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Martin Zillinger

Dept. of Social/Cultural Anthropology & Graduate Center a.r.t.e.s. | University of Cologne
Presentation: "Mediating Trance - Crafting Publics among Moroccan Sufi-Brotherhoods"

Martin Zillinger (born 1973) is a social and cultural anthropologist, and is currently working on the DFG (German Research Foundation) project “Trance Media and New Media” at the University of Siegen.

His research concentration is on themes of migration and media use in transnational religious networks between Europe and North Africa. As a grant holder of the graduate programme “The Figure of the Third” of the University of Konstanz and of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), he has spent several field research stays in Morocco and obtained his doctorate in magic, trance and folklore in Moroccan Sufism. In the context of his research focus on, he will deal with religious identities in media networks.


Since the 1980s, many confraternities of the ‘Isāwa and Ḥamadša have videotaped their trance rituals on VHS and, more recently, on DVD. While ritual mediation work has always involved varying degrees of publicness, the extensive use of digital media has collapsed established strategies to distinguish different realms of practice. Emerging new publics trigger new transitions between exposure and concealment and spark new controversies on trance and Islam in Morocco and beyond.