February 16, 2012

5 Calls for Papers: Sacred Practices; Cosmopolitan China; Digital Religion; Re-Imagining Imprisonment; AAA

We’re trying something new… at least for this post. We have been sending out a lot of conference notifications and we don’t want to be filling up inboxes with what are likely to be duplicates. Therefore, we have put five CfPs in the one post… let us know what you think!


Sacred Practices of Everyday Life


The John McIntyre Conference Centre (Edinburgh University), 18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AY

We are pleased to announce that registration for this event is now open online at http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/events/programme_events/show/sacred_practices_of_everyday_life

Some bursaries are available for postgrads and the unwaged (see below for details).

We would also like to remind you that abstracts are due by 29th February.

Roadside shrines; divorce parties; tattoos made with ink containing a loved one’s ashes; spiritual retreats; prayer cairns; naming ceremonies; healing rituals; contacts with the dead: however ‘disenchanted’ the world may be, there is plenty of evidence of enchantment and re-enchantment all around. Life and death are still rendered meaningful through ancient and reinvented practices, rituals, beliefs and symbols which attach sacredness and significance to what would otherwise be merely mundane.

The purpose of the conference is to explore new evidence, analysis and theory concerning the sacred practices of everyday life. There is a particular focus on the varied ways in which the life course is being re-enchanted in the 21st century, but papers looking at other eras and/or larger forms of sacred practice (e.g. civic rituals) are also welcome. The scope is global.

The conference will showcase thirty or so projects funded by the Religion and Society Programme which have new findings in this area. These will be supplemented by the papers received through this open call.

The conference streams are:

  • Formation and Cultivation
  • Life-styles and (After)Death-styles
  • Sex, Life and Love
  • Gods, Spirits and the Sacred
  • Fate, Destiny and the Future
  • Identity, Solidarity and Conflict
  • Suffering, Healing and Well Being
  • Objects, Language, Rituals and Consumption

Plenary speakers include Mary Jo Neitz (Missouri), David Morgan (Duke) and Robert Orsi (Northwestern).

Individual paper proposals (max. 200 words) should be submitted to:

Peta Ainsworth:  p.ainsworth@lancaster.ac.uk by 29th February 2012.

A limited number of bursaries are available for people in the UK who need to travel some distance to Edinburgh. Please send an email with your registration form to Peta Ainsworth stating in one paragraph why you require assistance and how much your travel costs will be.

The conference is subsidised by the sponsors and costs £95 per delegate, £60 for postgraduates/unwaged (for the entire conference) or £45 per day, £30 for postgraduates/unwaged.  The conference fee excludes accommodation and conference dinner.  For further details and registration go to: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/events/programme_events/show/sacred_practices_of_everyday_life

Cosmopolitan China

An international conference convened by Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) and Confucius Institute (CI) Pathways to Cosmopolitan PhD Program (Manchester and NUS) Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Culture (RICC) Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC) To be held at the University of Manchester on 17 and 18 May 2012

Questions of ethnic diversity and multi-culturalism lie at the heart of debates on cosmopolitanism. To what extent can the case of China help to deepen and widen this debate? How does the case of China challenge the theoretical foundations of cosmopolitanism? Is there a Chinese or Asian kind of cosmopolitanism?

Mark Lewis has called the Tang dynasty (618-906) a “Cosmopolitan Empire”, and China has variously been ruled by Jurchens (1115-1234), Mongols (1279-1368) and Manchus (1644-1911). The Treaty Port Era (1842-1949) was extraordinarily cosmopolitan as well as colonial, as China and Northeast and Southeast Asia were home to sizeable foreign populations of Europeans and Americans. In today’s China, Han Chinese, themselves a multicultural, multilinguistic group, dominate an ethnically diverse nation-state. Post-Mao municipal authorities have reclaimed cities’ semi-colonial past to bring in foreign investment and drive economic development. Skyscrapers and Western-style shopping malls today dominate the Chinese urban landscape. Global and regional multimedia exchanges occur at a constant rate.

We welcome scholars of China and Southeast and Northeast Asia to participate in a multi-disciplinary conference that tackles the issue of “cosmopolitan China”. Topics could focus on the following questions/issues, but we are open to a range of ideas:

1. Historical cosmopolitan cities, peoples, cultures and practices

2. Treaty Port / post-Mao urban re-structuring and socio-cultural regeneration

3. Contemporary cosmopolitan cities/peoples/cultures, new/hybridising trends

4. Chinese/Asian religious and popular trans-nationalism and internationalism

5. Comparative studies and theories on Chinese-Asian cosmopolitanism

Inquiries and abstracts of no more than 200 words, with 5 lines of biographical information, should be sent to:

David.Woodbridge@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk before 13 February 2012. Only those accepted to present at the conference will be notified by 20 February 2012. Accommodation and food will be provided during the conference but paper presenters should look for their own funding for travel.

Digital religion – Conference arranged by The Donner Institute 13-15 June 2012

The theme we have chosen for the Donner Institute 23rd Symposium is Digital Religion.

