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Horák Pavel

Period of stay: October–December 2021

Evaluation sheet for departing Fellows

  1. What would you consider to be the major benefits of your stay at IWM?

Major benefit? The possibility to meet fellows with other backgrounds/fields of study, both junior and senior. I was impressed by the amount, high quality, and the overall professional level of all the IWM events. Next, very friendly and welcoming environment + the possibility of using the office basically any time. The fellowship saved me in a shaky moment of my junior career with having a less than parttime job at my home institution => the fellowship (salary) and the very possibility to escape (Czech Rep.) and work on own things was real benefit. Finally, my stay allowed me to network with colleagues in the German-speaking academia and Vienna university as well, which is important for a junior researcher. I met all people I needed/wanted.

  1. Was the event programme of the IWM attractive and interesting for you?

The events were attractive, often with interesting speakers, perhaps at certain point, there was too many of them, and I found difficult to balance the event participation and my own writing. The IWM’s focus on the CEE region is according to my opinion a benefit.

  1. Do you have any criticisms of any aspect of the Institute’s program and operations?
    Please include any suggestions for improvement.

I suggest including religion more into the scope/focus of the Institute. It seemed to me that especially political-science issues are discussed here along with many other, however, religion is important, but it seems to me it does not have the space it might/could have. Consider for instance the way how religion is utilised in the political discourses in Hungary or Poland… I know this might be a cheap critique from a person with a background in the study of religions, but if I should suggest something, it is religion.
I hoped in greater feedback concerning my research from the permanent fellows, but I also understand they are also very busy and could not focus on each junior fellow. Nevertheless, I am grateful at least for the comments and questions and their presence at the Junior fellows conference in December.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to let us know regarding your stay at the IWM?

at the beginning of my stay, I applied for Marie S. Curie postdoc fellowship under the Uni of Vienna and written to the application that I would like to connect in my research on the Czech occultism perspectives of social sciences and the study of religions. In other words, I would like to connect IWM and UniVie scholars, if I am awarded the MSCA. Ideally to have a joint colloquium on various aspects or overlaps between occultism and politics.

Final Report sheet for departing Fellows

As mentioned in the “Terms of Award” agreement, we would kindly ask you to submit your final report on your activities, travels, talks and accomplishments during your research stay. Please be as specific and concise as possible!

In particular, we may ask you to list books or essays that have been written or worked on at the IWM, that have either been published or accepted for publication or that you wish to submit for publication. Describe briefly the nature of the work and give names of publishers or publications, dates and other relevant facts.

We would be very grateful if you could provide us with a copy of your publication(s) for our library or, if this is not possible, contact our librarian with the publication details. We would also like to ask you to list any prizes or awards you have received or will receive, as well as any scholarships and grants you have received or will receive.


During my stay, I finished:

one book chapter–-“the occult influence on modern Paganism” [Od okultismu k modernímu pohanství]––for my Czech book on modern Paganism. I intend to publish the book with Charles University Press (Karolinum, Prague) and submit the final manuscript in August 2022. The book will hopefully get published in 2023. I will mention IWM in the preface and will send you the book copy once I have it.

one article draft following my IWM project thesis: “Nation as a Spiritual Kinship: Universalia, the Society of Czech Hermetics between Occultism and Primordialism”. The article will be submitted to the special issue on occultism in eastern and central Europe of journal Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism. My deadline is 31 January 2022 and if accepted, it may appear in the online-first in Fall 2022. I will mention IWM’s kind support in the footnote and send you the text once I have it.

Also, I did:

one science popularisation interview (in Czech) about my research for environmentalism journal Sedmá Generace (The Seventh Generation), which will be published 19 December 2021:
„Rozhovor s Pavlem Horákem: Komerční rozměr Vánoc nikdy neustoupí. S religionistou o Kolu roku, slunovratu a Vánocích.“ Sedmá generace, 6/2021 (December), pp. 73–77.