March 23, 2012

Weekly Opportunities Digest (March 23 2012) – Journals, Papers, Jobs, Fellowships and more…

Opportunities Digest – 20 March 2012

We have moved opportunities digests until Fridays, largely to promote more discussion related to the reponse essays and podcasts, and also to give readers the chance to think about the opportunities over the weekend. We have linked each heading below to the appropriate section so you can (hopefully) jump to whatever you are interested in. We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources.

Contained below:

Advanced Notice – Journals


University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages – Associate

Professor, Religion in Modern China

A position of Associate Professor in Religion in Modern China is available at the Department

of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages from 1 January 2013.

Application deadline: 11 April 2012

Information and application:

Michigan State University – Muslim Studies Program (Director)

Michigan State University (MSU), the nation’s premier land-grant university, seeks

applications for the position of Director of the Muslim Studies Program (MSP)who provides

leadership in shaping and implementing innovative initiatives to advance strategic

international research and engagement relating to the Muslim world. This search is

conducted in collaboration between MSU’s Office of International Studies and Programs

(ISP) and James Madison College (JMC), MSU’s undergraduate college of public affairs.

We seek candidates for appointment at the Associate Professor or Professor level to direct

MSU’s Muslim Studies Program and to teach and conduct research on the Muslim world,

with likely appointment in JMC’s International Relations or Comparative Cultures and Politics


Responsibilities: The MSP Director will provide intellectual and programmatic leadership to

advance and promote excellence in MSU’s diverse research, teaching, and outreach

activities relating to Muslim studies. This includes coordinating the Program’s activities and

representing MSP at MSU, across the nation, and around the world. As coordinator of MSP,

the Director develops and sustains strategic partnerships with higher education and other

institutions around the world to advance collaborative research, teaching, and engagement

activities relating to the Muslim world. that positively impact critical global issues and

transform the lives of people. The Director will have particular responsibility for overseeing

current and new partnership development initiatives in the Greater Middle East and Central,

South and Southeast Asia. The Director will facilitate and catalyze collaborative, multi-

disciplinary and cross-college faculty research with emphasis on priority research themes;

will build collaboration among social science/arts/humanities and STEM/health disciplines;

develop proposals for external funding for such research; and secure external funds for MSP

activities. Additional duties include advancing knowledge of Muslim studies; enhancing

instruction of relevant languages and course offerings with Muslim studies content;

overseeing the Muslim Studies undergraduate specialization program; and building and

strengthening relationships with diverse constituent and stakeholder groups such as faculty,

administrators, students, academic programs, K-12 institutions, local Muslim communities,

government and policy organizations, alumni, and others in the United States and in key

countries. In fulfillment of these duties, the Director will be required to periodically travel

internationally to develop and enhance MSU’s strategic partnerships and advocate for MSU

with relevant institutions in the Muslim world and elsewhere.The Director’s appointment will

be at least 50%, and up to 75% in MSP, with the exact percentages there and in an

academic department, the tenure home, to be mutually agreed among the successful

candidate, the Dean of ISP, and the Dean of MSU’s James Madison College. The

appointment will be on an annual (12-month) basis for a five-year period with renewal

possible. Salary and rank are commensurate with experience.

The Muslim Studies Program (MSP) is a cross-regional program that coordinates a large

and diverse set of educational offerings. Unlike Middle East Studies programs, MSP is

distinguished by the breadth of its geographical focus in the design of its curricula, foci of

faculty research, and scope of outreach activities.

In addition to research, MSP reflects the university’s overall commitment to

internationalization. The increase in international attention to the Muslim world and interest

from MSU students and faculty, and business and government in Michigan and the Midwest

have led to the development of a Muslim Studies curriculum aimed at meeting new needs

and advancing the genuinely multicultural quality of MSU. MSP also conducts extensive

outreach programs for K-16 educators, non-governmental organizations, governments, the

media, and business communities.

MSP is a unit of International Studies and Programs (ISP), and its Director reports to the ISP

Dean. ISP incorporates MSU’s extensive study abroad programs and international student

and scholar services. To pursue trans-regional and interdisciplinary strategic initiatives the

MSP actively partners with other ISP centers including: African Studies; Asian Studies;

Canadian Studies; Center for the Advanced Study of International Development; Center

for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies; Center for Gender in Global Context; Center

for International Business Education and Research; Center for Language Education and

Research; and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Other campus partners

include the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages

and the Institutes of International Agriculture, International Health, and International Studies

in Education, and International Business. MSP has more than 20 affiliated faculty members

in the humanities, social and natural sciences, agriculture, business, law, and other

professional programs who carry on research, and undergraduate and graduate teaching

related to the Muslim world. More information about MSP and its activities can be found at:

