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  • 2013-02-15 19:27 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Friday 15 March, 10.30-17.00

    What role do museums play in visitors’ religious and spiritual lives? Join us for a unique day of discussions on the varied ways visitors practise their faith and encounter the sacred in museums. Featuring speakers from a mix of museum and academic backgrounds, this event will explore the visitor experience at venues including the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, the Creation Museum in Kentucky and the recent ‘spiritual journeys’ exhibitions at the British Museum.

    Confirmed speakers include:
    • Karen Armstrong, British Museum Trustee
    • Rickie Burman, The National Gallery (and former Director of the Jewish Museum)
    • Qaisra Khan, Project Curator at The British Museum
    • Dr John Troyer, Deputy Director of the Death and Dying Practices Associate, University of Bath.

    Event details:
    £35, Members/concessions £28
    The Stevenson Lecture Theatre, the British Museum, London
    Morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided
    The Museum will remain open until 20.30


  • 2013-01-26 14:50 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Glasgow University Library,
    Henry Heaney Room (Level 12)
    Tuesday 5 February 2013, 5pm,

    As part of the Stirling Maxwell Centre Seminar Series, Luca Guariento (University of Glasgow) will be giving a paper on ‘Cosmos, man and their musical interrelation in Robert Fludd’s visual symbolism’.


  • 2013-01-26 14:48 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Studiemiddag of the C.G. Jung Vereniging Nederland

    9 February 2013 at Antropia in Driebergen

    If you're interested in the life and thought of the psychologist Carl Jung and live in the Netherlands, you might like to attend a lecture by Punita Miranda, an MA student at the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and practising psychotherapist.

    The title of the talk is 'From Experiment to Method: Jung's Active Imagination in the Context of his Red Book'.

    Click Here to visit Punita's webpage and Here for the Jung Vereniging announcement.


  • 2013-01-09 14:52 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC) are pleased to invite applications for the 2013-2014 Rumford Scholarship.

    This annual award will enable the Rumford Scholar to travel to Europe in order to undertake original research in the history of chemistry or alchemy in libraries/archives/museum collections using their particular resources.

    The award may be held in any European country. The value of the award is £2300. Applications are due April 7, 2013. 
  • 2012-11-24 14:54 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Call for Articles: Correspondences
    Deadline: February 28, 2013

    Correspondences is a new, biannual online journal devoted to the academic study of Western esotericism. The journal seek to create a public academic forum devoted to discussion and exposition of issues and currents in the field commonly known as ‘Western esotericism.’ The editors acknowledge that the use of “Western esotericism” as an umbrella term for a widely variant field of alternate scientific and religious ideas is problematic. Thus, articles related to esoteric currents from other global cultural centres may be accepted if a connection to alternative currents in “western culture” is implicitly established. The following list of areas of study is provided for clarification:

    Alchemy, Anthroposophy, Astrology, Eco-spirituality, Esotericism in art, literature, and music, Freemasonry, Geomancy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Illuminism, Initiatory secret societies, Kabbalah, Magic, Mesmerism, Mysticism, Naturphilosophie, Neo-paganism, New Age, Occultism, Occulture, Paracelsianism, Rosicrucianism, Satanism, Spiritualism, Theosophy, Traditionalism, Ufology, Witchcraft.

    Correspondences intends to promote a wide forum of interdisciplinary debate regarding such areas of study, and therefore does not require academic credentials as a prerequisite for publication. Students and non-affiliated academics are encouraged to join established researchers in submitting insightful, well-researched articles that offer new ideas, positions, or information to the field.

    We are currently accepting book reviews (max. 1500 words) and articles (5000-10000 words) for our first issue. The deadline for submission is February 28. Following a peer-review process, the first issue will be published June 1, 2013. Manuscripts should be submitted as per our submission guidelines, available at http://www.correspondencesjournal.com/. Please send your manuscript and any enquiries to

    Sincerely,
    Jimmy Elwing and Aren Roukema, Editors.
    Click HERE to visit the website


  • 2012-11-09 14:57 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    The second annual election for a student representative will be taking place during the first week of December.

    The duties of the person elected consists of attending the annual ESSWE board meeting as a non-voting representative of the students in order to put forward views on topics under discussion from the perspective of the students.
    (The next board meeting will take place during the 4th ESSWE conference in Gothenburg).

    Anyone interested in this position must confirm their candidacy by 21 November 2012. This will allow seventeen days for voters to reflect on their choice.

