24 Feb 2018

Francesca Merritt

I write to share the sad news that Francesca Merritt, our former IALS Treasurer, passed away on 17 February. She had been struggling with illness for a number of years, and it seems that her health further deteriorated in the last two months. She is survived by her daughter and son, Fiona and Richard.

Francesca had been involved with the IALS since 1989 when she provided accommodation for Ladakhi participants who had come to the UK for the 4th IALS conference in Bristol. She had remained closely associated with the association ever since, and served as Treasurer and Membership Secretary from 1997 to 2009. The last conference she attended was in Heidelberg in 2013, as seen in this picture. We will all remember her with gratitude for her warmth, hospitality and practical assistance over so many years.

I'll write a longer note of appreciation for Stawa and Ladakh Studies. Meanwhile, please do share any photographs or personal reminiscences that I might include.

John Bray

22 Jan 2018

Paper Call: 'Images of India' International Workshop, March 2018 at JNU

Please find webpage and paper call for what promises to be a very exciting and instructive workshop examining the various ways that India is represented visually, and the way that images influence people's perceptions of what and who India is culturally and politically.

'Images of India' will be held at Jawaharlal Nehru University at Delhi from 19th to 21st March 2018. It is being hosted by the student association Association des Jeunes Etudes Indiennes (AJEI), in collaboration with the French institutions University of Strasbourg, CNRS, and SAGE. 

The workshop is an excellent forum for some of our early career scholars to present their work, and students are particularly encouraged to apply. The deadline for the paper call is Saturday, 10th February 2018.

For further information, please contact Salome Deboos: deboos@unistra.fr


22 Oct 2017

An Eighteenth Century Italian Missionary in Ladakh
I’m just back from Italy where I took part in a conference on Ippolito Desideri (1684-1734), a Jesuit priest who travelled through Ladakh on his way to Lhasa in 1715.

The conference took place in Pistoia, Desideri’s home town, which is in Tuscany, close to Florence. The photograph shows the town as seen from the bell tower next to its cathedral. 

Here is a link to the conference programme:

The convenor was Enzo Gualtiero Bargiacchi, who is also from Pistoia. The image here shows Enzo at the opening session with the mayor of Pistoia, Alessandro Tomasi, on his left; and Maria Stella Rasetti, the director of Biblioteca San Giorgo on his right. Enzo worked tremendously hard to arrange the conference, and I hope that he is delighted with the success of a long-held ambition.

Desideri was a voluminous writer in both Italian and Tibetan. His Italian writings have recently been translated into English by Michael Sweet and Leonard Zwilling. See: http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/mission-tibet/praise.  Even more recently, Donald Lopez and Thupten Jinpa have published extracts from Desideri’s Tibetan works: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674659704 .

Donald Lopez (shown here) spoke about the translation at the conference, and Michael Sweet and Leonard Zwilling sent video presentations with new information about Desideri’s Tibetan adventures drawing on a hitherto unexamined text – his account book.

Other  Italian and international scholars spoke about Desideri’s Jesuit background, his geographical discoveries, and his engagement with Buddhism. My own contribution was a discussion of his journey through Ladakh where he had his first encounter with Tibetan Buddhism, but depended heavily on assistance from Kashmiri Muslim guides. 

The conference proceedings will be published in the Buddhist-Christian Studies journal from the University of Hawaii in 2018.

John Bray

17 Sept 2017

Spiti conference proceedings
Last year the first international conference on Spiti took place at Oxford University. The proceedings ofthe conference have now been published online, and they are available online by the Revue d’Études Tibétaines:

There is an obvious overlap between Ladakh Studies and Spiti studies, and several of the contributors are IALS members.

I congratulate the editors, Yannick Laurent and David Pritzker, and - now as in the past - I hope that there will be many opportunities for inter-regional cooperation and exchange.

John Bray

27 Jul 2017

IALS Workshop at the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, 21-23 August 2017

This is to announce the next IALS workshop on "Research in Ladakh" will be held at CIBS from 21-23 August from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. If any senior members of IALS are in Ladakh or expected to be in Ladakh around that time and wish to share research methodology related knowledge to help the research students, students of Shastri, Acharya and final year of graduation, please let me know so that I can prepare the programme accordingly. My email sonamleh2@gmail.com Thanks

Sonam Wangchok

2 Jun 2017

Ladakh (including Kargil) and other borderlands

In recent years there has been wide ranging academic discussion about the significance of borderlands in South and South-east Asia.  Here are two pieces of news that may be of interest to Ladakh scholars.

