The preferred starting date is October 1, 2024.
The DFG-funded Centre for Advanced Studies (Kollegforschungsgruppe) ‘Alternative Rationalities and Esoteric Practices from a Global Perspective’ at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is seeking to appoint several Junior and Senior Fellowships for 3-12 Months.
The main goal of the Center for Advanced Studies – Erlangen (CAS-E) is to compare the interpretation, rationalization and legitimization strategies of esoteric practices and their practitioners from a global perspective, and to carve out why and in which ways they are successful, resilient and creative in different cultural and regional contexts. A mid-term goal is the development of a cultural theory of esoteric practices, which seeks to explain their resilience, their typological family resemblances across a large number of cases, and their different culture-bound and politically shaped evaluations.
The Center has a decidedly global and contemporary research focus and adopts a broad heuristic working definition of ‘esoteric practices’ which includes a variety of aspects such as contingency management, specialization and the formation of expert systems, secrecy, the reliance on opaque efficacy as well as social dynamics of inclusion and exclusion. Simultaneously, CAS-E also comparatively investigates creative reinventions of traditional ‘esoteric practices’ that acquire new hybridizing forms in fields of tension with competing cultural registers (e.g. science, new technologies/media, political regimes, religious orthodoxies) which may contribute to their (re-)legitimation.