    The election will take place over the course of seven days, from December 10-16, inclusive. Announcement of the successful candidate will follow on, or before, 21 December 2012.

    Anyone interested in applying for the position or learning more about the voting procedures, please contact Kevin Hataley for further details:


  • 2012-07-28 14:59 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: Second Millennium BC Academic
    Supervisor: Dr Kasia Szpakowska

    Two fully-funded PhD studentships form part of a three-year research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust entitled Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: Second Millennium BC.

    Demons abound in the media today-from tales of possession to the labeling of political policies as demonic, to the channelling of spirits for healing. Some of the most prevalent rituals in the ancient and modern world are those designed to target demons and those that call upon their superhuman power for benefit. But thus far, there has been no comprehensive systematic study of benevolent and malevolent demonic entities in Ancient Egypt. This project, Demonology 2K, applies Second Millennium AD technology to create a classification and ontology of those supernatural entities we will call demons, and the means used to harness their powers in Ancient Egypt during the Second Millennium BC. The approach combines archaeological, iconographic, and philological analysis of specific material, representational, and textual evidence. The research is data-driven, and includes the development of an interactive collaborative database and website. This project illuminates the darker and more private side of Ancient Egyptian religion that impacted daily lives, driving individuals to perform rituals and to access divine beings, with or without priestly assistance.

    The PhD studentships are available from 2 January 2013. Applicants must have:
    • demonstrated Egyptological expertise
    • ability to work with both texts and artefacts familiarity with and desire to
    • study Middle to New Kingdom religion reading knowledge of German and French
    • Digital expertise will be integral to one of the studentships detailed below.

    Please provide details in your statement of interest of experience of working with:
    • relational databases
    • quantification
    • Web 2.0 (interactive websites, blogs, virtual spaces) multimedia
    The PhD studentships differ in expertise as follows:

    PhD 1 should have a particular interest in working with artefacts and have a solid archaeological background both in terms of theory and post-excavation analysis. The successful student/candidate will focus on the material evidence, in particular types identified as primary targets for the project: apotropaia, inscribed headrests, and figurines. The student should have demonstrated aptitude for working with excavation reports (recent and dated) as well as museum and collections searching; be familiar with materials and technology; have a background in the archaeology of religion; and a dedicated attention to detail.

    PhD 2 must be fluent in reading Middle Egyptian and have a background in reading religious compositions (ideally Coffin Texts and magical papyri). The successful student/candidate will be responsible for a relational examination of hostile and demonic entities encountered in the texts. The investigation must be contextual, and take into account associated imagery, findspots, the location of imagery and text in relation to each other and on each individual coffin, time period, and status, gender and identity of the owner. Because most of the Coffin Texts have different versions, the candidate must be skilled in reading the texts to spot differences and similarities. The student must also have a thorough grounding in Egyptian religion in general in order to be able to achieve a nuanced understanding of the texts, as well as being able to undertake literal translation.

    Both Ph.D.'s are based in the Department of History and Classics, College of Arts and Humanities. The successful candidate will join a vigorous and friendly postgraduate community supported by theGraduate Centre for Arts and Humanities at Swansea University. The Academic Supervisor will be Dr. Kasia Szpakowska, a specialist in Ancient Egyptian private religious practice and co-founder of the international Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project.

    Applicants must have an MA or equivalent qualification, obtained or due to be obtained by October 2012, in any relevant discipline.

    Preliminary application materials consist of
    • academic CV
    • 1-2 page expression of interest (include why you are interested, a bit about your background and how you fulfil the brief) research proposal (no more than 1200 words or 5 pages) focussing on one of the areas (or both if you have no preference)
    • referee information (names, contact details, and emailsof 2 referees)
    To submit materials or for more information please contact Kasia Szpakowska: . Please note that I will be on annual leave 6-15 and 27-31 August and will not be able to respond to emails.

    Eligibility: Home/EU students

    Closing date: 17 September 2012

    Kasia Szpakowska, PhD, FSA
    Senior Lecturer in Egyptology, Dept. of History & Classics Centre for
    Egyptology & Mediterranean Archaeology (CEMA) Swansea University, Wales, SA2
    8PP, UK

    Dr. Kasia Szpakowska, Uwch-ddarlithydd mewn Eifftoleg Yr Adran Hanes a
    Chlasuron Y Ganolfan Eifftaidd ac Archeoleg Mediteranaidd (CEMA) Prifysgol
    Abertawe, Cymru, SA2 8PP


  • 2012-06-28 15:05 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe; Director: Prof. Dr. Sven Dupré) announces

    three postdoctoral fellowships for up to three months

    between January 1 and December 31, 2013. Outstanding junior and senior scholars (including those on sabbatical leave from their home institutions) are invited to apply.

