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Austrian Academy of Sciences appoints Birgit Kellner

Oct 13, 2015

Prof. Dr. Birgit Kellner, HCTS Professor of Buddhist Studies, has been appointed the new Director of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

Prof. Dr. Birgit Kellner holds an MA (Mag. phil.) in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies from the University of Vienna (Austria) and a PhD in Indian Philosophy from the University of Hiroshima (Japan). After completing her PhD in 1999, she conducted various independent research projects at the universities of Vienna and Hamburg, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2008 she was Visiting Assistant Professor in Buddhist Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. After earning tenure at the University of Vienna in 2009, she took up the position of Professor in Buddhist Studies at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” of the University of Heidelberg in April 2010. Since her move to Heidelberg, Birgit Kellner has acted as expert reviewer for, among others, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Research Foundation DFG, the Union of German Academies of Science, and the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF.

Her area of specialization is philosophical analysis within Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. More specifically, she focuses on epistemology and logic, the so-called pramāṇa school founded by Dignaga and Dharmakirti, in its Indian context and its manifold forms in Tibet. She investigates Buddhist philosophy in its philological dimensions and historical context, and with a view to its general philosophical significance.

Prof. Kellner will take up her new position as Director of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, a research facility of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, in December 2015.

The Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) is dedicated to long-term research on Asian cultures. The geographic and cultural area under consideration includes East Asia, South East Asia, South Asia and Central Asia, which encompasses the fields of Indology, Tibetology, Sinology, Japanology, Buddhist Studies and Religious Studies. Research at the institute deals above all with intellectual and cultural history, and includes questions concerning the history of philosophy and religion, the history of mentalities, religious hermeneutics, studies on concepts and ideas to lexicography.

The Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) is Austria’s central non-university research and science institution. Its statutory mission is to “promote science in every way”. Founded in 1847 as a learned society, today the OeAW has over 770 members and 1,450 employees dedicated to innovative basic research, interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and the dissemination of new insights with the aim of contributing to progress in science and society as a whole.


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