ESSWE home

  • 2018-12-14 00:05 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Announcing Project Awe’s partnership
    with The Representational Art Conference

    Project Awe has formed an exciting partnership with The Representational Art Conference 2019, taking place in Ventura, California 31st March – 4th April 2019.

    Project Awe is sponsoring a session of academic papers at the conference with a focus upon esoteric art. The papers may be on any aspect of esoteric art including allegorical symbolism, alchemical symbolism, magical art, esoteric art history, tarot, and so on.

    The principle theme of this year’s TRAC is the relationship between imagination and representational art.

    In esoteric art the imaginative decisions of the artist guide viewers toward secrets or private meanings. Allegorical imagery is both an imaginative and practical solution to conveying hidden meaning. Consequently, we are especially interested in papers that examine esoteric imagery within representational art. Project Awe’s presence as a partner with The Representational Art Conference 2019 (TRAC) helps to bring us deeper into the academic art world. TRAC is the premier international scholarly event focused on cutting-edge representational art in the 21st century.

    There are very few academic venues providing space for the discussion of esoteric art. TRAC seeks to address this lack and to provide a place where papers examining this fertile and exciting area are treated with respect and encouragement.

    Scholars who are interested in submitting a paper may find more information at The Representational Art Conference website.

    Deadline for submissions: January 15th 2019

  • 2018-12-13 23:59 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Between 30 August - 1 September 2019
    Tampere University (Finland) is hosting a conference
    on the history of Western esotericism entitled

    Edges of Freemasonry II:
    Lived Esotericism and the Western Modernity

    The conference is organized by University of Tampere faculty of social sciences/history in association with Research Lodge Minerva n:o 27 of the Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of Finland. The event will be a continuation for the first Edges of Freemasonry conference held in Tampere University in 2012.

    The conference call for papers has now been opened. For further information considering the conference and the CfP, please see the conference website: or follow the conference on Facebook:

  • 2018-11-05 17:40 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Please download the program of the upcoming 3rd conference of CEENASWE (The Central and Eastern European Network for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism, associated with ESSWE) on Esotericism-inspired artistic visions in Central- and Eastern Europe:

    Download CEENASWE 3 program

    The conference will be held on 16-17 November, 2018, at the University of Szeged, Hungary.

  • 2018-10-24 13:26 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Nominations are invited for the sixth biennial ESSWE PhD Thesis prize, awarded by the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism.

    Prize: The prize will be given for an outstanding PhD. thesis defended in 2017-2018 on any aspect of Western Esotericism. Candidates for the prize must be members of the ESSWE. The thesis must have been approved formally by the nominee’s thesis committee, but the degree need not have been formally awarded. The prize will not be awarded if no submissions are deemed qualified.

    Notification & Certification: The prize-winner will be notified in April 2019 and will receive an award of €500 and a certificate, to be presented at the ESSWE conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2-4 July 2019. The ESSWE will also make a substantial contribution to travel expenses and lodging costs, and the conference fee will be waived.

    Publication: The thesis will also be recommended for publication in the ARIES Book Series, though the final decision on publication will be taken by the ARIES Book Series editorial board.

    Nomination: Nominations must be made by email to the Chair of the Prize Committee, Olav Hammer (University of Southern Denmark, by 1 January 2019. The nominator must be a faculty member at the institution that awards the nominee’s PhD degree, or a member of the nominee’s thesis committee. Each nominator may make only one nomination. The applications should consist of pdf files of the following material:

    1. A one-page description of the thesis and motivation why it is nominated for the prize
    2. The nominee’s thesis
    3. Documentation to show that the thesis has been approved

    Item 1 needs to be in English, whereas items 2 and 3 can be in English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish.

    The Prize Committee consists of: Olav Hammer, University of Southern Denmark (Chair); Christine Ferguson, University of Stirling ; Nemanja Radulovic, University of Belgrade

  • 2018-10-09 20:50 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    The deadline for the Call for Papers of the 7th Biannual Conference of ESSWE has been extended. The new deadline for Abstract submission is November 1, 2018. Please check out the website of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents for further information.

