Asian and African Studies

International PhD programme, in partnership with:

Universität Heidelberg

Transcultural Studies on Eurasia and North Africa

Academic Year: 2017/2018


For information on educational activities:

Daniela Nardello,

Palazzo Vendramin - Dorsoduro 3462
30123 Venice

Doctorate coordinator

Prof. Nicoletta Pesaro, Ca' Foscari University,


In our PhD program we seek to educate a new generation of prospective experts on Eurasia and Northern Africa. Graduates are trained to acquire all the necessary skills to become influential experts and knowledge brokers in the study of these regions. We believe that a combination of specific skills is imperative for this:

  • Firstly, we built and develop our program on solid theoretical and methodological skills;
  • Secondly, we expect and support students to develop original research with interdisciplinary and transcultural perspectives;
  • Thirdly, we integrate students into ongoing joint activities with our international partners in order to prepare them for their successful interaction in international settings. 


Students who seek participation in our program should have a broad intellectual and communicative engagement as well as intercultural flexibility. They need to have excellent language skills in at least one of the languages of the list below and have an English language proficiency of at least B2 level. The principal language of our program is English. Applicants should have a solid methodological basis in either the humanities or in the social sciences. 

Our expertise

We provide training and guidance across a wide range of languages and disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Our department ranks among the best 200 modern language programs worldwide. We offer excellent, cutting edge academic training and a vibrant international network.

Languages permanently offered in our program: Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Azeri, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew, Japanese, Hindi, Marathi, Mongolian, Neo-Greek, Persian, Russian, Sanskrit, Syriac, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese. 

Academic calendar (2022/2023)

11th October 2022 - Inauguration of Phd Program in Asian and African Studies

  • 10:00 - 12:00 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Meeting with 1st year students from 38th Cycle

  • 15:00-16:30 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Prof. Joachim Kurtz (Heidelberg University): The “Middle Ages” between Europe and East Asia

  • 16:45-18:15 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Dr. Maria Petrou (University Gießen): Intergroup communication between L1 and L2 speakers. Anecdotal narrations of immigrants in Germany. Applying Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT)

file pdfPoster5.81 M

15-17/11/2022 - Training and Teaching Block 1

Tuesday 15 November 2022 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Guest speakers

  • 09:30-11:00    Agnes Birtalan (Eötvöes Loránd University Budapest): Black and yellow shamanism in Mongolia. Historical records and field data
  • 11:15-12:45    Maarten Mous (Leiden University): African linguistics: (my) lessons from the last 40 years

Joint book discussion

  • 15:45-17:15    (with Patrick Heinrich) Hastings, Donnan & Thomas Wilson (2020) Borders: Frontiers of Identity, Nation and State. Abington: Routledge

Wednesday 16 November 2022 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Research at DSAAM

  • 9:00-10:30    Elisabetta Ragagnin (DSAAM): Traditions and transitions in the cultural and linguistic history of northern Mongolia
    • 10:45-12:15 Elia del Corso (DSAAM): You've submitted your thesis: what happens next?
    • 14:00-15:30 Stefano Beggiora (DSAAM): Tigers, tiger-spirits, and were-tigers in South Asian shamanism

Thursday 17 November 2022 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Student presentations

  • 9:00-14:00 Research project and main research idea (15 min presentation + 15 min discussion) 

13-15/12/2022 - Training and Teaching Block 2

Tuesday 13 December 2022 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Guest speakers

  • 10:00-11:30    Michael Radich (Heidelberg University): Developing Issues and Methods in Buddhist Studies

Joint book discussion

  • 14:30-16:00    (with Patrick Heinrich): Timothy Insoll (2004) Archeology, Ritual, Religion. London: Routledge

Wednesday 14 December 2022 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Research at DSAAM

  • 9:30-11:00    Sebastian Eicher (DSAAM): Problems of Reliability and Completeness: Using 19th-century Chinese literati diaries as a historical source
  • 11:15-12:45 Andrea Revelant (DSAAM): Doing Research on Public Opinion in Imperial Japan: Issues and Methods

Thursday 15 December 2022 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Student presentations

  • 9:30-15:00 The theoretical basis of your Ph.D. project (15 min presentation + 15 min discussion)

14-15-16/02/2023 - Training and teaching Block 3

14 and 15 February 2023 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Josie Dixon (Lucian Consulting), 2-day workshop "Writing Articles for International Publication in Peer-Reviewed Journals"

  • 09:30-12:30 Session 1
  • 13:30-16:30 Session 3

16 February 2023 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 9:00-10:45, Edward L. Shaughnessy (University of Chicago) “Excavating China's Exalted Scriptures (Shang shu)
  • 11:00-13:00, Student presentations: Method and methodology of the PhD project
  • 14:00-16:00, Student presentations: Method and methodology of the PhD project
  • 16:00-18:00, Joint book discussion: Thomas Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions.
file pdfPoster2.35 M

16-18/05/2023 - Training and Teaching Block 4

Programme to be defined.

Last update: 01/02/2023