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. Patrick Heinrich, 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, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew, Georgian, Japanese, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Turkish, Urdu. We also have expertise with regard to Aramaic, Russian and Yiddish. 

Academic calendar (2020/2021)

26-28/04/2021 - Training and Teaching Block 4

Monday 26 April 2021 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 09:00-10:30    Luise Guest (University of New South-Wales): “‘Feminine’ or Feminist? The Contested History of Nvxing Yishu in Post-Cultural Revolution China”
  • 10:30-12:00    Francesca Orsini (SOAS): “Doing World Literature: South-South Relations”
  • 14:00-15:30    Paulina Lewicka (University of Warsaw): “Medicine without Physicians. Arabic-Islamic Self-treatment Manuals from Cairo of the Mamluk Period (1250-1516)”

Tuesday 27 April 2021 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 10:30-12:00    Ariane Sadjed (Austrian Academy of Science) : “Consumerism as a Civilizational Discourse? Challenges in Understanding Modern Iranian Selves”
  • 14:00-15:30    Discussion: William E. Connolly (2013) The Fragility of Things. Durham: Duke University Press
  • 15:30-17:00    Brainstorming / Discussion: PhD symposium on Fragility, Research colloquium on this topic

Wednesday 28 April 2021 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 09:00-14:00     PhD student presentations

17-19/02/2021 - Training and Teaching Block 3 

Wednesday 17 February 2021 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Link to online event:

  • 09:00-10:30     Giorgio Arcodia (DSAAM): How I got into Chinese Linguistics (by chance)
  • 10:45-12:15    Patrick Heinrich (DSAAM): From theory to case and back to theory: Language endangerment on the Ryukyus and Hawaii and sociolinguistic theory
  • 13:00-14:15    Discussion: Anne Fausto-Sterling (2000) Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. New York: Basic Books.

Thursday 18 February 2021 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Link to online event:

  • 09:00-10:30    Antonella Diana (DSAAM): On doing research in the Upper Mekong borderlands: Rationale, methods, and outcomes
  • 10:45-12:15    Andrea Drocco (DSAAM): Agentivity lattice in Hindi language: My research career pathway
  • 14:00-15:30    Discussion of the PhD program and brainstorming for a joint international symposium in 2022

Friday 19 February 2021 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

Link to online event:

  • 09:00-13:00     Student presentations: Research methodology and case studies

14-16/12/2020 - Training and Teaching Block 2

Monday 14 December (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 10:30-12:00 Federica Passi (DSAAM): Beyond Marginality: My Research Experience in Taiwan Literature
  • 13:30-15:00 Stefano Beggiora (DSAAM): Shamanism and Indigenous Peoples of India: Ethnographic Fieldnotes from the Jungle
  • 15:00-16:30 Daniele Brombal (DSAAM): What Am I Doing Here?

Tuesday 15 December (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 10:30-12:00 Rama Srinivasan (Marie Curie, DSAAM): Marriage, Mobility, and Transnational Connections
  • 16:00-17:00 Discussion of the BBC documentary: Tales from the Jungle: Malinowski
  • 17:00-17:30 Patrick Heinrich: Publishing, impact and publication strategies
  • 17.30-18:00 Discussing teaching blocks 2021

Wednesday 16 December (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 9:00-10:00 Discussion: Planetary Modernism (Susan Stanford Friedman)
  • 10:00-13:00 Student presentations: Theoretical basis / foundation of your thesis and research question(s)

12-14/10/2020 - Training and Teaching Block 1

Monday 12/10/2020 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 14:00-15:30 Pierantonio Zanotti: Doing research on Japanese avant-garde literature
  • 15:45-17:15 Marco Zappa: "It is ok to hate your Thesis": Moving on from the Ph.D. to the early stages of a research career in contemporary Asian studies

Tuesday 13/10/2020 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 10:30-13:00 Student presentation: Present your PhD project
  • 16:00-17.30 Toshio Miyake: Critical theory

Wednesday 14/10/2020 (Palazzo Vendramin, Sala A)

  • 10:00-11:30 Reading and discussion: Connell, Raewyn (2007) Southern Theory: The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • 11:45-13:15 Patrick Heinrich: Three waves of research on language variation


Last update: 22/06/2022