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International Summer School 2018: Contemporary Society and Religion: Conversion of Multiple Religions

International Summer School 2018: Contemporary Society and Religion: Conversion of Multiple Religions

Martin Lavicka10 Apr 2018Leave a comment

International Summer School: Contemporary Society and Religion: Conversion of Multiple Religions

Date: June 11-15, 2018

Venue: Křížkovského 14, Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic

Organizers: Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic

Tuition fee: free of charge

Registration deadline: May 15, 2018

Language: English

Registration form

Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic, would like to invite you to its international summer school, titled: Contemporary Society and Religion: Conversion of Multiple Religions”. The aim of this one-week summer school is to introduce students to both history and the current state of religion in East and Southeast Asia.


  • 16 sessions/lectures (90 minutes each)
  • Wednesday afternoon guided city tour
  • Optional Saturday field trip (to be specified)
  • The program can be downloaded here

Lectures by honored guests (in alphabetical order):

Barendregt, Bart is an associate professor at the Leiden Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Sociology, where he lectures on media, popular and digital culture. Within the framework of the Critical Approaches to New Asian Media Ecologies (CANAME) Project, he currently scrutinizes Islamic ideas of the information society, halal software, and the appropriation of digital technology in an overtly religious context. Bart’s other research focusses on Islam, music, and heritage (an ARC Discovery project Revitalising the Musical Arts of Indonesia’s Lampung Province, with Monash University, Melbourne, and ISI Yogyakarta), but he also has a keen interest in the potential of the sound archive, and its possible role in rewriting (Dutch) colonial histories. Bart has extensively written on social media use in Southeast Asia, as well as Islamic pop culture and is co-author of Banal Beats, Muted Histories; Popular Music in Southeast Asia (Amsterdam University Press, 2017) and co-editor (with Andrew Weintraub) of Vamping the Stage Voices of Asian Modernities (University of Hawai`i Press, 2017). Together with  Dr. Ariel Heryanto (Australian National University) Bart is editor of Southeast Asia Mediated, a series that is published by Brill Publishers. He is currently finishing his monograph on what is the world’s most popular, commercial and gendered of Islamist music, nasheed and its mixing of religion, youth culture and politics that has become so popular among Malaysian and Indonesian student-activists.

  • Social media in Muslim Southeast Asia: Islamic Fashion Bloggers and Online Saints
  • Preaching Among the Stars, Muslim SE Asian Halal Edutainment in an era of Reality TV
  • Princes Siti and the Particularities of Post Islamist Pop

Bourdeaux, Pascal, Associate Professor at the École pratique des hautes études (Paris) is teaching Religions in Southeast Asia and member of the research center « Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités » (UMR 8582 EPHE-CNRS). His main topics concern contemporary religions in Viêt Nam, the history of religious sciences in South-East Asia and the study of the riverine civilization of the Mekong Delta. He was posted to Viêt Nam as representative of the École française d’Extrême-Orient in Hô Chi Minh City (2012-2015) to initiate the research program entitled “Understanding the culture and environment of southern Vietnam: historical perspectives, contemporary approaches”. He recently published with Olivier Tessier a trilingual annotated edition of the Lục Vân Tiên poem (École française d’Extrême-Orient, 2 volumes, April 2016) and with Jammes Jérémy, Chrétiens évangéliques d’Asie du Sud-Est. Expériences locales d’une ferveur conquérante (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, coll. « Sciences des religions », September 2016).

  • Religious Sciences and Vietnamese religions: an Epistemological Approach
  • Considering the Religious Plurality in Vietnam and ASEAN
  • An Introduction to the History of Protestantism in Vietnam: Comments on a Letter Written by Hô Chi Minh to a French Pastor (September 1921)

Jákl, Jiří, is a researcher affiliated to the Palacký University, Olomouc. Jiří has studied Old Javanese at Leiden University, and in 2014 has obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, for his work on warfare in pre-colonial Southeast Asia and its representations in Old Javanese and modern Balinese literatures. During his sojourn as a Gonda Fellow at the KITLV in Leiden in 2017, Jiří has finalized his first monograph, a study on alcohol and its multiple uses in pre-Islamic Java (c. 800 – 1500 CE), to be published soon by the Brill. Jiří is interested in the social, religious, and medical history of the Indo-Malay world. Currently, he is working on a vast, but the little-known corpus of Old Javanese medical literature. His research interests include modern Balinese religion, Buddhist medicine in Southeast Asia, and esoteric (‘Tantric’) Buddhism in the Indo-Malay world.

