Anna Kvíčalová is a doctoral student at the Institut für Religionswissenschaft at the Free University in Berlin (Prof. Dr. Almut-Barbara Renger) and a member of the collaborative research center “Episteme in Motion“ (project “Epistemische Dissonanzen: Wissensobjekte und Werkzeuge frühneuzeitlicher Akustik”). She received her Master’s degree in the Study of Religions at the University of Amsterdam in 2012. Her research interests focus on the relationship between religion, media, and sensory experience, with special focus on micro-level mechanisms of religious transformation and their association with auditory means of knowledge communication.
Her research at the MPIWG investigates new modes of listening ("attentive listening"), speaking ("plain" and "sincere speech") and remembering ("word memory") as they appear in mid-16th century Geneva in the context of religious Reformation. In this respect the consistory of Geneva – its church discipline and surveillance policy – is studied in connection with a more general “acoustic turn” that can be observed in the period. In 16th century Geneva, spectacular means of communication were partly rejected in favor of verbal instruction in the vernacular. In the Calvinist regime of the management of the senses, the sense of hearing acquired new epistemic functions, and novel rules governing auditory communication emerged. This shift in the interplay between visually and orally/aurally transmitted religious knowledge is studied against the background of a cultural history of hearing and the gradual emergence of acoustics as a scientific discipline. The projects examines historical arrangements of different disciplinary and educational practices, media technologies, and objects of material culture that came together in articulation of new sensory relations with the world in Calvinist Geneva.