The first concerns a 2013 publication:

David N. Gellner (ed.). Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

This is an edited collection which includes a chapter by IALS member Radhika Gupta on “Allegiance and Alienation: Border Dynamics in Kargil”. 

Other chapters look at Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Nepal, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and West Bengal.

The entire book is now available online, and is free to download. See:

Secondly, the Asian Borderlands Research Network is organising a conference in Kyrgyzstan in August 2018. The theme is “Ruins, Revivals and Resources”, and the organisers pose the question:

How are borderlands in Asia creating alternative spaces for heritages, self-definition and the extraction of resources? How can these cases serve to rethink social theories of various kinds?

They have issued a call for panels and papers by a deadline of October 2017. For more details see: www.asianborderlands.net.

John Bray

20 May 2017

Heinrich August Jäschke: 200th anniversary

The year 2017 marks the second birth centenary of Heinrich August Jäschke, whose Tibetan-English Dictionary (1881) is still widely used to this day.  This is an anniversary that ought to be noted by all Tibetanists and devotees of Ladakh Studies. 
H.A. Jäschke (Bechler 1930: 65)
Jäschke was born on 17 May 1817 in Herrnhut, the headquarters of the Moravian Church, which is better known in Germany as the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine. His surname indicates his descent from Protestant refugees who had migrated from Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic, a century earlier. Jäschke was a child of the Moravian church, which is known for its wide-ranging missionary activity, through and through.
Herrnhut, May 2011. Photo: John Bray
Jäschke spent the first part of his adult life as a teacher of Latin and Greek at the Moravian school (Pädagogium) in Niesky, some 25 miles north of Herrnhut. However, in 1856, when he was already in his late 30s, he was called to a new post as Superintendent of a new Moravian mission in Kyelang, northern India. Kyelang lies in Lahul, on what used to be an important trade and pilgrimage route between India and Tibet. Jäschke was selected for his linguistic skills and, from the outset, one of his main tasks was to be the translation of the Christian scriptures into Tibetan.

He spent the summer of 1857 in Stok, near Leh in Ladakh, totally immersed in his linguistic studies. His host was Sonam Stobgyas, a former monk from Hemis monastery who later became one of the first Ladakhi Christian converts. Jäschke then spent the next 11 years in Kyelang, apart from an extended stay in Darjeeling in 1865, before returning to Germany in 1868.

Although Jäschke’s own travels were limited, he took every opportunity to engage with travellers from all parts of the wider Himalayan region and Tibet. Among many others, these included Lobsang Chospel (bLo bzang chos ’phel), a monk trained in Central Tibet who stayed in Kyelang from 1865 to 1868.

At the same time he studied a wide variety of written texts. These included: the 'Dzangs blun, a collection of legends of Buddha; the Vaiḍūrya dkar po, an astrological and astronomical work compiled by Desi Sangye Gyatso (sDe srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho, 1653-1705);  a version of the La dvags rgyal rabs (the Ladakhi royal chronicle); and the biography and songs of the famous Tibetan Buddhist master Milarepa.

The Kyelang mission house in the 19th century (with thanks to Hugh Rayner)
In Kyelang, Jäschke produced a range of school books, evangelistic texts, draft Bible translations and a Romanized and English Tibetan Dictionary, all of which were copied out by hand, and published on the mission’s lithographic press. Back in Germany, he worked on his 671-page Handwörterbuch der Tibetischen Sprache (1871), which was likewise copied out by hand for lithographic printing. This was the direct predecessor of his Tibetan-English Dictionary, published in London in 1881. 
A sample extract from the 1871 Handwörterbuch der Tibetischen Sprache
The 1881 English version of the dictionary is Jäschke’s best-known work: every page reflects years of painstaking research with careful notations as to literary sources and regional variations.

At the same time Jäschke worked on revisions of his Tibetan New Testament, and these were eventually published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in Berlin in 1883 and 1885. The printed version is notable not only for the translation but also for the carefully selected Tibetan font cast by the Berlin firm Th. Unger (see illustration).

