Prof. Dr. Adrian Hermann


Forum Internationale Wissenschaft
Department for Religion Studies
Heussallee 18–24
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 62976 

Adrian Hermann
© Adrian Hermann

Academic Profile

As explored by F. Declich and M. Rodet in their recent article "African Slavery in Documentary Films" (2020), the historical investigation of transatlantic slavery through the medium of documentary film has become an important aspect of slavery studies over the last decade. But even more generally, one could say that throughout its history the documentary film has been an important medium of the exploration and documentation of relations of asymmetric dependency. An engagement with this history and with contemporary films that continue this legacy promises important contributions to our research perspectives at the BCDSS.

Documentary films are valuable as a tool of public history, but they can also serve to convey embodied knowledge and sensory experience and thus help us investigate, as ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall has stressed, the "social aesthetics" of particular circumstances. They enable a sensory ethnography beyond the text that explores social relations in light of aisthetic hierarchies and somatic experiences. The film A Woman Captured (Egy nő fogságban, Hungary 2017, 89 min.), for example, tells the story of Marish, a woman who for ten years has worked in a Hungarian family in what the filmmaker describes as "modern day slavery." It paints a haunting portrait of the scars that a decade lived in dependency inscribes on a person’s body and face. I hope that in the next couple of years I can investigate documentary film as a valuable research instrument for dependency studies. In addition, the BCDSS could explore this aspect by screening and discussing particularly relevant films among scholars and with the wider public.

Graduation as Dr. phil., University of Basel, Switzerland

PhD student in the DFG Research Training Group "Weltgesellschaft: Zur Herstellung und Repräsentation von Globalität" [World Society: On the Production and  Representation of Globality], University of Bielefeld, Germany

Undergraduate and graduate studies in Theater Studies, Religious Studies and North American Literature, University of Munich, Germany

since 2017
Professor for Religion and Society, University of Bonn, Germany

Assistant Professor for Religious Studies and World Christianity, University of Hamburg, Germany

Research Associate, University of Munich (LMU), Germany

Postdoctoral Scholarship of the Swiss National Science Foundation, University of Utrecht and University of Stanford, USA

Postdoctoral Scholarship of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation

Postdoctoral Fellow in Religious Studies at University of Basel, Switzerland

German Research Foundation (3 year Research Project)

Swiss National Science Foundation (Postdoctoral Scholarship)

Centre for Advanced Studies "Multiple Secularities: Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities" (Senior Research Fellow)

  • 2020. Hijacked: A Critical Treatment of the Public Rhetoric of Good and Bad Religion, edited by Leslie Dorrough Smith, Steffen Führding, and Andrian Hermann. Sheffield.
  • 2019. "Global Religious Organizations." In The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies, edited by M. Middell, 464–474. London. 
  • 2018. "A Call for a Permissible Plurality Within Theory-Building in a Time of Excess." In Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 30(4): 487–497.
  • 2018. With K. Koschorke. "Beyond Their Own Dwellings: Die Entstehung einer transregionalen und transkontinentalen indigen-christlichen Öffentlichkeit." In To Give publicity to Our Thoughts: Journale asiatischer und afrikanischer Christen um 1900 und die Entstehung einer transregionalen indigen-christlichen Öffentlichkeit, edited by K. Koschorke, A. Hermann et al, 227–260. Wiesbaden.
  • 2018. As editor. With K. Koschorke et al. To Give Publicity to Our Thoughts: Journale asiatischer und afrikanischer Christen um 1900 und die Entstehung einer transregionalen indigen-christlichen Öffentlichkeit. Wiesbaden.
  • 2016. "Distinctions of Religion: The Search for Equivalents of 'Religion' and the Challenge of Theorizing a 'Global Discourse of Religion.'" In Making Religion: Theory and Practice in the Discursive Study of Religion, edited by F. Wijsen and K. von Stuckrad, 97–124. Leiden.
  • 2015. Unterscheidungen der Religion: Analysen zum globalen Religionsdiskurs und zum Problem der Differenzierung von 'Religion' in buddhistischen Kontexten des 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts. Göttingen.
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