The conference “Digital Religion” aims to explore the complex relationship between religion and digital technologies of communication. Digital religion encompasses a myriad of connections between religion and digital technologies of communication and the goal of the conference is to approach the subject from multiple perspectives.



Åbo Akademi University


Fänriksgatan 3 / Vänrikinkatu 3

Åbo / Turku/


Keynote speakers:

  • Ass. Prof. Heidi Campbell, Texas A & M University, Texas
  • Prof. Mia Lövheim, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Ass. Prof. Nabil Echchaibi, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Prof. Jolyon Mitchell, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Dr. Marcus Moberg, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
  • Dr. Alexander Ornella, University of Hull, UK
  • Prof. Michael Pye, Phillips-Universität Marburg, Germany
  • Dr. Sofia Sjö, Åbo Akademi University, Finland


Please send your application to give a paper, with a short abstract included, to the Donner Institute no later than February 15 2012.

Address: Donner institute, PB 70, FIN-20501 Åbo / Turku, Finland

E-mail: donner.institute@abo.fi

Tel.: +358 20 786 1450

Re-imagining Imprisonment in Europe – Scribani Conference September 2012 – Call for Papers/Workshops

The University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp has the pleasure to announce the call for papers for the upcoming International Scribani Conference on the topic of: “Re-imagining Imprisonment in Europe: Common Challenges, Diverse Policies and Practice” which is being organized by our partner institute, the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (JCFJ), in Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland on September 5th to 7th 2012. Abstracts for 20-minute papers and 90-minute workshops should be sent to JCFJ by 13 April 2012.

The aim of this conference is to analyse some of the key features of imprisonment throughout Europe today, including the political, social and economic forces shaping prison policy and practice, and to imagine what future imprisonment might look like – in terms of prison policy, prison population size and prison conditions – by generating a new narrative of how imprisonment might be framed within a new vision and set of values.

This is an inter-disciplinary conference with presentations from practitioners, academics and researchers in wide range of disciplines including sociology, criminology, philosophy, law, cultural studies and theology.

Call for papers/workshops:

There will be a number of parallel sessions held in the afternoon on day 2 and day 3 of the conference. Paper and workshop proposals are invited for these sessions. The selection criterion is outlined in the attached document (and is available at www.jcfj.ie/news).  

Abstracts should address a topic of relevance to the conference theme, for example

·  What are the economic and societal costs of imprisonment?

·  How does prison affect women, children, migrants, families and communities?

·  How can we improve rehabilitation and re-integration of prisoners? For example the role of Restorative Justice.

·  How can prison services and aftercare be improved? (Also, the role of NGOs/civil society organisations/charities.)

·  The role of prison personnel e.g. Prison Chaplains or Prison Officers.

·  The purpose of imprisonment (philosophical, sociological, theological etc.)

Applicants should send in a completed information form and 300 word summary of their proposed paper or workshop. The deadline for submission of applications is Friday 13 April 2012. Further details about the conference and paper/workshop topics and the application procedure are available at www.jcfj.ie/news.

Talal Asad’s highly-influential conceptualization of Islam as a“discursive tradition” invites us to see how authoritative knowledge is historically and culturally constituted in the interactive space betweenpeople, texts and practice that determines what is, or should be,“Islamic.”  At the heart of this idea of a discursive tradition is an anthropological interest not so much in a set of paradigmatic concepts continuous throughout Islamic history, but rather in the traditions of reasoning and argumentation that are deployed around often hotly contested concepts.  The Islamic discursive tradition is therefore not an unchanging or unitary formation, but admits of diversity, debate and difference. Following this conceptual framework, the anthropologist of
Islam must attend to the processes of pedagogy and the acquisition of embodied and affective practices through which the religion’s liturgical texts are interpreted by believers.

At the same time, the interpretive value of this framework hinges upon a recognition of the ever-present contingency of this discursive tradition, as new authoritative spokespersons are constituted, new “founding texts” introduced (or old founding texts re-imagined) into the
canon, and new orthodoxies emerge through changing relations of power.

In keeping with the AAA 2012 theme of “Borders and Crossings,” we seek to understand how the (re)production of Muslim/Islamic publics is necessarily characterized by transgression, innovation, borrowing, and rupture that occurs via critique, argumentation, and intersections withother kinds of publics.

This panel seeks to bring together papers that consider the following questions: How are the evaluative criteria of Islamic traditions changing in light of ideas of socio-political utility engendered by the modern-state and globalized capitalist economies? How do we trace the
changing contours of what “counts” as authoritatively Islamic and the criteria by which this authority is determined in the first instance? Through what processes are certain practices authorized to form proper Muslim subjects and others discounted? How are the constitution of new ways of being “Islamic/Muslim” working to alter or widen the boundaries of the Islamic tradition through re-imagining and re-embodying it within both “religious” and “secular” realms?

Please send a CV and an abstract of no more than 250 words to Nur Amali Ibrahim (nibrahim@wcfia.harvard.edu) and Yasmin Moll (yasmin.moll@nyu.edu). The deadline is March 1, 2012. We realize this is rather early, but we would like this panel to be considered for a
section invited session.


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