James Madison College offers a large and diverse program of international studies that

spans several undergraduate majors. Applicants should demonstrate excellence in

undergraduate teaching and a substantial record of scholarship. The successful candidate

will have great familiarity with Muslim issues worldwide with special expertise on the

Greater Middle East. The successful candidate may come from a wide variety of academic

disciplines consistent with the mission of the college, including political science, sociology,

anthropology, history, economics, area studies, international relations, and others, and will

specialize in one or more of the following areas: ethnic or religious conflict, political Islam,

culture and development, migration, and comparative and international politics of the Muslim

world. Expertise on the Greater Middle East is highly desirable.

James Madison College provides a liberal education in public affairs, combining the ethos

of a small liberal arts college with the advantages of a large, diverse university. The faculty’s

primary mission is excellence in undergraduate teaching, and the College is noted for its

rigorous academic standards and attention to the analytical, writing and speaking skills

of its students. In addition to the Muslim Studies specialization, the College is home to

specializations in Western European Studies, Political Economy, and Science, Technology,

the Environment and Public Policy. Through its faculty, the College has close working

relationships with Michigan State’s many international teaching and research centers. For

more information on the College, visit the JMC website at


Candidates from all relevant academic disciplines will be considered, and are expected

to have an outstanding record of research and scholarship related to the Muslim world.

Experience working in, and expertise about, the Greater Middle East is desirable.

Candidates must have an earned Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree and must meet

the standards for appointment to the rank of associate or full professor (with tenure) in

James Madison College. Candidates are expected to have demonstrated leadership

and administrative skills, and abilities to secure external funding from diverse sources;

establish and sustain strategic partnerships with universities and other institutions in

key countries around the world; facilitate and catalyze programs of collaborative, multi-

disciplinary research on priority research topics; build collaboration among social science/

arts/humanities and STEM/health disciplines; and actively contribute to the ISP leadership

team. The position requires policy development and implementation capabilities, with the

ability to work collaboratively with faculty, administrators of academic units, and area studies

and international thematic centers in promoting international research, education, outreach,

and service programs. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess proficiency in at least one

language relevant to predominantly Muslim countries.

Candidates should go to to apply for posting number 5949 in the Faculty/

Academic Staff postings. Submit a letter of application addressing your interest and how

your research and teaching interests would contribute to a college curriculum focused on

public affairs. The letter also should discuss your qualifications relevant to the position

description, and your vision for the position. Supporting materials should include a vita, three

references, evidence of quality teaching experience and commitment to undergraduate

teaching (including at least one syllabus), and a sample of scholarship (e.g., book chapter,

article, conference paper). For additional information about the University and its extensive

international commitments, and, and MSU is an affirmative action-equal opportunity employer.

Apply Here: The deadline for applications is March

25, 2012. Late applications will be accepted until filled.

The Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations (ALC), to be inaugurated at Seoul National University in March 2012, invites applications for a professorship (open rank) in Near and Middle Eastern studies from specialists in humanities (literature, history, or religion).  The candidate is expected to have an excellent command of Arabic and/or Persian and will be required to teach courses related to his/her research interests as well as advanced courses in reading texts in Arabic and/or Persian at both undergraduate and graduate levels.  Rank and salary will be commensurate with research and teaching credentials.  Only those who already have a PhD at the time of submission of application will be considered.  Send cover letter, curriculum vitae, graduate transcript, statement of research, statement of teaching philosophy (including description of courses that the applicant can teach), and three letters of recommendation (directly from the referees) as well as any inquiry to:

Professor Juhyung Rhi

Chair, ALC Search Committee

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

College of Humanities

Seoul National University

Seoul 151-745

S. Korea

Email: (Email submission is allowed.)

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, complete applications should be received by April 1, 2012. Early submission of CV will be appreciated.

Lecturer in the Study of Religion

Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University

Salary: £30,122 to £44,166 per annum dependent upon experience

Grade: Grade 7/8

Contract: Non fixed-term, full-time

Hours: Nominally 35 hours per week

Details: Full details of the post are available on the university website at

Deadline for applications: 2nd April 2012 (midnight)

The Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University has a long-standing tradition of outstanding research and is widely recognized as one of the leading departments in its field. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise it was ranked first in the UK, while its teaching quality is shown in its consistently obtaining exceptionally high rankings in both National Student Surveys and independent league tables. Its strengths range across Biblical Studies (Old Testament, New Testament, ancient Judaism, and Biblical languages), Christian theology (Greek and Latin patristics, the history and theology of late antiquity and the early middle ages, the Reformation, doctrinal and philosophical theology, and theological ethics), and the Study of Religion (the anthropology, sociology and psychology of religion). It also has Centres in Catholic Studies and in Death and Life Studies, and research projects in Spirituality, Theology and Health, and Faith and Globalization. The Department has a welcoming and collegial atmosphere, and is beautifully sited between the Cathedral and the Castle on the World Heritage Site in the centre of the city of Durham.

