Welcome to the Centre for Aldous Huxley Studies (CAHS)

This original CAHS site was designed by Joel Deshaye, in consultation with Uwe Rasch, M.A., and Prof Dr Bernfried Nugel, in 2003.

The design visually refers to a description of the moksha-medicine experience as described in Huxley’s 1962 novel, Island. This description, which serves as a footer on the first page, shows Will Farnaby’s reaction to looking at a bookshelf while under the hallucinogenic influence of the drug:

“And what strange jewellery! Narrow slabs of emerald and topaz, of ruby and sapphire and lapis lazuli, blazing away, row above row, like so many bricks in a wall of the New Jerusalem. Then—at the end, not in the beginning—came the word. In the beginning were the jewels, the stained-glass windows, the walls of paradise. It was only now, at long last, that the word ‘book-case’ presented itself for consideration.”

The image shows Huxley sitting on the wall near his California home in the Hollywood hills in 1959. The original photo, by Rose Nys, included Laura Huxley reclining on a chair, but the image was edited so that the bricks could extend to the left and become progressively less substantial. We can see Huxley lightly seated on the bricks. Considering his reference, above, to the bricks being like books on a shelf, he seems very comfortable there. One can imagine his love of books and his appreciation of the cloudy greyness of an ambiguous reality. The wall suggests the impermanence of objects like books; the colored psychedelic fog (a collage of mathematically derived Mandelbrot fractals) represents Huxley’s dual interest in hallucinogenic drugs and science. The bricks and fog show two of Huxley’s learning strategies: the use of the encyclopedias for hard facts and the use of mystical or chemical methods for subjective truths.

Laura Huxley has approved the use of this image of Aldous.

CAHS website

To offer more efficient services, this website is currently being redesigned. Basic features include a searchable catalogue of our library, a bibliography of Huxley’s writings and Huxley studies up to 2011 as well as a full list of our publications (Aldous Huxley Annual and “Human Potentialities”) and their contents.

Seventh International Aldous Huxley Symposium 2020: postponed to October 2021

Venue: University of Toulon; Bandol
Dates: 13 - 15 October 2021 (conference warming on 12 October evening; colloquy at Bandol and visit to Sanary and Bandol on 16 October; departure day: 17 October)
Convenors: The University of Toulon, represented by Profs Alice Cheylan and Alain Morello (<alicecheylan@yahoo.fr>; <morelloaa@yahoo.fr>), and the International Aldous Huxley Society (AHS). The colloquy at Bandol will be organized by Gilles Iltis, M.A., Sanary (<contact@sanary.com>).
General theme: “Aldous Huxley in France: The Experience of Exile”
The general theme of the conference will naturally focus on Huxley’s activities in France, particularly on the experience of exile that Huxley and other writers underwent in Sanary and Bandol between the wars, but there will certainly be room for a variety of other topics.
Huxley Forum: “Aldous Huxley’s Controversial Philosophical Theories”
This forum, which will discuss the intellectual ‘exile’ that Huxley’s ideas were at times exposed to, is being organized by Prof Dana Sawyer (please send your proposals to <dsawyer@meca.edu>). It will be held in a similar fashion as at the previous symposia in Oxford (2013) and Almería (2017), see Conferences.
Call for Papers:
In addition to the lectures already included in the programme (see Huxley-Toulon) new proposals are cordially invited.
Please send your proposals for lectures (20 minutes, plus 10 minutes discussion)
and your abstracts (20 – 30 lines or 200 – 300 words)
by 31 March 2021 to Prof Bernfried Nugel (<nugel@uni-muenster.de>).

Registration and accommodation will in due course be organized by Profs Cheylan and Morello.

© wbg Theiss


Der englische Schriftsteller Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) ist vielen Lesern ein fester Begriff. Mit seinem Roman »Schöne neue Welt« (1932) gelang ihm ein Weltklassiker, dessen Titel bald zum Schlagwort wurde. Die Warnung vor einer technologischen Diktatur bleibt virulent. Uwe Rasch und Gerhard Wagner informieren deutsche Leser erstmals allseitig über den einflussreichen Schriftsteller und Denker. Sie schildern Huxleys schwere Augenerkrankung, sein Eintreten für den Pazifismus, die Drogenexperimente, das Abenteuer Hollywood und schließlich die Gründung des Esalen Institutes in Kalifornien. Krishnamurti, Strawinsky, Yehudi Menuhin und Charlie Chaplin waren seine engen Freunde. Mit Thomas Mann traf er sich im Exil, Adorno widmete ihm einen Aufsatz. Huxley zeigt sich teils als bissiger Skeptiker, teils als engagierter Humanist. Frappierend ist Huxleys außergewöhnliche Bedeutung für eine globalisierte Welt.

Rasch, Uwe / Wagner, Gerhard
Aldous Huxley
2019. 320 S. mit 30 sw-Abb.,
Bibliogr., Reg. und Zeittafel, geb.
mit SU. wbg Theiss, Darmstadt.
Erscheinungstermin: 13.05.2019
€ 30,00

Über die Autoren:

Uwe Rasch ist seit 2001 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter der Aldous-Huxley-Forschungsstelle an der Universität Münster und arbeitet an der Herausgabe des »Aldous Huxley Annual« und der Huxley-Monographien-Reihe »Human Potentialities« mit. Er hat jahrzehntelang als Kulturjournalist gearbeitet. Hauptberuflich ist Uwe Rasch zurzeit Dozent für akademisches Englisch am Sprachenzentrum der Universität Münster.

Gerhard Wagner promovierte mit einer Arbeit über die Dichtungstheorie in Aldous Huxleys Essayistik. Vorausgegangen war ein Studium der Fächer Englische Philologie, Neuere Geschichte und Nordische Philologie. Seit ihrer Gründung 1998 ist er Mitarbeiter in der Aldous-Huxley-Forschungsstelle der Universität Münster. Hauptberuflich ist er im öffentlichen Schuldienst tätig.

Recent Activities

- Sixth International Aldous Huxley Symposium 2017
Date: 19 - 21 April 2017
Venue: University of Almería
For further information, see Almería.

- Announcement of New US TV Series on Brave New World, see Signature Reads.

- In January 2016 the Center for Aldous Huxley Studies appears on Facebook CAHS.

- The Peter Edgerly Firchow Memorial Essay Prize
The Third Firchow Prize has been awarded to: JULIAN PIRAS (Independent Scholar, Belgium)
for his essay “Suffering and the Liberation from Suffering: Core Concerns in the Works of Aldous Huxley”
(Aldous Huxley Society, Executive Committee, 12 November 2015), see Firchow Prize.

- On 26 July 2013, a Huxley Memorial Bench was donated by the Aldous & Laura Huxley Literary Trust and Aldous Huxley Society and dedicated in Compton Village Cemetery, see Huxley Bench.

- CAHS acquires private Huxley collection from Heinz F. Esser, see Library.

- For Mary Ann Braubach’s documentary “Huxley on Huxley”, see Braubach.