Frank Heidemann is currently visiting the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies as the first Gerardus van der Leeuw Fellow. Professor Heidemann is a leading anthropologist and an expert on Indian society. He will work at the Faculty until the end of September 2014. During his stay, he will teach several classes, including a Masterclass. He will also give a lecture on the anthropological approach to 'atmosphere' on 22 September.
At first, he thought he'd work on ‘older’ manuscripts and turn them into articles during his stay in Groningen, but he decided to embark on a new field. ‘I like to read and write about 'atmosphere' in the broadest sense, because it seems to me a focal point of emergent or recent academic fields. The anthropology of the body, of emotions, of performance, of social aesthetics, of material culture, … all find their impact in atmospheres. I am pleased to be invited to give a lecture on 22 September on this topic. I am also looking forward to teaching, including a Masterclass.
Religious studies will offer a lot of scope for his work on atmosphere. ‘The aesthetic field in religion and rituals is discussed by a number of scholars, including colleagues here in Groningen. On top of that, Groningen is an excellent university with an inspiring academic atmosphere’, says Heidemann. ‘I was invited to give a lecture in 2008 and met a number of scholars with whom I shared several fields of interest. My collaboration with Peter Berger in particular made me come to Groningen. Peter came to Munich for conferences and public lectures and we jointly edited the volume on "The Modern Anthropology of India".'
Frank Heidemann is Professor of Anthropology at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany. He is a well-known scholar in the fields of Visual Anthropology, Social Aesthetics, Anthropology of the Senses, Postcolonial Studies, Political Anthropology, as well as Anthropological Theory. He is Associate Fellow of Religion, Culture and Society of Indian 'Tribal' (Adivasi) Communities and Associate Fellow of History and Theory of the Anthropology of India.
The Faculty introduced the Gerardus van der Leeuw Fellowship in order to be able to invite renowned foreign researchers in the field of Religion and Culture to come to Groningen for a period of at least six weeks. In this period, Fellows actively contribute to the Faculty's teaching and research, for example by giving lectures and Masterclasses to students. The Fellowship was named after the most internationally renowned religious studies expert the Netherlands has ever had, Gerardus van der Leeuw (1890-1950). Van der Leeuw was Professor of History of Religions at the University of Groningen (1918-1946) and Minister of Education, Arts and Sciences in the first Dutch cabinet after the Second World War.
Prof. Mladen Popović will continue in his position as Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies for another four years.
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