This new post welcomes applicants from those with research expertise in any area of the social scientific study of religion, a developing field flourishing within the Department. Current teachers in this area include Professor Douglas Davies, specializing in the anthropology of religion, particularly Mormonism, Death Studies, Ritual-Symbolism, Emotion and Embodiment, and the contemporary Anglican church; Dr Mathew Guest, specializing in the sociology of religion, particularly evangelical Christianity, religion in universities and religion and generational change; and Dr Charlotte Hardman, specializing in the anthropology of religion, particularly shamanism. Staff in this area have a proven track record in externally funded research projects, including recent research into ‘Christianity and the University Experience’, ‘Cremation in Scotland’, ‘Woodland Burial’, ‘Religion, Identity and Emotion’ and ‘the Clergy and British Society’. Several other departmental staff have ongoing cross-disciplinary research interests that relate to the study of religion. There is a fortnightly research seminar in Religion and Society, at which papers are presented by leading scholars from the UK and abroad as well as by members of staff and research postgraduates. More information about the Department is available at

The successful applicant will be expected to teach and collaborate in modules in the Study of Religion at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels, to supervise postgraduate research, to undertake outstanding research leading to publications of international significance, and to play a full part in the life of the department.

Job Description

The postholder will be responsible to the Head of Department, currently Dr Robert Song.

Job Summary and Purpose:

The main features of the job will be:

a) to conduct outstanding research leading to publications of international significance in the field of the Study of Religion;

b) to teach at all undergraduate levels and at Masters level in the field of the Study of Religion;

c) to attract and supervise research students (MA and PhD) in the Study of Religion;

d) to submit applications for externally-funded research grants;

e) to undertake administrative tasks in the Department of Theology and Religion, as agreed with the Head of Department.

Key Responsibilities:

The key responsibilities of the job will be in teaching (lecturing, seminar leading, course organisation, marking, and dissertation supervision) at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, research (writing and publication), and administration, within the team of staff constituting the Department of Theology and Religion.

For appointment at Grade 8, candidates will need to provide evidence of relevant teaching and supervising experience at university level and a significant record of publications at international level.


Dr Robert Song, Head of Department, +44 (0)191 334 3959,

Calls For Papers

Call for Papers| 4-6 July 2012, Goldsmiths, University of London

Nonreligion and the Secular: New Horizons for Multidisciplinary Research

Sponsored by the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (NSRN)

Conveners: Lois Lee (, Stacey Gutkowski (, and Stephen Bullivant (

Conference Coordinator: Katie Aston (

Following decades of neglect, the academic study of nonreligion has grown rapidly in the past five years.  The primary aim of this conference is to bring together scholars across a range of academic disciplines (sociology, anthropology, theology, political science, psychology, history, international relations, area studies) to begin to untangle the confused and individually contested concepts of nonreligion and the secular. Is nonreligion a subcategory of the secular or vice versa? How do the two terms structure one another? What are the practical and theoretical implications of the concepts, such as they are and/or in alternative formulations? The aim of this international conference is to contribute to addressing this lacuna. . While discussions of nonreligion and the secular have been running largely in parallel, they are potentially mutually enriching topics with significant bearing outside of the academy. This conference will consolidate the achievements already made over the past five years by nonreligion scholars and forge new, multidisciplinary dialogue between these researchers and those primarily working with the concept of the secular. This conference will bring together a range of internationally renowned scholars, including keynote speakers Gracie Davie (Exeter), Callum Brown (Dundee), Monika Wohlrab-Sahr (Leipzig), and Humeira Iqtidar (King’s College London).

The conference engages with a historical moment in which forms of religion and nonreligion have increasingly asserted themselves in the public sphere, in non-Western as well as Western settings. In the case of radical Islamism and New Atheism, such assertions have had powerful, sometimes inflammatory and divisive affect. This urgent wider social and political context demonstrates the urgency of a reasoned, global, scholarly contribution, aimed at further theorising and conceptualising nonreligion and the secular, individually and in relation to each other.

This conference will interrogate three dimensions and welcomes both empirically- and theoretically-based paper contributions which address the following:

1) Nonreligion as a concept in its own right

What is meant by the term “nonreligion”? How does it manifest itself in the lives of individuals and in collective social activity and identity? Is it the most appropriate term to encompass a range of phenomena and where may its parameters lie? What is the relationship between nonreligion and modernity? Is nonreligion a resonant category outside of Western contexts?

