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Vicanova Gabriela

Period of stay: 1. 1. – 30. 6. 2021

Evaluation sheet for departing Fellows

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

The major benefit of my stay at the IWM was the opportunity to meet and talk with like-minded scholars and discuss our topics together. This proved to be very intellectually stimulating and helpful for my research project. I also profited from the access to the IWM library and services, as some of the books were not available to me at my home university. Finally, what I also found incredibly helpful was the work environment at the IWM (perfect support from all IWM Staff members, the office space, the library, the kitchen, etc.), fortunately the Institute was in operation during the entire lockdown, as opposed to other institutions, such as libraries, universities, etc.

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

Yes, it was really interesting and intellectually stimulating. It was great to have the opportunity to attend events at the IWM, especially when they were focused on contemporary political topics (e.g. the panel and discussion over the abduction of Roman Protasevich etc.). But, at the same time, it would be nice to have a broader spectrum of topics at the IWM events, for example I lacked some events focused on more philosophical topics, since most of them were political, sometimes historical or anthropological.

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

It is hard to say, since I was staying at the IWM during COVID times, but maybe just because of that I was expecting that we, the Junior and Senior fellows, would be introduced to one another (at least over Zoom) – there were not so many opportunities to meet the other fellows afterwards. And as I said above, I would prefer more events focused on philosophy (philosophical anthropology, phenomenology etc.).

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

Many thanks to IWM Staff members and IWM Permanent Fellows, everybody was very helpful and supportive.

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.


I have arrived in Vienna at the beginning of January 2021 and began my Patočka Junior Visiting Fellowship at IWM on the 11th of January, after a five-day (home) quarantine in view of the current Corona Regulation in Austria. Below is the list of my main research activities during my stay at the IWM.

  1. Work on my project ‘Dispute about hope’ in selected writings of Post-Kantian and existentialist philosophers’: The main aim of my research stay in Vienna was to write the opening chapter of my dissertation and then prepare it for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. To that effect, I greatly benefited from the access to the IWM library (especially from original French and English translations of Camus’ books and Notebooks, which were not available to me at my home university and which Katharina Gratz kindly got for me, as well as other philosophical books and journals) and also from the great working environment at the IWM.
    My project – the dissertation chapter and the article – were almost finished at the time of my departure from the IWM. My estimation is that the final article will be ready by mid-September 2021. I plan to submit it to a peer-reviewed journal (e.g., International Journal for Philosophy of Religion), with the acknowledgement of the support from the IWM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
  2. Participating in the IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference: I presented my paper titled ‘Hope(lessness) in the stories of Sisyphus and Abraham’ at the Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference on the 21st of June. The paper was similar to the main thesis of my article, so I had an opportunity to get feedback and discuss my research, especially with my discussant, dr. Ludger Hagedorn, as well as with other Junior / Senior / Permanent Fellows and Guests of the Institute.
  3. Organizing the IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference: With the great support of IWM Staff members (especially with Nikola Ksiazek, Franz Graf and Sarah Ocsenas) and IWM Permanent Fellows (Ludger Hagedorn and Ayse Caglar), I was co-organizing / coordinating the IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference, together with two other IWM Junior fellows (Ezgican Ozdemir and also with Justyna Tabaszewska in the last couple of weeks).
  4. Attending IWM events: During my six months stay at the IWM, I participated in all the seminars and colloquia as well as in the monthly lectures and the vast majority of other lectures, panels and discussions, conferences and workshops. I was also present at the Czech-Austrian cultural festival Vienna Meets Prague.
  5. Establishing relations with local scholars: I was able to establish contact with many of the IWM fellows and take an opportunity to discuss their and my work with them during the many events at the IWM, as well as during lunches and the many evening and weekend meetings. Even though social contact was limited due to the COVID-19 situation, these meetings and consultations have proven to be very intellectually stimulating for my work as well as for me personally.

To summarize: My research stay at the IWM has been intellectually very stimulating and productive. I profited from the resources that were available to me at the IWM library, from attending many interesting IWM events, from meeting like-minded scholars, and from the great work environment.