    Candidates should hold a doctorate in the history of science and technology, the history of art and art technology or related field (junior scholars should have a dissertation topic relevant to the history of science) at the time of application and show evidence of scholarly promise in the form of publications and other achievements.

    Research projects should address the history of knowledge and art up to the eighteenth century (with a preference for the period between 1350 and 1750), and may concern any geographical area within Europe, and any object of the visual and decorative arts. Also welcome are projects falling within the scope of the history of optics, colour and perspective, the history of alchemy, or the history of collecting, but those relevant to the writing of an epistemic history of art will receive preference.

    Visiting fellows are expected to take part in the scientific life of the Institute, to advance their own research project, and to actively contribute to the project of the Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe.

    The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is an international and interdisciplinary research institute (http://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/en/index.html). The colloquium language is English; it is expected that candidates will be able to present their own work and discuss that of others fluently in that language. Fellowships are endowed with a monthly stipend between 1.900 € and 2.300 € (fellows from abroad) or between 1.468 € and 1.621 € (fellows from Germany), whereas senior scholars receive an honorary commensurate with experience.

    The Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe is also accepting proposals for non-funded Visiting Fellowships from one month to a year. These are normally open to junior and senior post-docs who have external funding. For projects highly relevant to the research platform of this Max Planck Research Group, Sven Dupré will support a limited number of applications for funding at organizations such as Fulbright, DAAD, and the Humboldt Society.

    Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply; applications from women are especially welcome. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply.

    Candidates are requested to submit a curriculum vitae (including list of publications), a research proposal on a topic related to the project (750 words maximum), one sample of writing (i.e. article or book chapter), and names and addresses of two referees (including email) who have already been contacted by the applicant to assure their willingness to submit letters of recommendation if requested, to:

    Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte Max Planck Research Group Dupré Boltzmannstr. 22
    14195 Berlin
    Germany

    (Electronic submission is also possible: )

    by September 15, 2012. Successful candidates will be notified before October 31.

    For questions concerning the Max Planck Research Group on Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe, please click here or contact Sven Dupré (); for administrative questions concerning the position and the Institute, please contact Claudia Paaß (), Head of Administration, or Jochen Schneider (), Research Coordinator.


  • 2012-05-15 15:12 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    QUADERNI DI STUDI INDO-MEDITERRANEI VI (2013)
    Le Tre Anella: Al crocevia spirituale tra Ebraismo, Cristianesimo e Islam

    The Board of Editors of the interdisciplinary journal Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei is soliciting contributions to its sixth thematic volume, scheduled to appear in 2013. This issue will contain twelve to fifteen essays addressing the theme of the cultural and religious interactions between Hebraism, Christianity and Islam.
    ***

    The “Three Rings” parable, known in Western culture mainly through Boccaccio’s novella in the Decameron and Lessing’s Nathan der Weise, has been subject to research for a hundred years or so. Some scholars have argued that the parable originated in Spain, but its exact source remains unknown. In any case, the emergence and development of his suggestive message, including the eight and sixteenth centuries, evidently origins in the Mediterranean context of intercultural and inter-religious relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

    In particular, Western esotericism has been characterised as the combination of Alexandrian Hermeticism, Neo-Platonism and related religious philosophies of late antiquity and the traces each has left in the three Abrahamic religions. For this process, very important was the uninterrupted translation of texts between Arabic, Latin and Hebrew languages. Still today these three Mediterranean cultures are mixed together in narrow and interesting plots.

    All aspects of the cultural connections between Hebraism, Christianity and Islam in history of religions, theology, philosophy, mysticism, esotericism, literature, visual arts, music and folklore are welcome.
    Please send proposals for essays (250 to 350 words) accompanied by a bio- bibliographical sketch to Alessandro Grossato: , by September 30, 2012.

    Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei accepts proposals and essays in all major European languages. The editors of the volume will strive for a balanced and diversified table of contents. They will confirm accepted submissions by December 2, 2012. Subsequently, the final deadline for submitting the completed essays will be June 1, 2013. The average length recommended for each contribution is of 6,000 words, with a maximum length allowed of 7,000 words, including footnotes and bibliographical references.

