We congratulate Marija Grujovska, student of the Department of Religious and Cultural History of South Asia, for receiving a scholarship from the Margot and Friedrich Becke Foundation. Grujovska was honored for her exceptional academic achievements. The scholarship will support her master thesis on fieldwork and archive work in Nepal.
The topic of her master thesis is an in-depth study of the Ṛṣi Pañcamī, an annual religious festival held by Hindu women in Nepal. A central part of the celebration is ritual fasting to remove the "pollution of menstruation". The aim of the master thesis is to explore the cultural representations of biological processes such as menstruation by Nepalese women. The grant from Becke Foundation allows her to travel to Nepal to explore the performative aspects of the text and the ritual.
Marija Grujovska, Prof. Mußgnug, Prof. Huesken at the handing over of the scholarship (Image: Dr. Astrid Zotter)
The South Asia Institute cordially welcomes Dr. Heiko Frese at the Department of History. In the winter semester he will be the substitute professor for Prof. Dr. Gita Dharampal, who retired on 30.09.2018. Frese studied Indology with focus on Islamic Studies and Philosophy at the University of Kiel. He then received his doctorate at the Institute of Indology at University of Leipzig on Nepali historiography ("Variationen von Wirklichkeit"). Further information is available on his profile website.
We cordially welcome Sona Prahakaran, a DAAD fellow, who has newly joined the department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia as a doctoral candidate under the supervision of Professor Ute Hüsken. A native of Kerala, she has an Integrated Master’s degree in Humanities and Social Sciences from IIT Madras and Aarhus University, Denmark. Her PhD project on “Ritual Pluralism and Guardian Deity of Tamil Nadu: Shastric Amman vis-à-vis Amman of the Graveyards” will explore sacred spaces produced and transformed by ritual pluralism in Tamil Nadu.
Before joining the SAI, she worked with Stanford University (Rural Education Action Program) in assessing the quality of Engineering Education in India. She has also been involved in numerous ethnographic projects dealing with gender and internal migration in India, study on miniature shrines in Chennai, assessment of canal construction, and status of rehabilitation and resettlement in Madhya Pradesh to name a few. Her research interests lie in Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, and Literary Theory and Criticisms.
The magazine forschung, which was published by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), published in issue 3/2018 an interview with Prof. Axel Michaels. In the article "So wichtig wie kein anderes Instrument", Michaels describes the peculiarities of research networks and reports on his experiences as former speaker of the SFB Ritual Dynamics. You can read the report here.