2) The nonreligious in relation to notions of the secular

How do nonreligion and the secular mutually constitute one another? Under what historical social and political conditions did the rise of secularism and secularity facilitate the appearance of the nonreligious? Does the emergence of the nonreligious indicate a new phase of modernity?

3) The implications of nonreligion research for pressing social and political issues associated with discussions of the secular

What bearing does nonreligiosity have on social, political and legal questions about social cohesion and multiculturalism? To what extent do the “harder” forms on nonreligion breed intolerance and fundamentalism? What are the implications of nonreligion for the possibility of democratic consensus and governance? To what extent do secular political landscapes outside of the West involve or even require the presence of nonreligious phenomena?

Publication Outcome: We are planning to publish a selection of the papers presented at the conference in an edited volume.

The deadline for abstract submission (250 words max) is 27 April 2012. Please send your abstract together with a short biographical note to Katie Aston at

SAAG (South Asia Anthropologists Group) 2012

This year SAAG will be held in Edinburgh on 4th, 5th and 6th September (4th 5th and 6th half


As usual, we welcome paper proposals from those at any stages of their academic careers,

from first year PhD students onwards. In order to be able to cover our food costs, lunch on

the 5th and 6th, and tea and coffee, there will be a fee of £15 for the whole workshop. We

also hope to cover the costs of a conference dinner on one evening.

If you are interested to attend, submit a paper, or act as a discussant for SAAG 2012, please

contact one of the organising committee members Stewart Allen, Supurna Banerjee, Feyza

Bhatti or Ruth Marsden) at If you would like to offer a paper for

discussion, please send a title and brief abstract by April 30th 2012.

Transformations of the Sacred in Europe and Beyond

ESA Mid-term Conference: Research Network 34 – Sociology of Religion

University of Potsdam, Germany, 3-5 September 2012

in cooperation with the German Section for the Sociology of Religonin the DGS

You will find the registration form on:

The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture ( (ISSRNC) is pleased to announce

its next conference in Malibu, California at Pepperdine University on August

8-11, 2012. The conference theme will be “Nature and the Popular


For generations, the interconnections between religion and nature have been

expressed, promoted, and contested through the incubator of popular culture,

including films produced in nearby Hollywood. As a global and symbolic center

that reflects and invents nature/religion representations, Malibu and its environs

provide a fantastic venue for critical reflection on the religion/nature nexus in the

popular imagination. Along with keynote addresses and other scholarly sessions,

a number of special events and excursions are in the works, including a scholar-

led tour of The Getty Villa in Malibu and opportunities to enjoy the beautiful and

famous Malibu coast. Some of these may be offered before or after the official

conference period. Affordable on-campus housing will be available to conference


We invite proposals about nature and religion in diverse expressions of popular

culture, including films, television, comics, fiction, music, sports, graffiti,

clothing, and festivals. As always, while we encourage proposals focused on

the conference’s theme, we welcome proposals from all areas (regional and

historical) and from all disciplinary perspectives that explore the complex

relationships between religious beliefs and practices (however defined and

understood), cultural traditions and productions, and the earth’s diverse

ecological systems. We encourage proposals that include theoretical frameworks

and analyses, emphasize dialogue and discussion, promote collaborative

research, and are unusual in terms of format and structure.

Proposals for individual paper presentations, sessions, panels, and posters should

be submitted directly to Sarah Pike at It is not necessary

to be an ISSRNC member to submit a proposal. Individual paper proposals

should include, in a single, attached word or rich text document, the name and

email of the presenter(s), title, a 250-300 word abstract, and a brief, 150 word

biography (including highest degree earned and current institutional affiliation,

if any). Proposals for entire sessions must include a title and abstract for

the session as a whole as well as for each individual paper. Proposers should also

provide information about ideal and acceptable lengths for proposed sessions,

and whether any technology, such as data projectors, are desired. Most paper

presentations will be scheduled at 15-20 minutes and a premium will be placed

on discussion in all sessions. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously by the

Scientific Committee, but conference directors will be aware of proposers’

identities in order to select for diversity in terms of geographical area and career

stage. Student proposals are particularly welcome.

The deadline for proposals is 1 May 2012.

