Priv.-Doz. Dr. Lidia Guzy
Anthropologist / Sociologist of Religions
South Asia Expert
Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Religionswissenschaft / Institute for Scientific Studies of Religions
Gossler Str. 2-4
Tel : 0049(0)30-838 52825
Fax: 0049(0)30-838 52820
email I: lidiaguzy (at) gmx.net
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My “Habilitation”, with my work “Marginalised Music - Music, Religion and Politics from the Bora Sambar region of western Orissa / India”, presents the results of my anthropological documentation of hitherto unknown traditions of sacred music performed by marginalised musicians and priest-musicians of the Bora Sambar region of western Orissa. The work is based on more then 30 months of ethnographic research in rural regions of western Orissa, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council) and by the VolkswagenStiftung (Volkswagen Foundation) in the years 2002-2009. My study shows a culturally unique entanglement between religion, music, culture, performances and politics. Sacred music is analysed as an indigenous theology, thus as a crucial medium of religion and culture.
'From Imperial Museum to Communication Center. Museum as Interface Between Science and non-Western Societies'
Granted by the VolkswagenStiftung (Volkswagen Foundation)
This project dealt with the new role of museums in non-Western cultures. We maintained that globalisation has enormously enhanced the artistic and cultural expressions of non-Western societies in the direction of "re-traditionalisation" and empowerment of subaltern indigenous groups in North America, the Arab World and India.
The project was a socio-anthropological analysis of the interrelationship between local music and dance traditions, prevailing social structures and local beliefs and value systems. Research was based upon ethnographic studies in both urban and rural settings of western Orissa and investigates the orchestral music of the ‘untouchable’ Ganda musicians as well as the music of local non-Brahmin funeral priests.
On an empirical basis, the dissertation investigated the structure and spread of a new ascetic religion in India. The work explicitly studied general processes of religious institutionalization, conversion and social change. The indicator of social change was seen here – in Max Webers’ terms – as the rise of an ascetic ethic. The originality of the study lies in its ethnographic diversity. Based upon thirteen months ethnographic fieldwork, the study was undertaken among Mahima Dharma ascetics and tribal converts. In the last decade, proselytizing ascetics spread the new religion among the indigenous population of eastern India, where the percentage of the new Mahima Dharma converts is now assessed to be about ten percent of the local population. However, in a tribal context professional ascetics are rare, appearing once a year to initiate new devotees. The new teachings have become ever more popular due to the vocal rituals of ecstatic female shamans, who are the local ritual specialists of the new religion.
A twofold character of the religion could be depicted: male ascetics represented the institutionalization and centralization processes of the religion, mostly marked by the importance of the scripture. In tribal context the ecstatic vocal rituals of female shamans expressed the autonomy of the local oral culture. The analysis of the oral material of the shamans’ poetic songs portrayed the autonomy and creativity of oral cultures, which through vocal expressions cope with a changing world.
Berlin 23 – 26 September 2009: Conference From Imperial Museum to Communication Center?, organised together with Susan Kamel and Rainer Hatoum (sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation).
Jagdalpur, 2-3/02/2009: International Workshop on"Indigenous Theories and and Local Narratives in India", organised jointly with the Anthropological Survey of India (sponsored by Freie Universität & Anthropological Survey of India)
Berlin 16-18/10/2008 International workshop "Indigenous Theories and Religions in India", at the Institute for Scientific Studies of Religions, Freie Universität Berlin (funded by Freie Universität Berlin) .
Berlin 24–26/09/2007 With Dr Rajah Scheepers and Anja Mihr: Conference on Career Planning and Perspecitves of Postdocs
Wohin mit uns? Science Fiction – oder zwischen Bricolage und Struktur: die WissenschaftlerInnen der Zukunft, sponsored by VolkswagenStiftung (Volkswagen Foundation) http://www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/VWPostDocKonferenz
Berlin, 5 -7/05/2006 Workshop "Religion and Music" (Granted by the DFG, German Research Council)
Abstract (Download MS-Word-Format)
Poster (Download Adobe-PDF-Format)
Berlin, 28/06/2002 With Hildegard Piegeler: Conception and organization of the one-day conference "Local Asceticisms - A Comparative Perspective" ("Askese - Entsagung und Disziplinierung. Lokale Traditionen im Vergleich") at the Institute of Religious Sciences, FU Berlin.
