Summer School “Beyond the City Limits: Rethinking New Religiosities in Asia” / Göttingen July 2016

Göttingen Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology (GISCA)

Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS)

Centre for Modern East Asian Studies (CeMEAS)

Deadline extended to March 29

CfA Summer School Göttingen SPIRIT 2016

Beyond the City Limits: Rethinking New Religiosities in Asia

18-22 July, 2016

University of Göttingen, Germany


With the rapid urbanization across Asia, with new cityscapes, glittering skyscrapers, shopping malls, globalized forms of consumption it is easy to assume that cities are the primary sites for the production of the new. Indeed, urbanity is often used as a synonym for modernity and Asian futures would appear to be increasingly urban. But if cities are the future, is the country then the past? Does the focus on cities as sites of “the new” ignore the complex ways rural contexts, settings and imaginaries are implicated and contribute to contemporary religious practice? And to what extent does the notion of “urban religion” implicitly depend on its “others”? Does it reproduce the urban/rural distinction as one of the “great divides” (Latour 1993) that have been central to the experience of modernity? This Summer School takes up these issues and asks how the study of contemporary religious life in Asia can benefit from “thinking beyond the city”, whether “the city” is understood as a spatial entity, a site of enquiry, or as an analytical category.

Speakers will include:

•             Prof. Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

•             Prof. Ursula Rao, Leipzig University

•             Prof. Christina Schwenkel, UC Riverside

•             Prof. Tim Winter, Deakin University

•             Prof. Julia Huang, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan (tentative)

•             Dr. Radhika Gupta, Göttingen University

Application deadline: March 29, 2016. Successful applicants will be informed by mid-April.

Please find more information about the thematic scope and the program and at

Please submit your applications to