For more information and updates, please go to:

Exploring the Extraordinary 4th Conference, 22nd-23rd September, 2012

Holiday Inn, York

Since its inception in 2007, members of Exploring the Extraordinary have organised three successful academic conferences that have brought together researchers from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds. The purpose of these events has been to encourage a wider dissemination of knowledge and research, and an interdisciplinary discussion of extraordinary phenomena and experience. By ‘extraordinary’ we refer to phenomena and experiences that are considered to be beyond the mundane, referring to those that have been called supernatural, paranormal, mystical, transcendent, exceptional, spiritual, magical and/or religious, as well as the relevance of such for human culture.

We are looking for submissions for our fourth conference, and would like to invite presentation proposals on topics related to the above. Please submit a 300-500 word paper abstract to Dr Madeleine Castro and Dr Hannah Gilbert ( by the 6th April 2012. Accepted papers should be on powerpoint, no longer than 20 minutes in length, and intended for an interdisciplinary audience. Please include contact information and a brief biographical note.

For more information, and to see past conference schedules, please visit

Regarding the Other in Modern Jewish Thought. A CJCR Colloquium – 27 June 2012

The Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (Woolf Institute, Cambridge) is delighted to announce that it is hosting a colloquium, Regarding the Other in Modern Jewish Thought. The

colloquium will be held on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 and take place at Lucy Cavendish College (Cambridge).


  • CJCR Visiting Fellow, Aaron Rosen (KCL)
  • Agata Bielik-Robson (Nottingham)
  • Melissa Raphael (Gloucestershire).

Full details of the colloquium, together with the registration form, can be found at

Bursaries are available for graduate students.

Death in modern Scotland, 1855-1955: beliefs, attitudes and practices

New College, University of Edinburgh, Friday 1 February 2013 – Saturday 3 February, 2013.

‘There remains a huge agenda for death research, offering a unique vantage point for the study of Scottish history’ (Professor Elaine McFarland of Glasgow Metropolitan University, 2004). Since those words were written, there have been increasing signs of interest, research and publications in death studies in Scotland.

This conference invites those who are researching death from whatever disciplinary perspective to offer papers whose total range will illuminate one hundred years of death in modern Scotland. These hundred years began with the passing of the Registration Act and the Burial Grounds (Scotland) Act in 1855 and end with the opening of Daldowie Crematorium in 1955.

Plenary speakers include:

Professor Elaine McFarland, Dr Elizabeth Cumming and Professor Hilary J. Grainger.

Papers will be particularly welcome on the subjects of:

death, grief and mourning;

funeral rites and rituals; customs and costume;

demographic and statistical interpretations; registration of death;

public health and medicine;

death, poverty, gender and social class

death, urban and rural comparisons

burial and cremation;

the development of funeral directing services;

theology, liturgy and funeral ministry;

monuments and memorialisation;

issues of architecture and landscape design;

the folklore of death; ghost narratives and beliefs; spiritualism;

death in war-time;

death, grief, mourning;

death in literature and the arts;

death and Scottish law;

violent death; the death penalty;

disasters: air, rail, sea and industrial;

Established research and work-in-progress welcomed.


Abstracts of 200 words maximum may be sent to Peter C. Jupp, Braddan House, High Street, Duddington, Stamford, Lincs PE9 3QE email or

A follow-up call for papers with full conference details and names of plenary speakers will be published soon.

Conference Committee: the Revd Dr Peter C. Jupp (Department of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, Chair); Dr Marion Bowman (Chair, Religion Department, Open University), Dr Susan Buckham (Independent Researcher; Kirkyard Consulting), Ms Nicola Davidson (Divinity Department, University of Edinburgh); Dr Ronnie Scott (Glasgow).

Gaia Gathering: Canadian National Pagan Conference, Toronto, May 18 – 21, 2012

Theme: Building the Mosaic

Gaia Gathering was founded in 2004 and had its first conference in 2005. Each year the conference is hosted over the Victoria Day long weekend in a different Canadian city through a bidding process similar to the Olympics. Past host cities include Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal. Legally, we are incorporated federally as a non-profit

organization and operate with a national Board of Directors as well as a local host committee.

The conference is organized collaboratively by Canadian Pagans and includes four days of discussion and workshops about Canadian Paganisms. After seven years of traveling across the country, the conference this year will be held in Toronto, Ontario at the University of Toronto New College. The theme for 2012 will be “Building the Mosaic”. Individuals make up the whole of a community. By bringing together pieces of respective Pagan communities and local groups during the conference, a representation of the larger Canadian Pagan Mosaic emerges.

In keeping with the theme “Mosaic”, we have chosen to present a “Mosaic of Speakers” representing the rich diversity of Canadian Paganism: Andy Biggers (Simcoe County, ON) has been deeply involved in the North American pagan and heathen community for over 25 years.

