Dominik Müller Takes up Professorship in Erlangen

November 22, 2019

Dr. Dominik Müller has led an Emmy Noether Junior Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI) since 2016. On 11 November 2019 he was pleased to accept a W2 professorship in cultural and social anthropology at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

Müller's position is part of the interdisciplinary study programme “Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures (SDAC) – Knowledge, Authenticity, Time” and is affiliated with the Institute for Near Eastern and East Asian Languages and Civilizations in the Department of Classical World and Asian Cultures, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology. Dominik Müller will continue to work closely with the MPI as a cooperation partner. We talked with him about his plans for the future.

Dominik, congratulations on being chosen for the professorship! Your leaving will be a great loss for the MPI.
Thank you very much. I am looking forward to the new responsibilities that await me in Erlangen. But of course, I will not be completely breaking ties with the institute here.

What will your future collaboration with the MPI look like?
In accordance with the regulations of the Emmy Noether Programme, the research group “The Bureaucratization of Islam and its Socio-Legal Dimensions in Southeast Asia” will, after a transition phase, eventually be transferred to FAU. But the group will continue to be a cooperation partner of the MPI and it will work closely with the Department ‘Law & Anthropology’ in particular.

What does this mean concretely? Are there already plans in place?
Yes, we have begun discussing various formats, including jointly organized events dealing with transregional perspectives on the bureaucratization of Islam in Asia and Europe.

Will you be able to continue to develop your current line of research in Erlangen, or will you turn your attention to new topics instead?
At FAU I will continue my research into the relations between the state, Islam, and society in Southeast Asia. Initially, my energy will be particularly devoted to completing the manuscript for my book on the bureaucratization of Islam in Brunei.

In other words, field research will have to take a back seat for a while?
Not at all: a short fieldwork trip is already planned for early next year to continue my study of state religious institutions in Singapore.

Your new position also comes with additional teaching responsibilities. Do you know what sorts of topics you will be teaching?
For courses in the elite masters’ programme “Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures (SDAC) – Knowledge, Authenticity, Time” I will be focusing more on the ethnology of political decision-making across regions. In addition I want to strengthen the representation of anthropological perspectives in other interdisciplinary fields of activity at FAU.

Have you started forging ties with future research partners at FAU?
Yes, there will be close collaboration with the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom and Prognostication”, a Käte Hamburger Kolleg hosted at FAU. In addition I will be working with my new colleagues to expand the already distinguished East Asian research profile of FAU by adding more research into Southeast Asia and the connections between East and Southeast Asia.

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