Bhubaneshwar 22-23/02/2002 With Dr. Johannes Beltz: Conception and organisation of the international conference "Mahima Dharma Reconsidered. New Research Perspectives on Popular Asceticism in Orissa" at the Utkal University in Bhubaneshwar, India
Berlin, 14/12/2001 With Dr Hansjörg Dilger and Dr Nadine Sieveking: organization of the one-day symposium "One Ethnologic Day of Polyphony" ("Ein Tag der Polyphonen Ethnologie - Junge EthnologInnen diskutieren") at the Museum for Ethnology.
Berlin, 02/ 07/1999 With Dr. Katharina Poggendorf-Kakar: Conception and organization of the one-day conference "Female Religiosity and Cultural Change" ("Weibliche Religiositaet im heutigen Indien: Tradition im Wandel") at the Institute for Religious Sciences (Institut für Religionswissenschaft, FU Berlin )
Bi-national Ph.D. (July 2002) in Ethnology/Social Anthropology, Freie Universitaet Berlin and simultaneously at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (these en co-tutelle).
Binational M.A. (August 1998) in Ethnology/Social Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin (Magistra Artium) and in Anthropologie Sociale at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (Diplome de l`Ecole).
Courses in 2005 and 2006: "Tribal Religions" and "Sociology of Religion", "Ascetic Traditions in India" and "Theories of the Ritual" for undergraduate and graduate students
Summer 2005 Lecturer at the Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Indology and Comparative Studies of Religion, Department of Indology. Workshop (28.04.2005 and 10/11.06.2005) Music and Theology in Eastern India ("Musik und Theologie im östlichen Indien".)
Summer 2004 Lecturer at the Institute for Ethnology (Free University Berlin) and at the Institute for Religious Studies (Free University Berlin). Designed and taught Music and Society in East India (Institute for Ethnology) and Ritual, Music, Ecstasy (at the Institute for Religious Studies) for undergraduates and graduates, a survey of the anthropology of sound as well as music traditions in eastern India and a survey of performance and ritual studies in the anthropology of religion, with emphasis on the artistic and musical aspects of religious practice.
Summer 2002 Lecturer at the Institute for Religious Studies (Free University Berlin): designed and taught Indigenous Worlds for undergraduates as well as graduates, a survey of indigenous religions and methodological and theoretical approaches to the anthropology of religion.
Summer 2000 Lecturer at the Institute for Religious Studies (Free University Berlin): designed and taught Tribal Religions II for undergraduates as well as graduates, a survey of classical anthropological literature in the anthropology of religion.
Summer 1999 Lecturer Role at the Institute for Ethnology (Free University Berlin) and at the Institute for Religious Studies (Free University Berlin). Designed and taught Religious Reform Movements in India (Institute for Ethnology) and Introduction to Tribal Religions (Institute for Religious Studies) for undergraduates and graduates, with emphasis on the social and historical context of religious movements and the culture bound character of religions.
Polish fluent (native speaker), German fluent, English fluent, French fluent, Oriya spoken, Spanish basic.
Timphu 01/06/2011: The Sacred Mountans of Gandha Mardhan, at the 4th SSEASR Conference, Thimphu, Kingdom of Bhutan
Delhi 9 /12/ 2010: Empowerment for the Marginalized through Museums, Demusealisation and Indigenous Documentation, at the international Conference: The Politics of Ethnicity on the Margins of the State: Janjatis/adivasis in India and Nepal, jointly organized by the French Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi, the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) New Delhi; French National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris; Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris.
Sambalpur 26/11/2010 Sustainable documentation – A case study of challenges and perspectives in establishing sound archives, at the international conference Revisiting Research Methods in Social Science, Sambalpur University, Orissa, India.
