CFP for Conference on Fandom and Religion

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The University of Leicester would like to announce a Call for Papers for a conference to be held 28th-30th July 2015 on Fandom and Religion. This event is organized by the UK Theology, Religion and Popular Culture Network with the support of UskoMus Research Network (University of Turku and at Åbo Akademi University), CODEC (University of Durham), Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (University of St Andrews), Network for Religion in Public Life (University of Exeter), and the Christian Congregational Music Studies Network (congregationalmusic.org).

The conference seeks short papers (up to 20 mins when delivered) and panel sessions (3 or 4 contributors, 1.5 hours) are invited either directly on the conference theme (Fandom and Religion) or on any aspect of study relating to popular culture and religion. ‘Popular culture’ is to be understood widely (e.g. TV, film, radio, media, music, sport, videogames) and ‘religion’ may mean organized religion, religiosity, spirituality. It is expected that the conference will need to address the question as to what constitutes ‘religion’ in Western culture, as well as examining how popular cultures are used ‘religiously’, how religious practices and beliefs are influenced by practices of popular cultural consumption, and how religion appears and is carried within culture in its many forms.

The conference is inter-disciplinary (especially sociology, cultural studies, religious studies and theology) and welcomes researchers working in academic and practitioner (media, culture, faith community) settings. Papers which draw together and reflect on the results of empirical studies are especially welcome.

For the event, we expect to group papers with similar concerns, possibly in the following groupings:
• Popular Culture as Religion
• Religion in Popular Culture
• Theory Papers/Literature Reviews

We shall, however, respond to the range and style of papers/panels offered in drawing up the programme.
We welcome proposals of papers and panels on such topics as:
• Case-studies of fan culture (TV, sport, film, music)
• Celebrity worship
• Sport and/as religion
• The impact of celebrity culture on religious practice
• Religious beliefs and practices within popular culture
• Media practices and/as religion
• Uses of popular culture by religious groups
• Theoretical debates about ‘fan culture and/as religious practice’
• Theories of religion as applied to popular culture use

For Short Paper proposal, please send a Word file containing:
• The title of your paper
• A 250-word abstract of what you would deliver

Do not include your name or institution in the file. Include your name and institutional affiliation (where appropriate) and the title of your paper in the e-mail you send to accompany your abstract. This will enable anonymous consideration of the paper proposals.

Deadline for receipt of all short paper proposals: Monday January 12th, 2015 (noon, UK time).

Participants would be expected to book their conference place by the end of April 2015.

All proposals should be sent to: ijw3@le.ac.uk

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