Conference “Occultural Transfers between North and South”

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venezia
plus Nov, 0102 2023

This conference is organised by Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Spiritualities in collaboration with Dr. Giuliano D’Amico, Associate Professor at the University of Oslo and director of the research network Esotericism and Aesthetics in the Nordic Countries, and Dr. Marco Pasi, Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam and director of the Centre for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents.


The osmosis between esoteric/occult and artistic discourse, which scholars have termed “occulture”, has mainly been studied from a national perspective and drawing upon case studies from the last 60 years. Such lack of comparative knowledge and studies is somewhat surprising if one takes into account the impact of esoteric and occult materials from a wider “South” (including not only Southern Europe, but also Northern Africa and the Mediterranean Basin) that has made its way in Northern Europe since at least the end of the 19th century, focusing, but not limited to, Sufism, Egyptosophy and Freemasonry, or, conversely, about the continuous forms of inspiration that Nordic alternative spirituality has had on artistic production in Southern Europe (e.g. with the proliferation of Nordic paganism in occultural discourse). The proposed conference aims at filling this scholarly gap, opening up avenues of research and discussing new ways of approaching and conceptualizing occultural phenomena with a North-South perspective as a starting point. We understand “North” and “South” as including, respectively, the Nordic, Baltic, German and English-speaking countries in Europe, and Southern European, Mediterranean, and African countries/areas. The event will be enriched by a concert of the mdi ensemble that will play music by Jean Sibelius, Kaja Saariaho, and Franco Oppo on the 2nd of November.


Download the programme of the conference here.

Admission is free upon registration.


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