University College Cork’s interdisciplinary Marginalised and Endangered Worldviews Study Center (MEWSC) has been established to promote the study of contemporary endangered cultures, religions, worldviews, religious cultures, and minority religions. Cultural expressions – both tangible and intangible – and the worldviews of marginalised, endangered and persecuted peoples, social groups and indigenous communities are the focus of MEWSC.
It is the aim of this centre to encourage dialogue and exchange between researchers with an interest in diverse parts of the world who can bring varied perspectives on endangered or marginalised wordviews, cultural expressions and religious cultures. An important aspect of the mission of the centre is to encourage counter-hegemonial perspectives on peripheral cultural and religious voices and promote the incorporation of such perspectives into mainstream research and teaching. As an academic community the centre aims to promote engaged and philanthropic scholarship for an inclusive, innovative, integrative and reflective global society. It interlinks with transnational agencies such as UNESCO, The Council of Europe and the United Nations in order to support emancipatory claims of threatened communities.
The remit of the centre is understood broadly but certain key areas have been identified as lying at the core of our mission:
• Indigenous worldviews, cultures and religions (for example Indian
indigenous/analogous (Adivasi) peoples; afro-Brazilian traditions; Roma
• marginalised linguistic cultures and their creative expressions (the Csángós
of Romania; Karaim of Lithuania)
• ‘Folk’ religious traditions devalued or defamed by hegemonic discourses and
• persecuted religious groups (for example Rohingya Muslims in South East Asia;
Christians in the Middle East; Inochentists in Eastern Europe)
• marginalised forms of cultural or religious knowledge and practice (trance
mediumship/ecstatic expressions; orality; dance; symbolic effectiveness,
“magic” and charming)
• religious and cultural expressions amongst geographically and/or ideologically
peripheral peoples and communities
• gender or sexual minorities in cultures, religions and worldviews
The Centre offers an intellectually stimulating environment for an interdisciplinary study of diverse MEWSC related topics. Interested scholars are invited to apply for affiliation, collaborations and research colloquia at the Centre.