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The Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS), which is currently being formed at Heidelberg University, unifies all departments of Asian studies in Heidelberg and connects them with other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. CATS comprises the South Asia Institute (SAI), the Centre for East Asian Studies (ZO), the Institute of Anthropology as well as the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) and will open in the summer of 2019.
CATS is being built on Campus Bergheim at Heidelberg's city centre; the German federal government, the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Heidelberg University are funding its construction, which includes workspaces, classrooms and a dedicated space for library use on an area of almost 5,000 square metres. This research building – designed as a multimedia collaboratoy – will also serve as a media centre offering central access to the libraries of the South, East and Southeast Asian studies. It will moreover host the Heidelberg Research Architecture as a digital humanities unit.
Scholars of different disciplines are working together at CATS. The consolidation of the mentioned institutes facilitates a more intensive examination of the history and present state of nature and society in Asia, focusing on the profound interrelations of cultures. CATS thus combines the diverse expertise in research and teaching, which has already existed in Heidelberg. In addition to the expansion of the traditional tasks of Asian studies, new questions of Transculturality are also at the heart of CATS.
A new generation of Asia experts, educated at CATS, will be able to combine their sound knowledge of certain regions and languages with excellent methodological expertise, enabled by the collaboration planned between regional and methodological disciplines. Precisely this combination will qualify future graduates to thoroughly examine and elaborate the growing potential of global interrelations.