    ***

    The journal Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei is based at the University of Bologna, Italy, and is supported by ASTREA (Associazione di Studi e Ricerche Euro- Asiatiche). Editor in Chief: Carlo Saccone; Board of Editors: Daniela Boccassini, Alessandro Grossato, Carlo Saccone. The journal counts among its editorial associates world-renowned specialists from major European and North American Universities.

    For further information on the journal’s mission and an overview of previous issues please go to: Italian website or North American website

    Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei is committed to upholding a high profile in comparative studies and the highest standards of peer-reviewed scholarship.


  • 2012-04-26 15:16 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)
    Call for Abstracts: “A ‘Supernatural’ History of Central Europe, 1870-present”
    Editors: Eric Kurlander (Stetson U.)
    Monica Black (U. of Tenn., Knoxville)
    Deadline: August 1, 2012

    Despite the ostensible “disenchantment of the world” proclaimed by Max Weber at the beginning of the twentieth century, Central Europe has a rich modern history of occultism, folklore, paganism, and popular religion. Yet the “supernatural history” of this ethno-culturally diverse region, extending from the Rhine and Baltic in the North and West to the Vistula and Danube in the South and East, has yet to be written. To be sure, the last twenty years have witnessed a renaissance of interest in Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious practice since the late-nineteenth century. With the exception a few excellent monographs on occultism and parapsychology, however, historians have been slow to investigate less conventional aspects of the “supernatural” in Modern Central Europe.

    We seek abstracts from scholars interested in exploring the new spiritualities, unique metaphysical experiences and practices, and novel explanations of the world that stood somewhere between natural scientific verifiability and the shopworn truths of traditional religion, and which flourished across Central Europe in the wake of the Second Industrial Revolution. We are keen to see submissions that integrate social, political, and cultural history with “supernatural” thinking and practice, broadly conceived. We are especially interested in submissions that will extend their analysis and explorations beyond national boundaries, connecting people, ideas, experiences, and movements interculturally and transnationally.

    Obviously, profound complexities inhere in the term “supernatural”—and no less so in terms like “popular religion,” let alone “superstition.” All of these terms bristle with invidious distinctions and reifications imposed by those seeking to draw sharp contrasts between “orthodox” and “heterogeneous” manifestations of religion and between “science” and “popular belief”—which for our purposes might refer to various methods of explaining, knowing, and experiencing the world that somehow draw on the numinous or the metaphysical. Not only has the presence and broad scope of such practices and ideas not yet been fully explored, but they have also not been properly integrated into larger histories of Central European culture, society, and politics—despite the fact that they have from time to time been the cause of considerable friction.

    By bringing together scholars from German, Austrian, Hapsburg, and Slavic Studies, we hope to address questions central to the study of Central European politics, culture, and identity in new ways. What meanings can we assign to the renewal of interest in occultism, “pseudo-science,” and folklore studies in the decades around the fin-de-siècle? How does the waxing or waning of these fields relate to questions of war and peace, revolution and reaction, crisis and stability? How have differences between “science” and “pseudo-science” been articulated in various moments and why? How did folklore, occultism, “pseudo-science” and other “supernatural” practices function as alternatives to organized religion at various moments in the Central European past? How was a fascination with the “supernatural” reflected in popular culture and the arts from the nineteenth century to today? What roles have popular superstition and everyday rituals played in Central European attempts to negotiate the trials of the twentieth century? What role did such rituals––“political religion” or otherwise––play in the legitimization of fascism, communism, and other forms of authoritarian politics before and after 1945? What influence did “supernatural” ideas and practices have in generating policies of ethnic cleansing, eugenics, and imperialism, or how can they been seen as a response to those policies? What were the differences East and West of the Iron Curtain after 1945? What are the implications in terms of class, gender, identity, and ethnicity?

    Potential topics may include but are not limited to:
    • Occultism
    • “Pseudo-science” and parapsychology
    • Séances, spirit media, and communication with the dead
    • Dowsing
    • Faith healing
    • Astrology
    • Palm reading
    • Clairvoyance and prophecy
    • Ghost stories and apparitions
    • Witchcraft
    • Homeopathy
    • New Age
    • Exorcism
    • Vampires, werewolves and other monsters
    • “Pagan” religions
    • The horror genre, science fiction, and “fantastic” in film, art, and literature
    If you are interested in contributing an abstract of not more than 500 words for consideration, please send it, along with your CV, to
    Monica Black ( ) and Eric Kurlander ( ) by AUGUST 1, 2012.


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