The first page of the Gospel of St John, 1881.

By the early 1880s Jäschke was already in poor health, and this made the task of correcting the proofs of the New Testament both slow and laborious. He passed away in Herrnhut in September 1883. His tombstone in the nearby Moravian graveyard is marked with a text from his Bible translation, Matthew 25: 23.

 John Bray

Select bibliography

Jäschke’s works

Jäschke, Heinrich August. 1871. Handwörterbuch der Tibetischen Sprache. Gnadau: Unitäts-buchhandlung.

______.1881. A Tibetan-English Dictionary with Special Reference to the Prevailing Dialects. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

______. 1883. Tibetan Grammar. London: Trubner & Co.

____. (trans). 1883. Four Gospels. Tibetan. Berlin: British & Foreign Bible Society.

____. (trans). 1885. Acts to Revelation. Tibetan.Berlin: British & Foreign Bible Society. [Revelation was translated by Jäschke’s pupil and successor, F.A. Redslob].

Secondary sources

Bechler, Theodor. 1930. Heinrich August Jäschke, der geniale Sprachforscher der Mission der Brüdergemeine im westlichen Himalaya. Herrnhuter Missionsstudien No. 25. Herrnhut: Verlag der Missionsbuchhandlung.

Bray, John. 1983. “Heinrich August Jaeschke. Pioneer Tibetan Scholar.” Tibet Journal 8, No.3, pp. 50-55.

______. 1990. “A History of Tibetan Bible Translations”. In Wissenschaftsgeschichte und gegenwärtige Forschungen in Nordwest-Indien, pp. 66-79. Edited by Gudrun Meier and Lydia Icke-Schwalbe. Dresden: Museum für Völkerkunde. Available on www.ladakhstudies.org.

______. 1991. “Language, Tradition and the Tibetan Bible”. Tibet Journal 16, No. 4, pp. 28-58. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

______. 2008.  “Missionaries, Officials and the Making of the Dictionary of Bhotanta, or Boutan Language.”  Zentralasiatische Studien 37, pp. 33-75.

______. 2015. “A Himalayan Encounter: Lama Lobsang Chospel and Heinrich August Jäschke”. Tibet Journal 40, Nos 1 & 2, pp. 151-158.

Forthcoming. “Heinrich August Jäschke (1817-1883): Translating the Christian scriptures into Tibetan”. Paper presented at the Seventh International Csoma de Kőrös Symposium on Buddhist Transcreations in Tibetan Literature and Art, New Delhi, September 2014.

16 Mar 2017

5th ICSD Conference, Rome 2017

Ladies and Gents, please see the following announcement and paper call from our dedicated member and friend, Vladimiro Pelliciardi, convenor of the annual International Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rome. This will be of interest to any of our members undertaking development research in Ladakh.

Dear Friends, on the behalf of the International Steering Committee I am very pleased to announce the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Development, 6-7 September 2017 in Rome.

ICSD 201will be an excellent opportunity to present your projects and discuss the latest results in the field of Sustainability Science. The general aim of the conference is to promote international collaboration in Sustainability Science and related disciplines.

In the previous conferences (2014, 2015 and 2016four papers regarding Ladakh were presented and published or reported on the European Journal of Sustainable Development. Moreover, several other scientists from India were present. Thus the Conference is a good opportunity for other scientists and for researchers from Ladakh to present their works. 

The Call for Papers abstract submission regular deadline is 10 March 2017 and late submission deadline (more costly) is 10 June 2017. Please look at the webpage for further details.

ICSD 2017 Conference, Rome, Italy Conference Objective and Philosophical Framework The International Conference on Sustainable Development is inspired ...
The ICSD 2017 is organized by the European Center of Sustainable Development. It will will be held at the Roma Eventi, Piazza della Pilotta, 4 Rome, from Friday 6 to Saturday 7 September, 2017.

You can re-post this announcement wherever you like. 

All the best,

Vladimiro (IALS member)

26 Jan 2017

Our 2017 Conference venue, in winter

One of our conference secretaries, Rafal Beszterda, has just visited the 18th IALS Conference venue in Bedlewo, Poland. He sent this wintry image of the Bedlewo Palace. The snow should be long gone by early May 2017, but we thought you might like to see the venue in its winter coat. For more conference details visit the IALS conference webpage and the official conference website.