Shimla/Delhi 14/09/2010 Marginalised Music. A Case study from western Orissa/India, at der CHOTRO III Konferenz Local Knowledges and Global Translations. The Imagination and the Images of Indigenous Communities in the Twenty-First Century, organisiert durch Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS) und Bhasha Research & Publication Centre, Vadodara (Indien)
Toronto 20 August 2010: Ethnography of Religion and Music. A Case study from western Orissa/India, paper to be presented at the XXth IAHR Quinquennial World Congress Religion a Humane Phenomenon in Toronto.
Aarhus 17/06/2010: Indian ethnological museums as agents of inclusion and exclusion, at the international workshop Social In- and Exclusion in Contemporary India and Beyond at CISCA (Contemporary India Study Centre), Aarhus University.
Kunming 27/07/2009: Anthropology of Ethnographic Museums and Cultural Research, at the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) 16th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.
Kunming 30/July/2009: Transfer of knowledge through music and dance – Socialisation and the Girl Child in the Dalkai dance of Western Orissa; at the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) 16th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.
Köln 11/06/2009: Medial Transformations. On Music, Embodiment and Politics in Western Orissa. Vortrag auf der Konferenz „Trance Media and New Media“, Universität Köln.
Toulouse 30/04/2008: "Le nouveau movement muséologique en Inde et le Musée d`Humanité à Bhopal". Laboratoire d`Anthropologie Social, CNRS, l`EHESS, l`Université de Toulouse le Mirail.
Berlin 22/06/2007: Religious rituals in transcultural comparison (orig. in German „Religiöse Rituale im transkulturellen Vergleich“ at the DAI Berlin Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archeological Institute).
Toulouse 13/06/2007: The sounds of the goddess. A Ethno-musicological perspective on the music of Untouchables in Orissa (orig. in French „Les bruits de la déesse. Une approche ethno-musiquologique de la musique des Intouchables en Orissa. Centre d`Anthropologie Social, CNRS, l`EHESS , l`Université de Toulouse le Mirail
Leiden 29 June 2006: “Performing the power of the Goddess” at ECMSAS (European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies) 2006, 27-30th June 2006 at Panel 7 animated by Convenors Lidia Guzy and Uwe Skoda.
Leiden 27 June 2006: “From priests of the Goddess to Ascetics - or Polyculture versus the Emergence of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in Mahima Dharma in Orissa / Eastern India. ECMSAS 2006 27-30 Panel 2 animated by Gwylim Becckerlegge
Toulouse 13 mars 2006: “ Sur la discipline et la poésie : une tradition ascétique dans l`Inde hindou et tribale: le Mahima Dharma en Orissa”, presentation held within the INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP CENTRES AND PERIPHERIES IN INDIAN CIVILIZATION, organized by Marine CARRIN et Harald TAMBS-LYCHE, Centre d'Anthropologie.
Sambalpur 10 Mars 2006: “Music and Gender-Some Examples from Western Orissa” organized by the Home Science Department, Sambalpur University, India.
New Delhi 27. Febr. – 1. March 2006: “Music and dance as marker of identity, cultural plurality and regional movements. Some observations on traditional forms and recent transformations of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Western Orissa” presented at the International Conference ‘Identity, Cultural Pluralism and State. Celebrating Dialogue and Diversity’ organized by the Anthropological Survey of India and by the Government of India.
Sambalpur 17. – 19.12. 2004: "Listening Together versus Playing Alone: The Tribal Pattern in the Music" presented at the International Conference "Tribal Society in India and Beyond", organized jointly by the Department of Anthropology, Sambalpur University (India) and Institute for Ethnology/Social Anthropology, Free University (Germany), sponsored by the DFG.
Sambalpur 21. – 22. 02.2004: "The Boil Tradition in the Bora Sombar Region. Music, Possession and Healing" during the Orissa Research Programme Conference "Dialogues with Gods: Possession and Trance in Middle Indian Ritual Performances with special reference to Bali Yatra", organized jointly by the Department of Anthropology, Sambalpur University (India) and Institute for Ethnology/Social Anthropology, Free University (Germany) and the DFG, sponsored by the DFG.
26. – 30. Sep 2004 "The music systems of Western Orissa", presentation of research results of the current ethnomusicological research at the Internal Conference of the Orissa Research Programme in Civita Castellana/Italy.