Michel & Pamela Daw (Gatineau, QC) are modern Stoics, reviving the ancient philosophical and spiritual path. Tamara James (Toronto, ON) is a founding member of the Wiccan Church of

Canada, which was established in 1979, and was one of the first Pagan clergy to serve in a Canadian prison system. Sydney Lancaster (Edmonton, AB) is a visual artist, writer, musician, Artist in Residence at Harcourt House, and an OBOD ovate. Brian Walsh (Toronto, ON) is a permanent part-time Spiritual Care Provider at a major Toronto hospital and a part-time Clinical Fellow in Spiritual Care at another major Toronto hospital. Witchdoctor Utu (St. Catharines, ON) is the founder of the Niagara Voodoo Shrine, the world-renowned Dragon Ritual Drummers and is a member of the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple. The complete bios for our invited guests can be found on our website.

In addition to the speakers we will also feature workshops, panel discussions, academic presentations and evening entertainment throughout the weekend.


We invite papers and proposals for our academic stream from all faculties within the humanities who touch into the realm of alternate spirituality, Paganism, New Religious Movements and related subjects. Also, if you are a retired, solitary, armchair, or aspiring academic not affiliated with an institution then you may also submit by the same criteria and to the same locations. We hope to see everyone rise to the challenge and welcome them to this opportunity to present here in Montreal with like-minded individuals.

Submissions may be sent via mail or e-mail and are to be no more than one page. They must include a publication-ready, titled abstract of 150-200 words. The name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail address, college or university affiliation and level of study of the presenter(s) must also be included. Any special requests or needs for audio-visual equipment must also

be indicated. We will be accepting submissions for peer and academic review between February 2nd and March 20th (Ostara 2012). Abstracts and proposals (and thus presentations) may be in English or in French. All received submissions will be acknowledged, with notification of acceptance, by early April 2012.

Email to:

Or mail to:

Dr. Brendan Myers

C/O Cegep Heritage College

325 boul. Cite-des-Jeunes,

Gatineau Quebec

J8Y 6T3

Material Religion in Modern Britain and her Worlds

8-9 June 2012, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff

This two-day symposium will explore material cultures of religious belief and faith in modern Britain. As Birgit Meyer, David Morgan, Crispin Paine and S. Brent Plate have recently pointed out, studying material objects provides us with an alternative evidence base in the study of modern religious belief (Birgit Meyer et al; 2011). Yet few attempts have yet been made to do so. While many scholars now concede that Britain’s religious landscape is more varied and rich than the narrative of secularisation allows, a tendency remains in the historiography of religion to privilege written sources over material manifestations of religion. This means that all sorts of belief practices have been overlooked. Analysing the material past, we propose, will provide scholars with new and exciting ways of understanding the apparently fraught relationship between modernity and religion. As Jane Bennett points out, objects are culture constructions and lead active lives in our social and cultural landscape. Religious historians have too often been guilty of adopting an implicitly Protestant binary (set up in opposition to Catholicism) in which words are privileged over objects. Yet everyday cultures of Protestant belief in Britain relied on all kinds of material cultures which sustained religion in an age of uncertainty.

Despite Britain’s ‘official’ Protestant past, we are nonetheless keen to encourage papers which explore religious denominations or groups beyond the official cannon and which made up Britain’s multi-faith landscape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Papers are welcome which consider either formal or informal aspects of religious materiality. We would especially like to encourage papers that consider ‘Britain’s worlds’, including investigations of religious objects in the Empire or commonwealth or geographical locations inhabited by British people.


We hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue by bringing together scholars in history, religion, art/design history, architecture and sociology.

Keynote speakers to be annouced


Possible themes or topics include:

  • Religious objects

  • Religious ephemera

  • The materiality of religious and sacred texts
  • Sacred Dress and Clothing
  • Religious Architecture and the built environment
  • Construction of sacred space
  • Social identity/identities including class, gender and life stage
  • Ideas surrounding materiality and religion
  • Advertising and Consumption
  • Making of religious objects
  • Religious Interiors and the domestic display of material objects

  • Religious aestheticism
  • Iconography

Please send abstracts of 400 words either Lucinda Matthews-Jones [] or Tim Jones [] by 31st March. The Conference will be hosted by the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff Campus. We plan a number of publication outputs from this conference. If you are unable to attend, but would like to express your interest for future events or outputs, please email Lucinda Matthews-Jones [] with a brief description of your work and a short CV.

