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Beatrix Hauser, PD Dr.


Beatrix Hauser, PD Dr.

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Curriculum vitae

2009 – 2010 Visiting Professor of Social Anthropology and interim Head of Department, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg

since 2009 Adjunct Associate Professor(Privatdozentin), Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Halle

Jan 2009 Habilitation and venia legendi in Social Anthropology (Postdoctoral Lecture Qualification), University of Halle;
thesis: Promising Rituals: Doing Gender in Southern Orissa (India).

2008  Adjunct Lecturer (Lehrbeauftragte), Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Halle

2004 – 2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin), Institute for Theater Studies & Collaborative Research Centre 626: Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits, Free University of Berlin

2002 – 2004 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Halle

1999 – 2002 Postdoctoral Research Fellow and, since 2002, Adjunct Lecturer, Institute for Historical Anthropology, University of Frankfurt (Main)

Jan 1997 PhD (with highest distinction) in Social Anthropology, University of Hamburg;
thesis: Mit irdischem Schaudern und göttlicher FĂŒgung: Bengalische ErzĂ€hler und ihre BildvorfĂŒhrungen. (Bengali scroll painters and their tradition of story-telling)

1994 – 1999 Adjunct Lecturer:
-     Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Hamburg,
-     Interdisciplinary Centre for University Didactic, Univ. Hamburg
-     South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg,
-     Global Management, Bremen University of Applied Sciences
-     Tourism Management, Bremen University of Applied Sciences

1994 – 1999 Executive Assistant (part-time), Interdisciplinary Center for Didactics in Higher Education, University of Hamburg

1994 – 1999 Tour Guide for Academic Travel Tours to India, Dr. Tigges Studienreisen, Hannover (freelance, 3-4 weeks per year)

1988 – 1990 Freelancer, Guide and, before 1990, Student Research Assistant, Hamburg Museum of Ethnology

Nov 1989 MA (first class honours) in Social Anthropology, Modern Indian Languages and Political Science, University of Hamburg;
thesis: Göttinnenverehrung im modernen Indien: Eine Bestandsaufnahme. (goddess worship in modern India)

1987 – 1988 Occasional Student in Social Anthropology at SOAS, University of London

Empirical Research and Fieldwork

2005, 2006 multi-sited fieldwork in North India: Delhi, Benares, Asureshwar, performance analysis (seven weeks in two sequences)

1999 – 2003 ethnographic fieldwork in Orissa, India (16 months in five sequences)

1997, 1998 Taungbyon, Yadana Gu, Myanmar/Burma, performance analysis (four weeks in two sequences)

1990 – 1992 ethnographic fieldwork in West Bengal, India (14 months in two sequences)

1986 Tamil Nadu, India (three months)

Selected publications


[in preparation] Gods on Stage: Contrasting Visions of the Indian Ramlila.

[forthcoming] Promising Rituals: Doing Gender in Southern Orissa (India). Delhi.

1998. Mit irdischem Schaudern und göttlicher FĂŒgung: Bengalische ErzĂ€hler und ihre BildvorfĂŒhrungen. Indus 4. Berlin: Das Arabische Buch.

Edited Volumes

[in preparation] The Magic of Yoga: Conceptualizing Body and Self in Transcultural Perspective. Heidelberg: Springer. [proceedings of an international conference on modern yoga at the Cluster of Excellence „Asia and Europe in a Global Context“, University of Heidelberg, 11 - 12 Dec 2009]

1997. Gestufte StudiengĂ€nge an UniversitĂ€ten. Fakten, Meinungen, Tendenzen. Hamburg: InterdisziplinĂ€res Zentrum fĂŒr Hochschuldidaktik der UniversitĂ€t Hamburg. (edited by Margret BĂŒlow-Schramm under collaboration of Beatrix Hauser)

Selected Articles in Edited Volumes and Journals

[forthcoming] Divine Possession as a Religious Idiom: Considering Female Ritual Practice in Orissa. In: Centres Out There? Facets of Subregional Identities. Ed. by Hermann Kulke and Georg Berkemer.Delhi: Manohar: 423-456.

