Philipp Blom was born in 1970 in Hamburg and grew up in Detmold, in Germany. After university studies in Vienna and Oxford, he obtained a PhD in Modern History. He started writing at Oxford and published a novel as well as occasional journalism. After university, he worked in London as an editor, translator, writer and freelance journalist, contributing to newspapers, magazines and radio programmes in Great Britain, the US, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Netherlands (Buitenhof, FilosofischKwintet).
A recent book by Blom is titled ‘Was auf dem Spiel steht’ (What is at stake). In ‘What is at stake’, Philipp Blom analyses the contemporary historical turning point using clarifying parallels with other historical landslides, such as the fall of the Roman Empire, the Enlightenment and the German Weimar Republic. The result is a passionate plea full of strong images and sharply worded insights, a must-read for everybody concerned about the future of our ideals concerning freedom, tolerance, the climate, employment, democracy and human rights.
Birgit Meyer (PhD anthropology, 1995) is professor of Religious Studies at Utrecht University. She has conducted anthropological and historical research on missions and local appropriations of Christianity, Pentecostalism, popular culture and video-films in Ghana. More recently, she started to work on the shifting role and place of Christianity in the midst of religious plurality in European societies.
Her research is driven by an urge to make sense of the multiple manifestations of religion in our time from a material perspective, and to show that scholarly work in the field of religion is of eminent concern to understanding the shape of our world in the early 21st century. In so doing, she seeks to synthesize grounded fieldwork and theoretical reflection in a broad multidisciplinary setting. Her main research foci are the rise and popularity of global Pentecostalism; religion, popular culture and heritage; religion and media; religion and the public sphere; religious visual culture; the senses and aesthetics; and religious plurality. Thanks to the Academy-professor-prize of the KNAW and the Spinoza prize of NWO she could set up the research program Religious Matters in an Entangled World (www.religiousmatters.nl).
About the lecture
Scholars in the social and cultural sciences face complicated transformations with regard to infrastructures of knowledge production and distribution, normative issues, and societal challenges. How to position ourselves in this transforming field? What are the dangers and pitfalls, and what are new possibilities arising? What are our visions for the future of our academic work? How can we contribute to understanding the complexities of our globalized and entangled world?
Sally Wyatt originally studied economics at McGill University, Canada and Sussex University, England. She received her PhD in science and technology studies from Maastricht University in 1998. She has worked at the Universities of Sussex, Brighton, East London and Amsterdam as well as at the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). She was Programme Leader of the KNAW e-Humanities Group. She is now Professor of Digital Cultures at FASoS, Maastricht University, and one of the coordinators of the VSNU’s Digital Society initiative.
Wyatt has worked on the social aspects of digital technologies for many years. She is particularly interested in the internet and social exclusion and the ways in which people incorporate the internet into their practices for finding health information. She has acted as an adviser to the European Commission’s Science in Society programme as well as to several European research councils interested in establishing and/or evaluating social science research about new information and communication technologies.
Februari studied law, philosophy and history of art at Utrecht University. His first novel (De zonen van het uitzicht), for which he received the Multatuli Prize, was published in 1989. Februari's next novel The Book Club (Dutch: De literaire kring) was published in 2007. He wrote columns for two leading Dutch newspapers, de Volkskrant and NRC Handelsblad. Februari published a highly original dissertation at Tilburg University in 2000. This book (Een pruik van paardenhaar & Over het lezen van een boek, Amartya Sen en de Onmogelijkheid van de Paretiaanse liberaal) was a combination of a scientific book and a novel, both on economics and on ethics. In 2008, Februari received the Frans Kellendonk Prize, a Dutch literary award. Februari is a member of the Advisory Council for Bits of Freedom, an independent Dutch foundation that defends citizens’ digital rights. His most recent novel (2017) is ‘Klont’ (Lump), a story about being a human in a data-driven world.
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