandharan studies, will present recent studies and projects dedicated to this specific cultural area from the point of view of material culture. In the second session renowned experts in Digital Humanities will share their best practices and present a range of digital possibilities that have the potential to improve research in Gandharan studies and more broadly in South Asian studies. The third session includes projects focused on South Asia to surpass over-compartmentalization and aiming at a full interchangeability of data. The fourth and last session, is dedicated to current projects of Digital Humanities in Greater Gandhara and Central Asia, and shows how this field continuously progresses into the Digital Space. DiGA is already part of a network of DH applied to Buddhist studies, but intends to further cultivate its network, opening to other facets of digital South Asian studies, archaeology, art history, Indology. The sessions are split over two days, and, on both days, discussions will be concentrated in group roundtables that will invite participants to discuss selected topics. A key objective of the roundtables is to generate a network of scholars sharing common views on the future of South Asian studies and to build a community of scholars sharing an interest in the intersection between South Asian Studies and Digital Humanities.

Places are only available with registration and can be booked via this link: 


DAY 1 - 7 February 2022


Greetings and DiGA Project Presentation (DiGA Team)


Coffee Break


Session 1 – Ongoing research on Gandhara (Jessie Pons)


Abdul Samad (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Archaeology and Museums)

Recent Developments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa archaeology: an overview


Stefan Baums (Ludwig‐Maximilians‐University, Munich) – A Corpus and Research Environment for Inscribed Gandhāran Artefacts


Peter Stewart (University of Oxford)

The Classical Art Research Centre: Resources for Ancient Greek and Gandharan Art in Oxford


Lunch Break


Session 2 – Digital Humanities: Best practice (Frederik Elwert)


Gethin Rees (The British Library, London)



Florian Kräutli (University of Zürich)

Bridging Digital Collections


Isabella Nicka (University of Salzburg)

Modelling Visual Narratives. Insights from the REALonline and ONAMA Projects


Coffee Break


Roundtable: Technical strategies and interoperability of Data - Present and Future


Concluding remarks


DAY 2 - 8 February 2022


Session 3 – Digital Humanities in South Asian Studies (Serena Autiero)


Cameron Petrie (University of Cambridge)

Introducing the MAHSA [Mapping Archaeological Heritage in South Asia] project: collaborative mapping of the distribution of archaeological heritage sites in South Asia by combining analysis of historic maps, legacy data and remote sensing imagery with ground truthing


Csaba Kiss (“L’Orientale” University of Naples) 

From typing text to creating text: Experiments while editing the Śivadharma corpus


Camillo Formigatti (Bodleyan Library, Oxford)

Behind Digital Humanities, or Glimpses into the Cabinet of Shame


Lunch Break


Session 4 – Digital Humanities in Greater Gandhara and Central Asia (Cristiano Moscatelli)


Jason Neelis (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo)

Prospects for Digital Preservation of Upper Indus Petroglyphs and Inscriptions in Northern Pakistan


Laurianne Bruneau, Martin Vernier, Ani Danielyan and Philippe Pons (East Asian Civilizations Research Centre (CRCAO, Paris, France)

An introduction to the Himalayan Rock Art Database (HiRADa)


Ines Konczak and Erik Radisch (Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities)

The Digital Information System of the Project “Buddhist Murals of Kucha on the Northern Silk Road” of the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities


Coffee Break


Roundtable: Heuristic value of digital strategies and impact on disciplines in South Asian studies


Concluding remarks

Time specification: UTC/GMT +1 | Subject to change without notice 

Download the PDF Version here. 

The Roundtables Format is available here. 


Foto von Dr. Serena Autiero

Dr. Serena Autiero

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+49 234 32-21975