Semiha Sözeri is a PhD candidate in the Research Institute for Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam. Her PhD project investigates the relevance and quality of mosque education. It aims to understand how and to what extent mosque education influences the integration of children from Muslim immigrant families.
She studied Political Science and International Relations (B.A. with high distinction) at Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism (M.Sc.) at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Her current research interests include sociology of education, ethnic and religious identity formation, Turkish migrants in Europe, politics of nationalism and ethnicity.
Marie Chabbert is a D.Phil. candidate at Oxford University where she conducts interdisciplinary research on religion, community and violence in contemporary French culture. Her thesis more precisely focuses on the work of Georges Bataille, Jean-Luc Nancy and Gilles Deleuze, who, she argues, lay new ontological grounds for the development of an alternative articulation of secular and religious perspectives in the – sometimes aggressively – secular French intellectual environment. Key to such a project is Marie’s training in politics, the anthropology of religion and French culture, which she respectively received at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, the London School of Economics and Cambridge University. In addition to these intellectual endeavours, Marie is a Core Group member of the European Interfaith Youth Network of Religions for Peace, the largest coalition of representatives from the world’s religions dedicated to promoting multi-religious cooperation for peace.
She was born 1991 in Ankara, Turkey and received a Bachelor degree in Theology with a dissertation focused on 'simulation theory of Jean Baudrillard', at Ankara University, Turkey in 2013. She completed Master of Art degree at Durham University, the UK, in 2016, focussed on the war traumatised children and their spiritual well-beings. She is currently a PhD candidate of UCL, division of psychiatry. Throughout her student years, she participated in various international events and student seminars as both a participant and an organiser. Her prior experience includes working as an editor in chief of Vefa Literary and Art Magazine and as an editor of Seyyah Literary Magazine. She had also worked as a teacher in Ankara for a term. Moreover, as a poet, some of her poems were published in the most important literary magazines of Turkey (Itibar, Dergah, Yedi Iklim and others). She has discovered soon her main interests as spirituality, psychology, art therapy and children's mental well-being. She has strong relationships with music as playing instruments; literary as writing poems and stories; philosophy as reading philosophical sources and seeking new modern thoughts, and psychology as reading about human brain and its well-being.
Julie Rausenberger (°1991) is a graduate student in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leuven in Belgium. She also studied Anthropology at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Florida International University (Miami, USA) as an international exchange student. Her research focuses on sexuality, tourism and migration issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her main research sites are located in Cuba, where she conducted extensive fieldwork for her master’s thesis on volunteer tourism and jineterismo (tourist hustling). She also has a specific interest in African derived Cuban religions and their contemporary changes in society within global dynamics. Therefore, she recently researched the dynamics between Santeria and tourism in Santiago de Cuba.
Aditya Chaturvedi finished his B.A (Honours) in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University, India and has won several academic awards. He is currently pursuing an M.A at the School of Historical Studies at Nālandā University, Rajgir, India. He works on religious and spiritual traditions of South Asia and is specializes in Bhakti texts and practices. He is a trained Hindustani Classical vocalist and also plays tabla. Aditya is currently studying the practices associated with the Rāmakathā tradition(s) of north India.
Margrét Ann Thors is writer living in Boulder, CO, where she is pursuing her PhD in Education at the University of Colorado. Her research interests include faith, spiritual development, religious literacy, and transformative learning, particularly among college students. Prior to moving to the thin air of the mile-high mountains, she lived in New York City and attended Columbia University not once but three times (B.A. Philosophy 2010, M.A. Higher Education 2011, M.F.A. Creative Writing 2014). She is at work on her first novel.
Komali Kantamaneni is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Southampton Solent University. She completed her PhD at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, UK, entitled Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Development of a Combined Physical and Economic Index. Her research is into risk analysis of coastal communities due to climate change impacts (such as increased flooding and storms) and development of corresponding mathematical systems that can holistically measure coastal vulnerability in fiscal terms.
She holds an MBA in Business Studies from Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK); and MSc in Environmental Sciences and a BSc in Biology from Nagarjuna University, India. She has published several papers in refereed international journals as well as presented her research at various international conferences.
I learned about the importance of giving newer scholars the opportunity to present papers and chair sessions. The ability to do these things in an engaging way was something that I discovered needed to be brought about by doing them. I learned that chairing sessions was a great way to contribute and move the dialogue further. There were conversations that I mediated and drew out of people. This was something that I was able to refine during the course of the conference."
I really appreciate having the possibility to chat with and hear all these wonderful people. This is not a vertical dynamic, we all were treated the same and that made possible for us students to talk with amazing academics and to have their comments on our work."