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[ecrea] CFP Media and Religion TGW - Media, Religion and In/vulnerability

Mon Feb 25 09:02:18 GMT 2013

Call for Papers: Media, Religion and In/vulnerability
Proposed Panel at CRESC Annual Conference
(SOAS, London, September 4-6 2013)
Deadline for Proposals - April 8th 2013

CRESC’s Mediating Religion Network Panel in collaboration with the
Religion and Media Working Group of the European Communication
Research and Educational Association (ECREA) and the Nordic Network
for Media and Religion.

The Mediating Religion Network invites proposals for papers on the
topic of “Media, Religion and In/vulnerability”. The Network aims to
contribute several panel sessions at the 2013 Annual Conference of the
Centre for Research into Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC). This year’s
CRESC conference title is In/vulnerabilities and Social Change:
Precarious Lives and Experimental Knowledge, and we are convinced that
scholars of religion and media can make a valuable contribution to
academic discussion of this important theme. The Mediating Religion
Network hopes to publish these presentations as a special issue of a
peer-reviewed academic journal.

The CRESC Annual Conference Call for Papers can be found here: The conference
focuses on “the relationship between vulnerability and
invulnerability”, including the precarious lives of the majority and
the precarious knowledge and status of elites – including the
relationship between religious, political  and media elites.

Religion and media constitute intertwined sites and occasions for the
formation of social relations and connectivities marked by persistent
and novel vulnerabilities and invulnerabilities. But what are the
conditions that make such relations and connectivities on the one hand
durable, strong and powerful or on the other, vulnerable, precarious
and risky?

Vulnerability is always associated with constructions of risk, and the
twin structures of blame and trust. Taking a leading note from one of
the keynote speakers at this year’s conference, T.H.Eriksen who will
revisit the work of Mary Douglas on Risk and Blame , the panel will
examine the in/vulnerabilities of religious groups, institutions and
practices, and their knowledge, values and beliefs in different parts
of the world. We will examine structures of blame and trust propagated
by media and/or religious groups, and their role in exacerbating
conflict or promoting peaceful resolution. We invite analyses of
projects and initiatives aimed at building trust and/or that explore
forms social resilience, organisation and experimentation (including
via uses of media) in the face of the multiple vulnerabilities
associated with faith-based exclusions, persecution, abuse and conflict.

Contributions may take historical and/or ethnographic perspectives and
may approach the concept of media broadly to include either a direct
focus on specific media (e.g., print or digital) and religion (e.g.,
religious broadcasting) or a wider theoretical focus on mediation as a
problematic of social theory in which religion and its
(jn)vulnerability to processes of rapid social change is a recurring

Specific topics could include:

-	Migration, Diaspora and Identities: What kinds of vulnerabilities
are religious groups exposed to as a result of migration and living in
diaspora? How are media used to strengthen or to weaken diasporic
religious identities, networks and practices? How are narratives of
blame or trust, prejudice or persecution directed at religious and
non-religious groups represented, promoted or contested?

-	Transitions across media and public spaces: What kinds of
in/vulnerabilities do religious groups experience as they embark on
transitions from occupying (often marginalised) diasporic public
spheres/spaces into more mainstream public spheres? How do  religious
ideas and organisations make the transition into the public spotlight
following blameworthy allegations of fundamentalism, corruption,
sexual abuse and how does this alter understandings or involve risks.
Are some religious groups more invulnerable than others in these
transitions, and if so, what kind of social and cultural capital is
involved in tackling blame and establishing trust?

-	Authority and Power: How do print, electronic and digital media
strengthen or undermine religious structures of control? How are
threats, risks and dangers associated with religion represented and
mediated? Who/what is represented as blameworthy or trustworthy?

-	Knowledge and Memory: How do religious communities use media to
(re)construct their past and future and address issues of risk, blame
and trust? How are media used religiously in times of conflict, death
and disaster? How do religious and non-religious media reinforce or
contest “orthodox” religious knowledge? What forms of experimental
knowledge are mobilised by religious groups?

Proposals for papers should include a title, a 200-word abstract and a
very brief statement of the applicant’s affiliation and research
interests. The panel does not require contributors to draw on either
mary Douglas or T.H. Eriksen’s ideas but we would like to keep a foci
around issues of blame and trust in our explorations of

Submissions should be sent to Dr Tim Hutchings (CRESC Research Fellow)
at (tim.hutchings /at/ Feel free to contract Tim or
(marie.gillespie /at/ to discuss paper proposals.  Deadline for
Proposals - April 8th 2013.
PhD Johanna Sumiala
Assistant Professor (Docent)
Kone Foundation Senior Fellow
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
University of Helsinki
mobile: + 358 50 311 2522
email: johanna.sumiala[at]

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