[forthcoming] Dramatic Changes? The Experience of Religious Play in the Megacity of Delhi. In: Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Religion. Vol. II: Body, Performance, Agency and Experience. Ed. by Axel Michaels et al. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

[forthcoming] Performative Constructions of Female Identity at a Hindu Ritual: Some Thoughts on the Agentive Dimension. In: Representation Matters: (Re)Articulating Collective Identities in a Postcolonial World. Ed. by Anette Hoffmann and Esther Peeren. Thamyris Intersecting: Place, Sex and Race, 19. Amsterdam: Rodopi Press.

[forthcoming] Purity, Beauty and Luxury as Performative Categories in Hindu Rituals and Beyond. In: How Purity is Made. Ed. by Udo Simon and Petra Rösch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

[forthcoming] (Re-) Calling the Goddess: The Emergence of Divine Presence. In: Dialogues with Gods. Trance and Possession in Orissa/Middle India. Ed. by Tina Otten and Uwe Skoda. Berlin: Weißensee.

[forthcoming] Vermitteln der Regel(n): Menstruelle Unreinheit in der performativen Praxis indischer Frauen. In: Reinheit. Ed. by Peter Burschel and Christoph Marx. Wien: Böhlau.

2008. Acting Like God? Ways of Embodying the Divine in Religious Play and Deity Possession. In: Diskus9. Theme Issue: New Perspectives on Spirit Possession. Ed. by Bettina J. Schmidt and Mathew J. Guest. (peer-reviewed online journal: URL:

2008. Dem Spiel ergeben: Zum Entwurf devotionaler Liebe bei der indischen Ramlila. In: Bewegte Erfahrungen. Zwischen EmotionalitĂ€t und Ästhetik. Ed. by Anke Henning, Brigitte Obermayr, Antje Wessels and Marie-Christin Wilm. Berlin: Diaphanes: 201–214.

2008. Die Kunst des Schmeichelns und Ermahnens: Inszenierungs­strategien bengalischer BildvorfĂŒhrer (patuya). In: Bettler, Prostituierte, Paria: Randgruppen in asiatischen Gesellschaften. Ed. by Anja Pistor-Hatam and Antje Richter. Hamburg: EB-Verlag, 47–66.

2008. How to Fast for a Good Husband? On Ritual Imitation and Embodiment in Orissa, India. In: Rituals in an Unstable World: Contigency — Hybridity — Embodiment. Ed. by Alexander Henn and Klaus-Peter Koepping. Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 227–245.

2007. Tribal or Tantric? Reflections on the Classification of Goddesses in Southern Orissa. In: Periphery and Centre: Studies in Orissan History, Religion and Anthropology. Ed. by Georg Pfeffer. Delhi: Manohar, 131–152.

2006. Ästhetik im Transit: Indische Konzeptionen der Ramlila-AuffĂŒhrungs­praxis. In: Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift fĂŒr Historische Anthropologie 15, 2, Theme Issue: Sprachen Ă€sthetischer Erfahrung. Ed. by Gert Mattenklott and Martin Vöhler, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 133–148.

2006. Divine Play or Subversive Comedy? Reflections on Costuming and Gender at a Hindu Festival. In: Celebrating Transgression: Method and Politics in Anthropological Studies of Culture: a Book in Honour of Klaus Peter Köpping. Ed. by Ursula Rao and John Hutnyk. New York: Berghahn, 129–144.

2006. Durch den Körper sehen: Zur PrĂ€senz der Götter bei der indischen Ramlila. In: Auf der Schwelle — Kunst, Risiken und Nebenwirkungen. Ed. by Erika Fischer-Lichte, Robert Sollich, Sandra Umathum and Matthias Warstat. MĂŒnchen: Fink, 143–159.

2006. Periodisch unberĂŒhrbar — zur körperlichen Performanz menstrueller Unreinheit in SĂŒdorissa (Indien). In: Kulturelle VerWandlungen: Die Gestaltung sozialer Welten in der Performanz. Ed. by Ursula Rao. Berlin: Peter Lang, 67–99.

2006. Zur somatischen Erfahrbarkeit von AuffĂŒhrungen. In: Ästhetische Erfahrung: GegenstĂ€nde, Konzepte, Geschichtlichkeit. Ed. by Sonderforschungsbereich 626. Berlin. URL:

2005. Travelling Through the Night: Living Mothers and Divine Daughters at an Orissan Goddess Festival. In: Paideuma: Mitteilungen zur Kulturkunde 51. Theme Issue ‘When Darkness Comes...’: Steps Toward an Anthropology of the Night. Ed. by Burkhard Schnepel and Eyal Ben Ari. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 221–233.

