CRCAO member - TBACT Team

Marta Sernesi

Professor, École Pratique des Hautes Études


I joined the École Pratique des Hautes Études as Professor of Tibetan Religions in 2019. I studied Tibetan and Buddhist studies in Rome (La Sapienza University) and Paris (École Pratique des Hautes Études) and I hold a PhD in Indian and Tibetan Studies from the University of Turin (2007). I held research and teaching positions at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, at SOAS University of London, and at the University of Oxford, and obtained my Habilitation (HDR) from LMU Munich in 2019. My research focuses on the cultural and religious history of Tibet and the Himalayas. In particular, I study early contemplative traditions and instructional literature, biographical and narrative sources, and the institutional landscape of Tibetan Buddhism. I also work on Tibetan book culture, investigating modes of textual production and circulation, and early xylographic book printing.

Research thematics

  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Cultural History of Tibet and the Himalayas
  • Historical and Hagiographical Literature
  • Tibetan book history


  • Tibetan Religions

Publications (HAL Archive Ouverte)

  • Marta Sernesi. Re-enacting the Past: A Cultural History of the School of gTsang smyon Heruka. Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2021. ⟨hal-03233625⟩
  • Vincent Tournier, Vincent Eltschinger, Marta Sernesi (Dir.). Archaeologies of the Written: Indian, Tibetan, and Buddhist Studies in Honour of Cristina Scherrer-Schaub. Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, 2020, Series Minor, Francesco Sferra, 978-88-6719-174-1. ⟨10.6093/978-88-6719-174-1⟩. ⟨hal-04000641⟩
  • Marta Sernesi, Volker Caumanns, Nikolai Solmsdorf (Dir.). Unearthing Himalayan Treasures: Festschrift for Franz-Karl Ehrhard. 2019. ⟨hal-03043723⟩
  • Marta Sernesi, Volker Caumanns (Dir.). Fifteenth Century Tibet: Cultural Blossoming and Political Unrest. Lumbini International Research Institute, 2017. ⟨hal-03046936⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. A Mongol Xylograph (hor par ma) of the Tibetan Version of the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkārabhāṣya. Vincent Tournier; Vincent Eltschinger; Marta Sernesi. Archaeologies of the Written: Indian, Tibetan, and Buddhist Studies in Honour of Cristina Scherrer-Schaub, Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale, pp.527-549, 2020. ⟨hal-03043868⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. Writing Local Religious History: The Abbatial History of Brag dkar rta so. Marta Sernesi; Volker Caumanns; Nikolai Solmsdorf. Unearthing Himalayan Treasures: Festschrift for Franz-Karl Ehrhard, pp.387-415, 2019. ⟨hal-03043766⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. Towards a History of Early Tibetan Printing: New Evidence and Uncharted Territories. Marta Sernesi and Volker Caumanns. Fifteenth Century Tibet: Cultural Blossoming and Political Unrest, Lumbini International Research Institute, pp.195-225, 2017. ⟨hal-03046964⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. Reprinting the Buddhist Classics: On the Production and Circulation of Blockprints. Orna Almogi. Tibetan Manuscript and Xylograph Traditions. The Written Word and Its Media within the Tibetan Culture Sphere, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, University of Hamburg, pp.267-320, 2016. ⟨hal-03293236⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. Works and Networks of mkhas pa Dri med. On the Illustrations of 16th Century Tibetan Printed Books. Tibetan Printing: Comparison, Continuities, and Change, BRILL, pp.332-368, 2016, ⟨10.1163/9789004316256_017⟩. ⟨hal-03003599⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. Bibliography and Cultural History: Remarks on the Bka’ gdams glegs bam. Olaf Czaja, Guntram Hazod. The Illuminating Mirror. Tibetan Studies in Honour of Per K. Sørensen on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, pp.411-444, 2015. ⟨hal-03293238⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. The History of the Mountain Teachings: 13th century Practice Lineages at rTsib ri. Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines, 2022, 64, pp.479-515. ⟨hal-03726577⟩
  • Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Marta Sernesi. Apropos A Recent Collection of Tibetan Xylographs from the 15th to the 17th Centuries. Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines, 2019, 51, pp.119-140. ⟨hal-03043904⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. The Royal Chronicle of the House of the North and a Rare 15th Century Book from La stod Byang. Rivista degli Studi Orientali, 2016, Studies in Honour of Luciano Petech. A Commemoration volume 1914–2014, supplemento no. 1 al vol. 89, pp.164-178, 231-233. ⟨hal-03292179⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. The Collected Sayings of the Master: On Authorship, Author-function, and Authority. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 2015, 36/37, pp.459-498. ⟨hal-03292190⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. A Continuous Stream of Merit: The Early Reprints of gTsang smyon Heruka’s Hagiographical Works. Zentralasiatische Studien, 2012, 40, pp.179-236. ⟨hal-03292197⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. A Manual on Nāropa's Six Yogas by sPyan snga Nyer gnyis pa (1386–1434): Tucci Tibetan Collection 1359. Indo-Iranian Journal, 2010, 53 (2), pp.121-163. ⟨hal-03044013⟩
  • Marta Sernesi. Milarepa's Six Secret Songs: The Early Transmission of the bDe-mchog snyan-brgyud. East and West, 2004, 54, pp.251-287. ⟨hal-03044032⟩