  • Imposing Old Javanese Syllabary (svaravyañjana) on the Patient’s body: Tantric healing practice in modern Hindu Bali

Kubovčáková, Zuzana, began her studies in Bratislava, Slovakia. Before fully completing the curriculum, she spent a study-year at the Ōsaka University of Foreign Studies, from where she continued to London to study an M.A. programme in Japanese Religions at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Both in Ōsaka and London, dr. Kubovčáková studied the earliest history of Zen schools in Japan, as well as interconnection of Rinzai School with ruling samurai class. After completing her M.A. studies, dr. Kubovčáková continued with a Ph.D. at Department for the Study of Religions at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. She graduated in 2012 with a thesis on the earliest development of Shintō called Politicization of Kami and Emergence of Narrative Ideology in Ancient Japan: Earliest worship of Japanese deities and their Reflection in the Chronicles. In her research, dr. Kubovčáková concentrates on general Buddhist thought, earliest Japanese religious history, and Japanese Buddhism. More specifically, her research topics deal with Dōgen studies, Sōtō School, Japanese Buddhist art, architecture, iconography, and liturgy. In relation to her professional interest, dr. Kubovčáková has participated in a number of calligraphy seminars led by Japanese artist and calligrapher Kazuaki Tanahashi, as well as in numerous retreats in Zen centers in America and Europe.

  • Buddhism in the 21st Century
  • Japanese Buddhism
  • Zen East and West: Through Space and Time

Loy, Thomas, is since July 2009 a scientific member of staff at the Central Asian Seminar of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (Germany). In 2003 he obtained an M.A. degree in Central Asian Studies at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. From 2004–2008 Thomas worked as a researcher in an Oral History Project on “Bukharan Jews”– cooperation of Humboldt Universität and Tel Aviv University funded by the German Israeli Foundation (GIF). In July 2012, he defended his dissertation on “Cross-border Biographies: Bukharan Jewish Autobiographical Narrations & the Soviet Experience” (Published in 2016 – Reichert Verlag; Title: “Bukharan Jews in the Soviet Union. Autobiographical Narrations of Mobility, Continuity and Change”). In 2015 he became a co-founder of edition-tethys publishing ( His research interests include Oral History, Mobility, Migration, and Memory in Central Asia and Afghanistan, Tajik/Dari language and literature, Jewish history in Central Asia.

  • The Jews of Central Asian and the Russian Empire
  • The Jews of Central Asia and the Soviet Union

McCargo, Duncan, holds a shared appointment as professor of political science at the University of Leeds and Columbia University, teaching alternate semesters in Yorkshire and New York. He has published ten books on Asian politics, including the best-selling The Thaksinization of Thailand (with Ukrist Pathmanand, NIAS 2005) and the award-winning Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell 2008). McCargo spent the 2015-16 academic year as a resident scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

  • Religion and Insurgency in Southeast Asia
  • The Troubled Politics of Thai Buddhism

Vávra, Dušan, is the head of the Center for Chinese Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno. He has received his Ph.D. degree at the Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, where he defended his Ph.D. thesis on the topic of Xuanxue (“the Learning of the Dark”) of the 3rd to 4th Centuries. His research and teaching interests include Chinese religions; Chinese philosophy; Daoism; textuality in early China, on the topic of which he has published numerous publications.

  • Religion in Context of Chinese Modernization
  • Traditionalism in Modern China

How to apply:

Please fill in the registration form no later than May 15, 2018. Selected participants will be informed by May 31, 2018.


This summer school is accredited by the Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts Palacký University Olomouc and students can receive four credits for successful participation. However, these credits are not ECTS Credits. Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however, please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Tuition fee:

Tuition for the whole week is free of charge. Participants will, however, need to cover all their personal costs, including transportation, accommodation, visa, trips etc.

Travel expenses and accommodation:

We are not able to cover your accommodation and travel expenses. However, we can assist you by providing a list of recommended accommodation in various price categories.

Recommended budget accommodation in Olomouc:

  1. Ubytovna Marie (approx. 11 EUR) –
  2. Poet’s Corner Hostel (approx. 12-27 EUR) –
  3. Long Story Short Hostel (from 15 EUR) –
  4. Palacký University Dormitory  (approx.10 EUR) – Link

More information about accommodation and traveling to Olomouc can be found here.

About Palacký University and Olomouc

Palacký University Olomouc is the second oldest university in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest in Central Europe. Drawing on more than 400-year tradition of higher education it is nowadays a renowned center for teaching and research.

Olomouc is the capital of the region of Central Moravia and belongs to the oldest cities in the Czech Republic. The city dates back to the ninth century when it was a power center of the Great Moravian Kingdom, the oldest Slavonic state. The Holy Trinity Column on the town square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today Olomouc has above 100,000 inhabitants and the second largest urban historic preservation area after Prague. Its long history makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the Czech Republic.

For more information about the summer school and for other inquiries, please contact Dr. Mária Strašáková, e-mail:

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