Archive for March 2016

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[ecrea] Cfp: Believing in Bits: Digital Media and the Supernatural

Thu Mar 03 13:25:35 GMT 2016

Believing in Bits: Digital Media and the Supernatural
Edited by Simone Natale and Diana Pasulka

Call for book chapters

Deadline for submission of abstracts: May 1st, 2016

As scholars such as Birgit Meyer and Heidi Campbell have shown, new
media play a part in the contemporary performance of religious faiths
and practices. Believing in Bits advances the idea that religious
beliefs and practices are inextricably linked to the functioning of new
media, too. Digital media - conceived as technologies, artefacts, as
well as the systems of knowledge and values shaping our interaction with
them - cannot be analysed outside the system of beliefs and performative
rituals that inform and prepare their use. It is sufficient to browse
the pages of the magazine Wired, or to read one of the many publications
on the “digital revolution,” to realize that expectations kindled by new
media intermingle with metaphysical, existential and spiritual issues.
As a consequence, the question of what we believe, and of how our
systems of belief inform our experience and interactions, is
inextricable from the question of how we perceive, employ, and actively
shape digital media technologies and environments. In turn, new media
inform and influence belief and systems of belief.

Situated at the theoretical interface between the fields of media
studies and religious studies, this edited book will unveil the multiple
ways in which new media intersect with belief in the supernatural. Does
the dignity accorded to the human and natural worlds within traditional
religions translate to gadgets, avatars, or robots? How does the
Internet’s capacity to facilitate the proliferation of beliefs help blur
the boundaries between what is considered fictional and factual?
Contributions are invited that are willing to address these and similar
questions, as well as to challenge and redefine established
understandings of digital media and culture by employing the notions of
belief, religion, and the supernatural.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to

- Religion, digital media and the supernatural
- The role of belief(s) in the use of and interaction with digital
- New religious and media practices
- Artificial Intelligence/Life and animistic beliefs
- Algorithms, predictions, and the imagination of the future
- Belief and deception in human-machine interaction
- The supernatural and the paranormal in the contemporary digital imaginary
- The rise of new forms of beliefs and religions related to new technologies
- Governments, conspiracy and the supernatural
- Fact, fiction and the supernatural
- Videogames and the supernatural
- Internet and the circulation of beliefs in the supernatural

Submission guidelines:Please submit a 300 word abstract, together with a
short bio for each author, to (s.natale /at/ and (pasulkad /at/
by May 1st, 2016.


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