27 Sept 2016

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes Conference Mountains and Sacred Landscapes - UPDATE: CALL FOR PAPERS EXTENSION

Ladies and Gents, here are updated details for the conference advertised back in August:

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes
An International Conference of the
International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture
Co-sponsored and hosted by:
India China Institute, The New School
In partnership with:
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University
April 20 – 23, 2017
The New School, New York City
Extended Submission Deadline: Oct 10, 2016 5pm EST *
Follow the Conference on Twitter: #MTNSL2017

Featured Speakers Include:
  • Ed Bernbaum – Scholar of comparative religions and mythology, Senior Fellow at The Mountain Institute and Award-winning author of Sacred Mountains of the World and The Way to Shambhala
  • Ben Orlove – Professor of Anthropology, Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, and Co-director of the Center for Research in Environmental Decisions
  • David Rothenberg – Professor of Philosophy and Music and author of Why Birds Sing: A Journey Into the Mystery of Bird Song and Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science and Evolution

Call for Proposals and Papers
The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC), in cooperation with the India China Institute (ICI) at The New School, American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) are excited to announce an international conference on the theme of mountains and sacred landscapes.

Since its founding in 2006, the ISSRNC has promoted critical inquiry into the complex relationships between human beings, the religious dimensions of their cultures, and the environments which they inhabit and from which they evolved. This year’s conference will feature a series of special presentations based on recent field research by the India China Institute’s Sacred Himalaya Initiative on the intersections of religion, nature and culture.

The conference seeks to critically explore the ways in which the idea of sacred landscapes is entangled with diverse communities, with particular attention to mountain landscapes. The conference will feature interdisciplinary dialogue about what kinds of meanings shape, and are shaped by, the effects of climate change, mass extinction, human population growth and ecological degradation of mountains, forests, rivers and other sacred landscapes.

As we enter the new geologic epoch that scientists and scholars are referring to as the Anthropocene, diverse global mountain communities have begun to face growing social, economic, political, and ecological challenges. Melting glaciers, shifting agricultural patterns, conflicts over mining and resource extraction, risks to livelihoods, and the consequences of increasingly erratic global climate change pose unknown future challenges to many sacred landscapes, including mountain communities and ecosystems around the world, as well as the human and non-human beings that rely on them.
We invite scholars from all disciplines, including environmental history and environmental studies, science studies, anthropology, philosophy, political science, religious studies and geography, to submit proposals related to sacred landscapes.

Proposals may address any of the following themes:

  • Challenges and opportunities for sacred landscapes in the 21st century
  • Theoretical and/or religious conceptualizations of place, space, and landscape
  • Negotiation of community, climate change, and mountain spirituality
  • Traditional/local knowledge and its effects on social and ecological justice
  • Ecosystem sustainability and the future of mountain and forest people
  • Ecosystem destruction and the fate of the non-human community
  • Mountains as diverse ecosystems and sites of religious negotiation
  • Manifestations of the sacred in diverse landscapes
  • Negotiating environmental challenge through ritual practices

This year’s conference explicitly seeks to disrupt the conventional “three people reading papers” session. We seek innovative and unconventional proposals from all fields for this interdisciplinary conference. We invite proposals for individual papers, entire sessions, round-tables, interactive workshops, conversations, and alternative formats. We are also proposing two experimental TEDx style presentations of 10 minutes with 5-7 presenters.

Submission Guidelines
Monday, October 10th by 5pm EST is the deadline for paper and panel proposals. Submission guidelines, the travel aid application process and details about requesting Visa letters can be found on the ICI website at: www.indiachinainstitute.org/20 17conference/CFP and conference-related questions and inquiries can be directed to: sacredmountains2017@gmail.com.

Participation Requirements for Presenters
All presenters must be members in good standing of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture and registered for the conference by March 1, 2017. All scholars interested in religion, nature and culture are encouraged to support the Society by joining or renewing at the ISSRNC membership page.

Presenters and session organizers are encouraged to submit their articles for publication, or their sessions for special issues, to the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (JSRNC).

Conference Sponsors

India China Institute

Interested scholars are also encouraged to follow the ICI Facebook page, Twitter @india_china and our YouTube channel.