  • 2018-09-02 19:52 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)


    The Central and Eastern European Network
    for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism,
    associated with ESSWE 
    (The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism)
    calls for papers for its third international colloquium:


    The event will be hosted by The Faculty of Arts at the University of Szeged (The Research Group for Cultural Iconology and Semiography in cooperation with the Departments of Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, and Visual Studies).

    Papers (30 minutes' slots including discussion) are expected to investigate the inspiration of Western Esotericism on the artistic cultural representations (literature, visual arts, theatre, film) of the Central- and Eastern European regions throughout the centuries.

    The conference will be taking place on November 16-17, 2018 (Friday-Saturday, arrival the previous night, departure the next day). 

    Paper proposals (author's name and affiliation, proposed title and a 300 word abstract) should be sent to Dr. Róbert Péter by September 20, 2018. 

    For ESSWE members there is no registration fee, for non-ESSWE members registration is 40 Euros.

  • 2018-08-20 19:50 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    In 2017 the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) in Germany presented an exhibition on the thought of the mystical philosopher Jacob Boehme. From 25 August – 19 November 2017 around 30,000 people visited the exhibition, and many more learned about Boehme’s philosophy through the very positive response of the media to the exhibition.

    As part of its ongoing engagement with Boehme, the SKD is planning a series of three further exhibitions to take place in 2019-20 in locations outside Germany. These exhibitions will highlight in particular the reception and transformation of Boehme’s thought transnationally. A scholarly conference will accompany or precede each of these exhibitions.

    At this time, we invite researchers who are working on Boehme’s thought and his reception, from the 17th century to the present day, to submit proposals for papers at one or more of these conferences. Each conference will highlight Boehme’s reception and his influence in a different geographical area: England, the Netherlands, and Eastern Europe. There will also be room for papers that focus on Boehme’s thought or on the historical and religious context of his reception, including relationships and comparisons with contemporary theologians and philosophers.

    As Boehme influenced a wide range of fields, we encourage scholars from all relevant disciplines – from history and religious studies to art, music and literary history and beyond, to submit proposals. Lodging, meals and most travel costs will be covered for those who are invited to participate. A peer-reviewed selection of the papers from the three conferences will be published together in one volume, which will appear in 2020. The book will be published in English, but lectures may be given in English or German.

    Here are the dates and general subjects of the planned conferences. Please state clearly which conference(s) you wish to attend to give your paper:

    Jacob Boehme and Continental Spiritualism in Britain (Coventry, 23.-25. May 2019)

    Boehme’s Reception in Eastern Europe (Gotha, 28.-29. June 2019)

    Jacob Boehme and the Netherlands (Amsterdam, 7.-8. Oct. 2019)

    Please send proposals of 300-600 words by e-mail before 31. December 2018 to the following address:

  • 2018-08-13 12:46 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism
    10th International Conference

    Sacred places — that is, places which followers of certain teachings believed possessed special qualities — historically played an important role in mystical and esoteric currents. From Stone Age caves, where tribe initiations were held, to today’s “places of power” visited by representatives of a wide array of esoteric groups, sacred places became centers around which esoteric practices congregated and where secret traditions were passed on from initiator to initiate.

    The role of sacred places extends beyond particular sacred sites: for many mystic and esoteric currents, sacred geography in a wider sense — for example, an understanding of how the cosmos works, of the holy character of the cardinal directions, and so on — plays a large role in their philosophy. That philosophy, in turn, is often reflected in the architecture of temples, lodges, and other centers of mystic and esoteric traditions, and are integrated into ritual symbols and iconography of esoteric currents.

    This conference aims to consider sacred geography as it is studied in history, anthropology, cultural studies, and psychology. The organizing committee will accept papers on the history of places considered to be both sacred and linked with mystical and esoteric currents, on such places’ status in contemporary culture, on psychological aspects of the influence such sites have on people, and on other topics linked to sacred geography in mystical and esoteric currents.

    Sample topics include but are not limited to the following:

    • methodological and terminological problems of the scholarly study of sacred geography in the context of mysticism and esotericism;
    • sacred geography in the East;
    • sacred places in Western mystical and esoteric traditions;
    • the sacred in the structure of the cosmos and the sacred character of cardinal directions in the history of esotericism;
    • mystical and esoteric sacred geography in literature and art.

