On 31 May 2024 the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IPS) of the University of Latvia (UL) is launching a series of seminars on the genealogy of conspirituality, which will examine the phenomenon of conspirituality from an interdisciplinary perspective. Against the backdrop of global ecological, economic, political and cultural upheavals, the seminar series will serve as a platform for exploration within a broader study of the convergence between conspiracy theories and New Age spirituality in the 20th century.

The first seminar in this series, "Esoteric nationalism in Hungary: from the Hungarian Jesus to the Syriusians", is dedicated to the cutting-edge research of Hungarian scholar István Povedák, who addresses Hungarian neo-nationalism and offers critical insights into the intersections of religion, nationalism and conspiratorial thinking. Povedák's study sheds light on the ethno-pagan movements that emerged in Hungary after 1989, examining the "new Hungarian mythology" and the esoteric current of religious neo-nationalism. The research focuses on the lived and vernacular segments of this multi-layered phenomenon, looking at narratives, worldviews, rituals, and the material, artistic and social dimensions.

István Povedák has an MA in European Ethnology, History and Religious Studies from the University of Szeged. He obtained his PhD in Folklore and Cultural Anthropology from the Eötvös Lóránd University of Budapest in 2009. His research fields include modern mythologies, celebrity culture, conspiracy theories, UFO culture, religious neo-nationalism, ethnic paganism, and Romani culture in Hungary. He is the president of the Hungarian Cultural Anthropology Association. Povedák was the chair of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore Ethnology of Religion Working Group between 2013 and 2019. He has been a guest lecturer at many universities, including Ohio State University, the University of Oregon, Charles University in Prague, and the UL.

The seminar will take place on 31 May 2024 at 15.00 online on the ZOOM platform. Working language - English. Please register for the online seminar at this link https://forms.gle/RsXapTMLm1ehH2pL7 

Future seminars will be announced separately on the UL IPS website and on the GENOCON project Facebook page.

The project "Genealogy of Conspirituality in 20th-century Latvia (GENOCON)" is funded by the Latvian Council of Science within the Fundamental and Applied Research Project Programme. Project No. lzp-2023/1-0142.