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David Germano

Associate Professor

Phone: 434-924-6728

Department of Religious Studies
PO Box 400126
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4126

Research Interests

In addition to teaching in the Department of Religious Studies, where he has advised many doctoral students since 1992, Germano is co-director of the Tibet Center ( and director of SHANTI (Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts Network of Technological Initiatives – at the University of Virginia. He also is the editor of the Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, the official journal of the main international organization of Tibetan Studies, and is the founder and director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library (THL,, the largest international initiative using digital technology to facilitate collaboration in Tibetan Studies across disciplines.

His personal research interests are focused on the Nyingma and Bön lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, tantric traditions overall, Buddhist philosophy, and Tibetan historical literature and concerns, particularly from the eighth to fifteenth centuries. He also does research on the contemporary state of Tibetan religion in relationship to China, and non-monastic yogic communities in cultural Tibet, and has broad intellectual interests in international philosophical and literary traditions, including hermeneutics, phenomenology, literary criticism, systems theory, and so forth.

Germano has developed a deep expertise in the use of digital technology to facilitate innovation in teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences. In the context of THL, he has worked extensively on digital initiatives with geographical data, videos, images, dictionaries, gazetteers, and much more in partnership with scores of scholars from diverse disciplines – geography, linguistics, history, literary studies, environmental science, film studies, and others. With SHANTI, he has broadened this work to focus with others on building a community-based model for mainstreaming digital technology at UVa so as to enable innovation in teaching, research, publication, and engagement. Finally, Germano has been a leader at building academic collaborations with Tibetan institutions, and has facilitated a broad array of exchange programs that have included language instruction, oral traditions documentation, geography, tourism, education, library development and much more. In this context, he has been an advocate of engaged scholarship which actively explores the way in which scholarship impacts on, and empowers, the communities with which universities are involved in complex relationships. This includes the exploration of alternative paradigms of knowledge production and knowledge dissemination.


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Notre Dame
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Wisconsin System : Madison

Research Projects

  • Tibetan & Himalayan Library
    • Project Sponsored By: U.S. Department of Education - Post SecondaryEd.
    • 10/01/2009 - 09/30/2013
    • Award Amount: $380,000.00
  • AS-RELI Sustainable Tibet
    • Project Sponsored By: Winrock International
    • 12/10/2009 - 11/30/2013
    • Award Amount: $175,662.00
  • AS-RELI Kham V
    • Project Sponsored By: U.S. Department of State
    • 09/30/2010 - 12/31/2011
    • Award Amount: $224,000.00