    Working languages: Russian, English

    Applications for the conference for participants from CIS countries are to be sent to the address of the organizing committee by 01.02.2019. Due to possible visa concerns, we request that applications from participants outside of the CIS are sent by 01.12.2018. We kindly request participants to provide the following information:

    1. Full name:

    2. Date of birth:

    3. Academic degree (if applicable):

    4. Home address:

    5. Place of work/study (if applicable):

    6. Position:

    7. Telephone number:

    8. E-mail:

    9. Need of an official invitation to receive an entry visa to the Russian Federation (yes/no):

    10. Necessary equipment for your presentation (yes (specify)/no):

    11. Title of paper:

    12. Abstract:

    13. Language of paper:

    For Russian-speaking participants, entries 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12 need to be filled out both in Russian and English. The applicant is also required to attach a photo of themselves, no more than 1Mb in size.

    Applications for panels are accepted until 01.02.2019. Panel applications need to follow the general application form outlined above. Additionally, the panel organizer needs to provide the approximate number of panel participants and a preliminary program.

    A completed application does not guarantee acceptance to the conference. The organizing committee reserves the right to ask for additional information from applicants to specify unclear applications. Decisions on applications are made by the organizing committee within a week after the application deadline. Applicants will be informed of the committee’s decision by e-mail.

    Remote participation in the conference is not provided for.

    A conference program including information about participants and their abstracts will be published and provided to the participants before the start of the conference. It will also be available on the ASEM website.

    The conference fee is differentiated according to ASEM membership and geographical location of the participant (see table below):

    Conference participants

    ASEM members

    ASEM non-members

    Post-Soviet countries (except the Baltic countries)

    500 roubles

    1000 roubles

    Residents of non-Post-Soviet countries

    10 Euros

    30 Euros

    The organizational fee will be used to cover the costs of organizing the conference as well as the publication of conference papers, which is planned after the conference takes place. The collected conference materials will include papers that have been presented at the conference and accepted for publication up to 20 000 characters in length. The conference fee is paid at the time of registration.

    The organizational fee does not include transportation, lodging, food or possible additional services (tours, museums, and so on). The organizing committee does not provide lodging for conference participants; however, it will provide information on local options at the request of an accepted participant.

    The organizing committee is open to propositions of material and informational support from interested physical and legal persons.

    Conference address: Stavropol (Russia), North-Caucasus Federal University.

    All inquiries about the conference are directed to:

    Organizing committee

    Organizing committee chair: Sergey V. Pakhomov

    Organizing committee members: Yuri Y. Zavhorodniy, Roman V. Nutrikhin, Stanislav A. Panin, Birgit Menzel, Yuri F. Rodichenkov, Evgeni L. Kuzmishin

  • 2018-08-13 10:58 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

    The occult – the hidden – has been prevalent in various art forms for centuries. Christopher Partridge coined the term ‘occulture’ in 2004 in an effort to recognise the occult in the everyday, theorising the processes involved when popular culture disseminates occult ideas and beliefs to a wider audience. These occult and esoteric traditions are no longer hidden; instead the culture in which they are embedded has become familiar – they are ordinary and everyday.

    Visual culture, as part of a broader popular culture, represents a fertile vehicle for the occult to enter everyday consciousness, even when the esoteric origins of those ideas remain unknown to the receiver. This is in opposition to secretive practices of a cultic milieu, when the occult was intended for an exclusive audience privileged with sacred and mysterious knowledge, such as, for example, ritual performances by and for adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

    This session proposes to investigate the reflection and representation of occult ideas, beliefs and practices that manifest in everyday and popular forms of art from the 1870s to the present day. Focusing particularly on performance art, such as theatre and dance, as well as film, photography and print, this session would invite papers to explore occult currents in visual culture from any geographical location. In addition to academic papers, this session would welcome interdisciplinary approaches from performers and artists.

    Session Convenors

    Dr Michelle Foot, University of Edinburgh

    Dr Lucy Weir, University of Edinburgh

    Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

    Please email your paper proposal direct to the session convenors. You need to provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper, your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

    For more information about the conference please see links below:

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software