11. – 12. Sept. 2004 Convener of panel nr. 52 "Music and Dance as Intercultural "Face-to-Face" Communication", together with Jean-Marc de Grave at the 8th Biennial EASA Conference in Vienna.
Salzau 13. – 17.05.2003: "Dulduli – The Music which touches your Heart and the Re-Enactment of Culture" during the Annual Conference of the Orissa Research Programme, sponsored by the DFG.
Heidelberg 09. – 14.09.2002: "Sacred Narratives and Negative Ecstasy" und "Babas and Alekhs – the Asceticism and Ecstasy of a New Religion in its Making" during the 17th European Modern South Asian Studies Conference.
Salzau 14. – 18.05.2002: "Babas and Alekhs – or the Change of Temporality" during the Annual Conference of the Orissa Research Programme, sponsored by the DFG.
Bhubaneshwar/Utkal University 23. – 24.02.2002: "Babas and Alekhs – A New Religion in Its Making" within the International Conference "Mahima Dharma Reconsidered: New Research Perspectives on Popular Asceticism in Orissa", sponsored by the DFG.
Salzau 22. – 27.05.2001: "Voices of Gods. Ecstatic Alekhs and Local Configurations of Mahima Dharma", at the Annual Conference of the Orissa Research Programme, sponsored by the DFG.
Edinburgh 05. – 09.09.2000: "On the Road with the Babas. Some first Insights" and "The Orissa Research Project in the Context of Studies on South Asia" during the 16th European Modern South Asian Studies Conference.
Salzau 09. – 13.05. 2000: "On the Road with the Babas. Some first Insights", Internal The Annual Conference of the Orissa Research Programme, sponsored by the German Research Council (DFG).
Salzau 26. – 29.05.1999: "Askese und Antibrahmanismus: Ethnographie der rezenten Mahima-Dharma Bewegung" (Asceticism and Antibrahmanism: Ethnography of the new religious movement Mahima Dharma), first Internal Conference of the German Research Council (DFG) for the Orissa Research Programme, sponsored by the DFG.
Zürich 14. Mai 2009 "On Instruments and their Voices" (orig. German Von Instrumenten und Ihren Stimmen), at the Ethnological Museum / Völkerkundemuseum Universität Zürich.
31.12. 2005 “Music for the Dead and for the Living”, at the Museum for Cultures, Basel, Switzerland.
19.06.2005 "Music as Morals - The relationship between sound, rhythm and the theology of the Goddess" (orig. in German: "Musik als Moral - Zum Verhältnis von Klang, Rhythmus und der Theologie der Göttin") at the Museum for Ethnology in Leipzig.
19.04.2005 "The Sound and the Goddess - About the value system of the Goddess" (orig. in German "Der Klang und die Göttin. Zum Wertesystem der Göttin“, South Asia Colloquy,, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Institute for Ethnology.
15.02.2005 "Music and theology in Western Orissa" (orig. in German: "Musik und Theologie im westlichen Orissa"), at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Indology und Comparative Studies of Religions. Department of Indology.
04.05.2004 "Music as Cultural Language. Examples from Western Orissa" (orig. in German "Musik als kulturelle Sprache. Beispiele aus dem Westlichen Orissa"), at the South Asia-Colloquy, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Institute for Ethnology.
12.02.2004 "Incest and Initiation from the socio-anthropological perspective" (orig. in German: "Inzest und Initiation aus ethnologischer Perspektive") at the Seminar "Initiation and Addiction" ("Initiation und Sucht") (LV 12145) at the Freie Universitaet Berlin.
27.05.2003 "Asceticism and Ecstasy in a contemporary religious movement"(orig. in French "Ascèse et extase dans un mouvement religieux indien contemporain: le Mahima Dharma, Orissa") at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.
15.07.2002 "God's Singers in Indian Indigenous Areas" (orig. in German "Gottessängerinnen im indischen Stammesgebiet"), presented for the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory.
28.06.2002 "Asceticism and Ecstasy of a New Religion" (orig. in German "Askese und Ekstase einer neuen indischen Religion im Werden"), presented at the Institute for Religious Studies, Berlin.