International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC)
More information about the society and journal online: www.religionandnature.com/soci ety/. Interested scholars are also encouraged to follow theISSRNC Facebook page, Twitter @ISSRNC and Academia.edu.

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
More information about the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development online: www.icimod.org. Interested scholars are also encouraged to follow the ICIMOD Facebook page, Twitter @icimod and YouTube channel.

Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University (CLALS)More information about the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University online: www.american.edu/clals/. Interested scholars are invited to follow the Center on Twitter @AU_CLALS and Facebook.

Please follow the weblink below for more information.


22 Aug 2016

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes Conference, India and China Institute, April 20 – 23, 2017 The New School, New York City

Some of our members may be interested in attending this forthcoming conference to be hosted by the India and China Institute at the New School, New York City:

For the past three years, the India China Institute has been undertaking the second phase of a Luce Foundation supported research project looking at the intersection of religion, ecology and transboundary social and cultural issues in the Himalayas, known as the Sacred Landscapes and Sustainable Futures in the Himalaya Initiative (SHI). This project builds on the past three years of successful research as part of the Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya (ERSEH) Initiative.
The conference in April of 2017 will feature presentations from ICI’s core research team who has been working on this project for the past several years, as well as from our partners at ICIMOD and their work on the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI). You can learn more about both projects on our Sacred Himalaya Initiative page, including reading several published stories from the field, view interactive maps from the project area, and learn more about Mount Kailash and the many challenges and opportunities facing Himalayan mountain communities.

For more information about the conference and how to submit a paper proposal, please visit the webpage: http://www.indiachinainstitute.org/2017conference/ 

The paper call remains open until Monday, 5th September.

20 Aug 2016

Watercolour sketches of Ladakh, 1886

During the period of British rule in India, army officers commonly went on extended treks to Ladakh during their leaves. Some took their cameras. Others carried sketchbooks. Now a Canadian bookshop is selling a book containing watercolours of Ladakh drawn by a British army officer, Major C.B. Templer, in 1886.

The one shown here depicts a 'Tartar' nomadic encampment, presumably in Rupshu. Another shows the palace and town of Leh, looking north towards the Khardong la.

You can find out more by looking at the bookshop's website: http://www.wayfarersbookshop.com/show_details.php?txtBOOK=1521

John Bray

The British Library's Wise Drawings

Here is a link to a blog on the British Library website by Diana Lange, who contributed to the 2013 IALS conference in Heidelberg:


As you can read on the blog, Diana has been working on the  'Wise Drawings', a set of 'picture maps' commissioned by a British official in the mid-19th century.  Diana has discovered the name of the official: a Major William Edward Hay, who was Assistant Commissioner in Kulu. However, we do not yet now the name of the monk who actually drew the images.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the Diana's article, you will see that you can now examine the drawings online. The image shown here (complete with British Library 'water mark') shows the Leh palace and bazaar. There is another showing parts of Zangskar, and still others showing the route between Ladakh and Lhasa.

John Bray

20 Jul 2016

Art, Architecture and Petroglyphs in Ladakh

I am delighted to report the publication of two new books on Ladakh. The first is Visible Heritage. Essays on the Art and Architecture of Greater Ladakh, edited by Rob Linrothe and Heinrich Pöll and published by Studio Orientalia. 

This contains ten papers from the 16th conference of the IALS, held in Heidelberg (Germany) in April 2013. The subjects range from temple architecture to fortifications, vernacular architecture and the beautiful set of mid-19th century pictorial maps known as the Wise Collection. 

For further details on the contents and how to order the book, please see the publisher’s website:

The second book is Rob Linrothe’s Seeing into Stone. Pre-Buddhist Petroglyphs and Zangskar’s Early Inhabitants, also published by Studio Orientalia. For further details please see:http://www.studioorientalia.com/index.php?p=bookdetails&String=9788192450285

Both publications are lavishly illustrated, true labours of love by the authors, editors and publisher.

John Bray

15 Jul 2016

Call for Papers (Deadline for abstract submission: THursday, 15th September 2016)

  Current Western Himalayan Research

18th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS)                                                       Bedlewo, Poland, 2nd-6th May 2017

The 18th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) will be jointly organized by the Board of Polish Academy of Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin, and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. It will be held at the Bedlewo Conference Centre near Poznan, Poland from Tuesday, 2nd to Saturday, 6th May 2017.

