Prof. Thomas Blom Hansen (b. 1958) has been appointed professor of Religous Studies at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) as of 1 July 2006.
Thomas Hansen’s research is on the area of convergence of political anthropology and anthropology of religion. He focuses on issues of violence, identity, the nature of the ‘political’, the postcolonial state, secularism, and religion and individuality. In theoretical matters Hansen is particularly interested in post-structuralism, psychoanalysis and political philosophy. He is currently working on a book under the provisional title Melancholia of Freedom: anxiety, race and nostalgia in a South African township, on the revival of religion, cultural identities, music and political notions in South Africa during apartheid. In his current research Hansen focuses on three fields: religion and the formation of the ‘ethical human being’; transnational networks and the representation of what is holy; and city notions, consumption and ‘sensory life’. He intends to initiate new research projects at the UvA on these topics.
Hansen has been attached as professor of Anthropology to Yale University since 2004 and previously taught at the University of Edinburgh, Roskilde University, Copenhagen University and the University of Natal (South Africa).