David Germano teaches and researches Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia, and is director of SHANTI (Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives, www.shanti.virginia.edu), the Tibetan and Himalayan Library (www.thlib.org, THL), and the Tibet Center (www.uvatibetcenter.org). His personal scholarship focuses on the history of Tibetan culture and religion from the ninth to fourteenth century with a special focus on esoteric religious movements.
At present, he is working with other faculty and staff at UVa to establish SHANTI as a faculty governed center focused on integrating and coordinating various digital initiatives with a humanistic focus at UVa, as well as strengthening the dynamic interconnections between innovation and mainstream activity involving digital technology amongst faculty and students. This involves establishing a new approach to learning management systems, incorporating powerful digital technologies into the University digital ecology, digital humanities-focused social networking portal, task forces focused on mainstreaming and broadening access to digital technologies for faculty and students, and greater peer to peer networking and support systems.
In THL, he has built an international digital library for facilitating interdisciplinary, collaborative, and engaged scholarship in Tibetan Studies. It uses technology creatively to help support bridges between academics and development projects, and to enable local communities to use modern tools as vehicles for their own self-expression and empowerment. This participatory movement aims to redefine the notion of “scholars” and “scholarship” to include local communities across the world in a truly distributed production of knowledge.