Calls for Chapters

Call for submissions to Handbook on African American Islam – Aminah Beverly


According to the Gallup Poll (2009), African American Muslims comprise the largest ethnic

group of Muslims in the United States at 35%, as well as the oldest. There are communities

of African American Muslims across the United States, from large metropolitan areas such

as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, to small town communities in Kentucky

and Tennessee. There is a wide range of economic diversity as there is a wide range of

social class represented. Many families have produced three generations of Muslims who

cling to the religion while living in an increasingly secular America. They too, are weathering

the onslaught of Islamophobia and the pervasive fear and sometimes hate filled rhetoric of

newscasters and other media pundits. There will be several contributors writing chapters

devoted to their maturity as Muslims living in America, their contributions to their homeland’s

religious landscape and their interactions with other Muslim and non-Muslim American


The goal of this effort is to publish an accessible and authoritative source for students of

religious studies, American religions, African American religions, anthropology, Muslim

cultures, and Islam in America. It will investigate the ongoing phenomenon of African

American Islam as a religious culture in the American landscape. It will also provide case

studies for those interested in Muslim cultural history. This handbook will be a compilation

of various disciplinary approaches to the study of religion and religious communities. The

handbook will be handy history text in its characterization of African American Islam as a

long-term presence in the United States that had its beginnings in American chattel slavery.

With this in mind, I am soliciting chapters on:

1. The various communities that claim Islam – Particular communities such as the NOI,

Moorish Science Temple, Nation of Islam, Sufi Communities, Darul Islam, communities of

Warithudeen Muhammad, Shia communities, etc. Articles can be historical but must include

current research.

2. Identity. Almost all members of the African American Muslim community speak of themselves in ways most commonly referred to as ‘disapora.’ Whether seeing themselves

as ‘Muslims who live in America’ or Asiatics or Ethiopians; the notion of diaspora is

prevalent. How do African American Muslims imagine themselves? Are there competing

definitions of diaspora? What are the meanings of African and American in current Islamic

thinking? How do African American women negotiate their Muslimness?

3. How have African American Muslim communities developed as Islamic communities?

What are the varieties of the Islamic experience? Who is Muslim and what defines an Islamic

experience? Is there an American Islam? Who represents Islam in America? What are

media representations of African American Muslim Communities?

4. What are the relationships with other Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities?

What are the bases for these relationships? Are African American Muslims involved in

inter-faith dialogues and if so, on what terms? What is the status of engagement with the

immigrant Muslim community?

5. Is there a “gender jihad” as expressed by Amina Wadud? Where does knowledge

lay among the women? Are there issues of knowledge and power in marriage and family

construction? What are women contributing to art, music, scholarship? Is there meaningful

participation in the masajid? How are women shaping the activities of the masjid or other

distinctly Muslim spaces?

6. What is the African American Muslim agenda for the 21st century? Do they have the

same issues of Islamophobia, curtailment of civil liberties? How is American Islam going to

be reflective of African American Islamic perspectives?

This Handbook will be published by Oxford in 2014. Those agreeing to submit a chapter

will receive a contract with Oxford and a cash or book honorarium. Please send me your

inquiries and hopefully willingness to submit by March 15, 2012 at .

Calls for participants

UCL’s Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin is pleased to announce a workshop to be held at UCL on

12th June 2012 on Negotiating Religion Workshop: Legal Framework – Schools and

Religious Freedom

This one day workshop, which is part of the Negotiating Religion Workshop Series, will look

at how and to what extent do legal frameworks – judicial reasoning and legal processes –

allow space for negotiating religious issues. The workshop will look at questions such as:

  • Does this negotiation take place with religious communities or directly with the individuals who claim that their religious freedoms have been infringed?
  • What are the main actors of the negotiating process?
  • Who benefits from it?
  • What are the risks of ‘negotiating’?
  • Is ‘negotiation’ the best way to reach a fair compromise between conflicting rights and claims?
  • Is negotiating with religious freedoms any different to negotiation in respect of other human rights?
  • What special features/dangers derive from the school context in which this negotiation takes place?
  • What does teaching in a secular institution imply?

These crucial questions will be addressed through analysis of topical case law and legal

scholarship under four headings:

1. Religious symbols

2. Religious education and teaching content

3. Religion and staff

4. Faith Schools

You can book online for this conference at:

The cost to attend is:

£60 – standard ticket

£30 – academic ticket

£10 – student ticket

Complete information about the Religion in Pieces conference in Providence next month is now available on our website.  The main conference page  can be found at  From there you can find the program, as well as registration and hotel information.  We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn nearby with a reduced rate; the rate expires on April 18th, so make your reservations before then.

The conference will begin with a keynote address by Chris Faraone of the University of Chicago at 7 pm on Friday, April 27, and will continue with one and a half days of papers ranging from ancient Israel to Late Antiquity.

Faith in Research  conference will be held on Wednesday 9th May 2012 at The Mothers’ Union, 24 Tufton Street, London, SW1P 3RB in conjunction with the Research and Statistics department of the Archbishops’ Council and the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology & Practise Theology.

