From the Ground to the Cloud: Insights from Seven Years of Fieldwork, Training, and Data Collection

From the Ground to the Cloud: Insights from Seven Years of Fieldwork, Training, and Data Collection

Fieldwork in Fangshan 房山, China. Vicky Baker. Cluster 3.2, 2019.


From the Ground to the Cloud:
Insights from Seven Years of Fieldwork, Training, and Data Collection

April 2024 (exact dates TBD) | Online, hosted by the University of British Columbia


The FROGBEAR project is a research and training network that fosters scholarship of East Asian religions through field visits, skill building, study, and knowledge sharing.

Since the project’s inception in 2016, our international teams of researchers have identified new textual and visual sources preserved in East Asia. The research clusters have surveyed key sites of religious practice and strategic nodes in the dissemination and preservation of religious knowledge in East Asia, with focus on the long-term production and transmission of religious knowledge in Sinitic written and cultural systems. Data collected during field visits is housed in the Database of Religious Sites in East Asia.

The FROGBEAR Database of Religious Sites in East Asia is a public open access database displaying texts, images, videos, and other research content accumulated during the project. The digital materials are stored in an open access digital repository housed at the UBC Library Open Collections, at the University of British Columbia in Canada. This database, as well as each particular item contained within, serve as a unique virtual library for interested scholars, students, and the public to discover connections between seemingly disparate geographical and temporal contexts. It also helps to enhance academic interactions both within the research teams in the project, and with external communities around the globe.

The project provides a forum for collaborative and interdisciplinary analysis of textual and visual sources integral to scholars of East Asian pre-modern religions. To access, record, and interpret this material we draw on a worldwide network of institutions and scholars, each contributing different skills and resources.

The FROGBEAR project has now concluded field research and would like to share and discuss the results of the research and training activities. As such, this conference will establish an open dialogue and increase knowledge transfer by addressing the following (but not limited to) topics:

  • Research that builds on field visit and research cluster activities, from previous participants.
  • Research derived from data collected during FROGBEAR field visits and activities. Uncovering impact or contributions that FROGBEAR project has had in the field of East Asian studies, Buddhist Studies, religious studies, and beyond.
  • In-depth discussion of various forms of knowledge dissemination resulting from FROGBEAR activities ranging from traditional to digital medium.
  • Exploring research strategies and methods utilised during FROGBEAR project activities. In particular, digital resources and other technological tools for advancing inclusive access and training.

Submission Guidelines
We invite proposals from participants who 1) have previously participated in research cluster activities, and/or 2) have used data from the FROGBEAR Database in their research.

Interested participants must fill out conference submission form by November 30, 2023:

Once accepted, participating panelists are expected to provide:

  1. A pre-recorded 20-30 min presentation to be posted online for advanced viewing.
  2. A working paper (up to 5000 words), to be posted on the FROGBEAR website after the conference.
  3. A biographical note including your academic or professional affiliation (up to 100 words).
  4. A recent photo.

To accommodate different time zones, the conference will host one synchronous session each day (6:00-8:00 Vancouver / 14:00-16:00 London / 21:00-23:00 Beijing) for a roundtable discussion of the presentations (availability is requested in the submission form).

Working papers will be posted on the FROGBEAR website. Select papers may be invited to submit for publication to the open-access, peer reviewed journal Hualin International Journal for Buddhist Studies or the peer-reviewed Studies in Chinese Religions. Graduate student participation is especially encouraged, and students will be provided with a $300 CAD honorarium for their paper.

To learn more about each research cluster, please visit For enquiries email