2004. Creating Performative Texts: The Introduction of MaĂĄÂč
ga垷ā PĆ«jā in Southern Orissa. In: Text and Context in the History, Literature and Religion of Orissa. Ed. by Angelika Malinar, Johannes Beltz and Heiko Frese. Delhi: Manohar, 203–238.

2004. Göttliches Gestalten: Zur Besessenheitserfahrung von Frauen in Orissa, Indien. In: Der maximal Fremde: Begegnungen mit dem Nicht-Menschlichen und die Grenzen des Verstehens. Ed. by Michael Schetsche. GrenzĂŒberschreitungen 3. WĂŒrzburg: Ergon, 139–160.

2002. From Oral Tradition to „Folk Art“: Reevaluating Bengali Scroll Paintings. In: Asian Folklore Studies 61: 105–122. URL: publications/afs/pdf/a1414.pdf.

2000. Tanzen, Trinken, Transvestiten: Überlegungen zur Gestaltung und IntentionalitĂ€t von Ritualen am Beispiel der Nat-Verehrung in Myanmar (Burma). In: Im Rausch des Rituals. Gestaltung und Transformation der Wirklichkeit in körperlicher Performanz. Ed. by Klaus-Peter Köpping and Ursula Rao. Hamburg: Lit-Verlag, 138–155

Selected Further Publications (Reviews, Commentaries, Encyclopedia Entries, et cetera)

[forthcoming] Masks of the Goddess. In: Imaging Orissa. Ed. by Hermann Kulke et al. Delhi: Prafulla Publications.

[forthcoming] Ramlila. In: Imaging Orissa. Ed. by Hermann Kulke et al. Delhi: Prafulla Publications.

[forthcoming] Thakurani Yatra. In: Imaging Orissa. Ed. by Hermann Kulke et al. Delhi: Prafulla Publications.

[forthcoming] Women as Ritual Specialists. In: Imaging Orissa. Ed. by Hermann Kulke et al. Delhi: Prafulla Publications.

2009. Buchbesprechung von: Masahiko Togawa: An Abode of the Goddess. Kingship, Caste and Sacrificial Organization in a Bengal Village. New Delhi: Manohar. In: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 104 (6): 710–711.

2009. Book Review of: Jens Kreinath, Jan Snoek, Michael Stausberg (Eds): Theorizing Rituals: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts. Leiden: Brill 2006; and of: Jens Kreinath, Jan Snoek, Michael Stausberg: Theorizing Rituals: Annotated Bibliography of Ritual Theory, 1966–2005. Leiden: Brill 2007. In: Social Anthropology, Vol. 17 (1): 132–134.

2008. Book Review of: Frederick M. Smith: The Self Possessed: Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature and Civilization. New York: Columbia University Press 2006. In: Social Anthropology, Vol. 16 (3): 380–382.

2008. Buchbesprechung von: Elisabeth Schömbucher: Wo Götter durch Menschen sprechen. Besessenheit in Indien. Berlin: Reimer 2006. In: Zeitschrift fĂŒr Ethnologie, 133 (1): 188–189.

2008. Ramlila im Großformat: Zum Ritualtheater im Kontext einer indischen Mega-stadt. In: Journal Ethnologie 6/2008; URL:ßformat/index.phtml.

2006. Book Review of: Albrecht Frenz and Krishna Kumar Marar: Wall Paintings in North Kerala. 1000 Years of Temple Art. Stuttgart: Arnoldsche 2004. In: Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 65: 123–125.

2005. Book Review of: Christopher Pinney und Nicholas Thomas (Eds): Beyond Aesthetics. Art and the Technologies of Enchantment. Oxford: Berg 2001. In: Social Anthropology, Vol. 13 (3): 360–361.

2004. Commentary on: Asymptote of the Ineffable. Embodiment, Alterity, and the Theory of Religion (Thomas J. Csordas). In: Current Anthropology 45 (2): 163–185.

1997. Inder/Inderinnen. In: Kleines Lexikon der ethnischen Minderheiten in Deutschland. Ed. by Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen and Georg Hansen. MĂŒnchen: Beck, 66–69.