A warm welcome to PD Dr. Beatrix Hauser who is presently interim professor at the Department of Anthropology. She studied Social Anthropology in Hamburg, Heidelberg and London. In 1989 she received her Magister Artium from the University of Hamburg and in 1997 her PhD, on the basis of her research on a contemporary Bengali tradition of story telling that is performed with the help of scroll paintings (Mit irdischem Schaudern und göttlicher Fügung: bengalische Erzähler und ihre Bildvorführungen, Berlin 1998). She taught at several universities and was, apart from other activities, research associate at the collaborative research centre 626: „Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits“ at the Free University of Berlin. In January 2009 she passed her habilitation at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg and received the venia legendi (postdoctoral lecture qualification) for Social Anthropology. Her habilitation thesis is about Hindu women in Orissa in their religious practices (Promising Rituals: Doing Gender in Southern Orissa, India, Halle 2008).
Beatrix Hauser’s research interests are the anthropology of religion (Hinduism, subaltern and transreligious practices, spirit possession, notions of im/purity, ritual theory), the anthropology of the body (cultural concepts of body and self, body techniques, emotions and senses, embodiment), the anthropology of performance (ritual, theatre, play, festival, oral tradition, arts, political performances, aesthetics, performance theories) and gender (cultural notions of femininity and masculinity, self-images and social identities, female religiosity, goddess worship, menstruation).
Beatrix Hauser’s current research focuses on Ramlila performances as an example of ritual theatre. She compares its mode(s) of performance and reception in different regions of India, last but not least in the megacity of Delhi where Ramlila has turned into a multimedia event. Two new projects aim to explore (1) the impact of modern transcultural yoga on concepts of the healthy body, and (2) the mediatization of conflicts and violence, with special reference to the burning of effigies as a form of protest.