08.05.2002 "Babas and Alekhs – Asceticism and Ecstasy. The Making of a Religion" (orig. in German "Babas und Alekhs – oder Askese und Ekstase einer Religion im Werden"), at the Karls-Ruprecht Universität/Heidelberg, Department for Religious Studies, invitation by Dr. V. Krech.
07.06.2002 "Singers of the Divine - local ascetic traditions" (orig. in German "Saengerinnen des Heiligen – lokale Askesetraditionen im sog. Stammesgebiet Indiens/Orissa"), at the Humboldt University Berlin, Study Circle Religion and Modernity; invitation by Dr. G. Hüwelmeier; Dr. A.M. Gross.
14.12.2001 "Polyphony as Knowledge" (orig. in German "Polyphonie als Erkenntnis"), at the Ethnological Museum for Ethnology in Berlin.
07.11.2001 "The Culture of the Study of Culture from an anthropological perspective" (orig. in German "Die Kultur der Kulturerforschung aus der Sicht der Ethnologie"), at the Alice Salomon Fachhochschule für Sozialarbeit, Berlin, University of Applied Social Sciences; Invitation by Dr. H. Kleve, Prof. G. Koch und M. Müller.
2010 From Imperial Museum to Communication Center. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann (together with Rainer Hatoum and Susan Kamel)
Voices From the Periphery. Subalternity and Empowerment in India. Delhi: Roultledge India (together with Marine Carrin)
Articles in Journals
Articles in books
2009 Displaying Diversity. In: Lidia Guzy / Rainer Hatoum / Susan Kamel / Patrik Metzger. Museum Island. On the New Role of Museums. Berlin: Panama Verlag, 78-135.
2009Cultural Plurality and Regional Movements: Music and Dance as Markers of Identity. In: N.K. Das / V.R. Rao, Identity, Cultural Pluralism and State. Delhi: Macmillon India: 440-455.
2009 Wo Leidenschaft zum Erfolg wird – Nischenfächer mit Potenzial. In: Lidia Guzy / Anja Mihr / Rajah Scheepers (Hrsg.). Wohin mit uns? Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler der Zukunft. Frankfurt / M. / Wien: Peter Lang Verlag: 49-54.
Dulduli – the Music which "touches your heart" and the Re-Enactment of Culture. In: G. Berkemer, H. Kulke (eds.), Centres out There? Facets of Subregional Identities, Delhi: Manohar. (2008x_LGuzy_Dulduli.pdf)
Non Brahmin Priests - Music and Death in Western Orissa. In H. v. Stietencron/H. Kulke/G. Pfeffer, Orissa: Profiles of an Indian Region. New Delhi: Manohar.
Music, Musicians and Non Brahmin priests in Western Orissa. In D.K. Behera/G. Pfeffer, Tribal Studies VII. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Press.
Boil rituals in Western Orissa - On goddess spirit possession, music and healing in Indian religiosity. In: Tina Otten and Uwe Skoda (eds.), Dialogues with Gods: Possession and Trance in Middle Indian Ritual Performances with special reference to Bali Yatra.
2005 Alexander Henn 2000. Wachheit der Wesen. Politik, Ritual und Kunst der Akkulturation in Goa. Berlin: LIT Verlag. In Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 346-348.
2004 b Rezension zu Susanne Lanwerds Religionsästhetik. Studien zum Verhältnis von Symbol und Sinnlichkeit. In: Paidemia 296-297.
2001 Rezension zu Mensen SVD, B. (Hg.), Die Weltreligionen zur Zukunft – Tendenzen und Entwürfe. Akademie Völker und Kulturen St. Augustin. In: TRIBUS Band 50, 180-181.
Lidia Guzy on "Homosexuality and Hinduism" (radio broadcasting) at Kulturradio RBB, 21 Oct. 2007.
Lidia Guzy on "Hinduism in Berlin" in "God and the world" (radio broadcasting) at Kulturradio RBB, 5 Febr. 2006, 9:00 to 9:30.
Seebode, Jochen; Guzy, Lidia; Leers, Gesine von - Topic: Salvation through witches? (Discussion on religion and religiosity in comparative perspective) TV broadcasting at Offener Kanal Berlin (2002), 17.8. 2002, 20.00 - 21.00.