The event is designed for those who explore current research in ministry and mission. Cost is £45 to include a buffet lunch (£20 for unsalaried postgraduate students.)

To see the programme and access a booking form click:

Black Church Activism and Contested Multiculturalism in Europe, North America, and Africa

Birkbeck, University of London, May 29-30, 2012

This conference, which is part of an annual Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race, will bring together academics, church leaders, students, and community activists to explore the role that churches play in the construction of identities in societies where issues of race and ethnicity are played out in the public sphere.  Approximately fifty panelists from the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, and the U.S. are scheduled to present papers on various topics related to the conference theme.

Keynote Speakers

Anthony G. Reddie, Carol B. Duncan, Allan Boesak

Venue: Room B36 main campus Malet Street, Bloomsbury London WC1E 7HX

Registration:  The general registration price of 70 GBP (110 USD) (and the student price of 35 GBP/55 USD) includes the conference program pack, as well as lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments both days. Registration can be completed at the following website:

Conference hotels include the Tavistock Hotel– and YHA, Travel lodge Euston (and other options near the college, see here:


William Ackah,; R. Drew Smith,; Rothney Tshaka,


1. 2013-2014 Fellowship Award Announcement: School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

Each year, the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton,

NJ, invites about twenty scholars to be in residence for the full academic year to pursue

their own research. The School welcomes applications in economics, political science,

law, psychology, sociology and anthropology. It encourages social scientific work with

an historical and humanistic bent and also entertains applications in history, philosophy,

literary criticism, literature and linguistics. Applicants must have a Ph.D. at time of

application. Each year there is a general thematic focus that provides common ground

for roughly half the scholars; for 2013-2014 the focus will be The Environmental Turn

and the Human Sciences. The application deadline is November 1, 2012. Applications

must be submitted through the Institute’s online application system, which can be found,

along with more information about the theme, at

2. UC Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies Residential Faculty Research grants, 2012-13

The Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS) at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce the

second year of the IEAS Residential Faculty Research program, funded by a multi-

year grant. This initiative creates a resident research community to engage in research

projects concerning East Asia. Five themes, broadly defined, have been identified for the

purpose of organizing research. Using these themes to set general emphasis, the IEAS

invites Berkeley and non-Berkeley faculty members and scholars in all stages of their

careers to submit research proposals grounded in any discipline in the humanities and

social sciences (see Eligibility below). These proposals should be of East Asian content or relevance. Successful applicants will receive support to pursue independent research

while in residence in Berkeley. They are expected to make at least one presentation

on individual research topic during the course of a semester and to attend discussion

meetings. These meetings may be open to visiting scholars, doctoral candidates and

graduate students at Berkeley. The objective of the program is to facilitate the creation

of clusters of researchers who engage in conversations with each other while actively

pursuing individual research. All projects funded under the program are expected to

result in publications in English.

Awards will range from $10,000 (for one semester) to $20,000 (for two semesters), to

$25,000 (for a full year) and may be used for any purpose that is consistent with UC

research policy. Funded activities may begin as early as July 1, 2012.

Full details including the themes, process, deadlines etc:



PhD and MA Jameel Scholarships, Islam-UK Centre, Cardiff University

With the help of a very generous gift to the University, the PhD and MA Jameel Scholarships

have been established to enable the very best students to come to Cardiff – those who

have the intellect and determination to apply their knowledge for the benefit of Muslim

communities in the UK, and to promote better understanding of Islam in wider society.

Applications are invited for 3 fully-funded PhD Jameel Scholarships, and 4 fully-funded MA

Jameel Scholarships (available for the forthcoming academic year on the MA in Islam in

Contemporary Britain).

For eligibility criteria, and details about the Scholarship packages, please go to:

Two fully funded positions in medieval history are now available at the University of Amsterdam in connection with a project examining Jerusalem as a holy site for Christians by the medieval Franciscan Order:

Ideal candidates may come from a medieval history background, but the fields of art history, religion, literature, and archaeology are equally germane so long as candidates are able to access Latin and other medieval texts.

New Masters Programme (Groningen)

Registration for the four new Master programs in the study of religion at the University of Groningen is now open. The deadline for application for EU students is 15 May 2012. I would be grateful if you could forward this information to students who might be interested in the program, either in its one-year version or in its two-years version (Research Master).

The University of Groningen offers the following programs in the study of religion, all of them newly designed:

1. Religion, Conflict and Globalisation

2. Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism

3. Origins of Abrahamic Religions: Texts and Contexts

4. Religion and the Public Domain


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