Ines Županov has been a visiting research fellow with the KHK since April 2012. She is going back to Paris this weekend and we conducted a short interview with her as she was packing her bags.
KHK: What have you been working on during your stay?
IZ: During my stay I had a very busy schedule. I tried to finish my book Catholic Orientalism. It is now just a few weeks away from being sent to the publisher – Oxford University Press, New Delhi. At the same time, I had a series of lectures and conferences scheduled for which I needed to write a paper (Heidelberg, New Delhi, Singapore, Paris). In addition I was participating in preparation of two conferences. One had just taken place, the research field 4 conference "Religion in Motion," and the second one is scheduled in June – Christianity Translated. I can also say that I was "distracted" in the most positive sense of the word by our Monday meetings and discussion that were always very inspiring. I also wrote ten short papers (encyclopedia entries), a book review, and an introduction to the edited volume L’Inde des Lumieres, that is due to come out on April 12.
KHK: Did you make significant progress with your research while staying? In which ways did the KHK environment further your research?
IZ: I have done a huge amount of research and profits will be felt during the next year. Most important part of the research was a dialogue with my colleagues coming from different disciplines and working on topics that are new to me. I took this year as a year of learning! I also learnt basic Farsi with a help of KHK graduate student Arezoo Molla Gholamali.
KHK: What aspect of being a KHK visiting scholar did you enjoy the most? How did you like Bochum and Ruhr University?
IZ: Hard to say what I enjoyed the most. I enjoyed my apartment and my office. They provided me with space to think because they were clean, full of light and empty of my everyday clutter. I enjoyed walking ‑ which for me is a time of thinking as well ‑ through the woods to get to university. An hour a day. (I did not enjoy the Mensa food at all, however). And I enjoyed company of interesting people who were either KHK fellows or Ruhr University scholars or students. Unfortunately, I did not connect with many people from Bochum except the KHK members. I would need more time in Bochum for that.
KHK: When will we see you again?
IZ: I’m back for the June conference and am more than happy to come whenever you invite me. Thanks for the wonderful and stimulating year in the Ruhr area.