The conference theme will focus broadly on 
Current Western Himalayan Research with the aim of gathering together senior and independent researchers, postgraduate students, and practitioners from across all academic disciplines. Whilst precedence is given to Ladakh-oriented research, we wish also to encourage studies that focus upon the wider Himalayan belt, including the neighboring high-altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Pakistan. The conference will have an interdisciplinary character as is the tradition and trademark of IALS colloquia.
We are now accepting abstracts of up to 400 words. If you wish to apply, please download and complete the conference application form and submit to the following email address: Ials2017bedlewo@gmail.com

Proposed sessions’ structure:
We strongly encourage participants from various scientific disciplines to submit an abstract in the following sessions:
- Cultural and social change
- Religious transformations
- Economic transformation in rural areas
- Heritage, conservation and restoration
- New data in Himalayan studies
- Climate change: resilience and adaptation
- Development practices
- Health and well being
- Historical issues

In addition, we invite suggestions and proposals for additional panel sessions, although please inform us swiftly of any intention, indicating with whom you would like to cooperate or convene such a panel.
Documentary films
We are also issuing a call for good documentary films for those with visual research related to the region and themes of the conference. The process for proposal is the same as for paper abstracts. However, please state the format you would like to present the documentary footage.

All paper proposals will be subject to review by the conference committee before final acceptance. 
The most important consideration is that papers must represent the results of original research, and not simply a restatement of existing knowledge based on the work of well-known authors.

For details including conference fees, terms and deadlines and travel grants, please download and refer to the full Call for Papers.
Please direct all enquiries to the Conference Secretaries:
Rafal Beszterda, Poland
Email: rbeszterda@gmail.com; telephone: +48 61 810 46 22; mobile: +48 601 669 702

Diana Lange, Germany
Email: diana.lange@hu-berlin.de; telephone: +49 30 20 93 66 065; mobile: +49 171 75 25 498
Further conference details will be posted here and at the http://www.etnologia.umk.pl/ials2017 as they are finalised.

30 Jun 2016

Call for papers for Ladakh Studies Journal

Jullay everyone,
~ Call for paper submission in Ladakh Studies journal (with an ISSN number) on any topic related to/on Ladakh. Those interested please feel free to mail/inquire at : journal@ladakhstudies.org or visit the publication page :
http://www.ladakhstudies.org/publications/ladakhstudies.html ~

P.S: The back issues of downloadable Ladakh Studies Journal are also available for use here:

25 May 2016

 18th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS), Bedlewo near Poznan, Poland, 2nd – 6th May 2017

The 18th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) will be jointly organized by the Board of Polish Academy of Sciences, Humboldt University, and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. It will be held at the Bedlewo Conference Centre near Poznan, Poland from Tuesday, 2nd to Saturday 6th May 2017.

The conference theme will focus broadly on Current Western Himalayan Research with the aim of gathering together senior and independent researchers, postgraduate students, and practitioners from across all academic disciplines. Whilst emphasis will be placed upon Ladakh-oriented research, we wish also to encourage research focusing upon the wider Himalayan belt to include the neighbouring high-altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. The conference will have a multidisciplinary character as is the tradition and trademark of IALS colloquia. The Call for Papers will be open from August until mid-November, and decisions will be made by mid-January.

The proposed conference fee will include accommodation, all meals and refreshments, and an excursion to the nearby palace and gardens. Bedlewo Conference Centre is equipped with all modern facilities: single, double and triple rooms with private baths, and we even offer a sauna, small gym, billiards and table tennis for enthusiasts of evening sports. Maybe for the first time we can make some sporting competitions among Himalayan researchers!

We look forward to welcoming you next May.

Conference Secretaries
Rafal Beszterda, Poland
Email: rbeszterda@gmail.com; telephone: +48 61 810 46 22; mobile: +48 601 669 702

Diana Lange, Germany
Email: diana.lange@hu-berlin.de; telephone: +49 30 20 93 66 065; fax: +49 30 20 93 66 084

For further information and the latest updates, please visit the International Association for Ladakh Studies Webpage: http://www.ladakhstudies.org/.