2013 Spring Newsletter

RELIGION MATTERS: Spring 2013

Welcome to the spring 2013 newsletter from the Religion and Media Interest Group! Inside you’ll find information about a religion and media group to follow.

Table of Contents

  1. The Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies
  2. REMINDER: RMIG to co-sponsor panels at upcoming AEJMC conference
  3. Upcoming calls for papers and conferences

For these articles, keep reading after the jump.


The Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies
The Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies began in 2010 to “create online resource center for researchers, students and those interested in investigating the intersection of new media, religion and digital culture,” according to the group’s website. It’s sponsored by the Evans/Glasscock Digital Humanities Project and Texas A&M University’s Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture.

Here’s a brief introduction from the group’s site: “The Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies is set-up as a space where people can share resources they have found valuable in their research, have themselves written, and learn about the diversity of work being done in a variety of disciplines related to this exciting area of study. The Network provides features that allow you to explore the latest research as well as previous foundational studies to help contextualize your own studies of these topics, help refine your research questions. Members are able to key interactive features, such as the online bibliography, scholar’s index and news section. Together we hope the Network will help to more fully map the current boundaries of this interdisciplinary conversation so we can learn the extent to which new media technologies are affecting religious community, identity and rituals in a globalized society.”

If you’re interested, visit the website itself, the group’s Facebook page, its Twitter page, or subscribe to its RSS feed.


RMIG to co-sponsor six panels at AEJMC conference

Here’s the schedule for the co-sponsored conference panels that will be held Aug. 8-11:

Friday, Aug. 9

  • 3:15-4:45 p.m.: “Media as Cultural or Popular Religion” with the Entertainment Studies Interest Group

Moderator: Judith M. Buddenbaum, Colorado State University

Paper titles and panelists: Entertainment as Religion, Cynthia King, California State University Fullerton; Fandom as Religion, Daniel Stout, Brigham Young University, Hawaii; Sports as Religion, Tom Isaacson, Northern Michigan; Brands as Religion, Jan Slater, University of Illinois; Museums as Religion, David Scott, Utah Valley University

  • 5:00-6:30 p.m.: “Visual Expressions of National Memory and Personal Remembrance: Multilevel Meanings of Memorials” with the Cultural and Critical Studies Division and the Visual Communication Division

Moderator: Erika Engstrom, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Paper titles and panelists: City of Magnificent Distances: Visible Citizenship and the Memorials of Washington, D.C., Jennifer Jones Barbour, Texas A&M; Visual Culture, Vernacular Memory, and Material Tributes to the Heroes of Flight 93: The Long and Contested Transformation of ‘a Common Field’ into ‘a Field of Honor,’ Carolyn Kitch, Temple University; Creating Mormon Collective Memory through Heritage Sites, Chiung Hwang Chen, Brigham Young University, Hawaii; Life and Death Aesthetics: The Visual Construction of Roadside Crosses, Lawrence Mullen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Saturday, Aug. 10

  • 5:15-6:45 p.m.: “Faith in the Spotlight: Celebrities, Religion and Gender in the News Media” with the Commission on the Status of Women

Moderator: Chiung Hwang Chen, Brigham Young University, Hawaii

Paper titles and the panelistsSafe, warm, and welcoming: Media framing of Catholicism in contrast to Scientology in the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes divorce narrative, Jessica Birthisel, Bridgewater State University; Advocating Attachment: Celebrity mothers on the spiritual rewards of attachment parenting, Spring-Serenity Duvall, University of South Carolina; Questioning and defending a full quiver: Discussions of reproduction and religion in discourse about the Duggar family, Stacie Meihaus Jankowski, University of Indiana, Bloomington; America’s doctor is a (not-so-secret) Muslim? Discussing Doctor Oz’s religion, Rosemary Pennington, University of Indiana, Bloomington; Tebowmania: Fandom as Religion, Erika Engstrom, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The three Refereed Research panels are scheduled for:

  • Friday, Aug. 9: 8:15-9:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 10: 1:45-3:15 p.m.

The RMIG members’ meeting will be held on Friday, Aug. 9, from 1:30-3 p.m.

The incoming leadership training meeting will be on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 9:15-10:45 a.m.


Upcoming calls for papers and conferences

Media and Religion: The Global View at the University of Colorado at Boulder 

From the Center for Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Colorado Boulder: This will be the fifth in a series of successful international conferences held by the Center for Media, Religion and Culture. The previous meetings have brought together an interdisciplinary community of scholars for focused conversations on emerging issues in media and religion. Each has proven to be an important landmark in the development of theory and method in its respective area and has resulted in important collaborations, publications, and resources for further research and dialogue. The conference will be held from Jan. 9-12, 2014.

Click here for more information.

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture special edition: ‘Popular Culture, Multiculturalism, and Religion in Canada’

From the journal: Twenty-five years ago, Canada implemented the Multiculturalism Act that put into law the multiculturalism policy first introduced by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1971. Over the history of both the policy and the Act, there have been many measures taken in Canada to increase the viability of a multicultural population. There have also been considerable controversies around the, at times, superficial approach to multiculturalism and, specifically, the way it seems to avoid discussions of religious diversity. We are looking to publish a special edition that addresses some of the many questions around multiculturalism and religion in Canada with a specific focus on popular cultural discourse. Deadline for papers is Sept. 1, 2013

Click here for more information.

Digital Media and Sacred Text, Open University Camden Centre

From the organizers: This one-day conference will bring together academics interested in the study of digital sacred text from a wide range of religious traditions, including sociologists, ethnographers, media scholars, computer scientists, digital humanists and theologians. We also welcome religious practitioners and publishers engaged in creating digital sacred texts. Deadline for papers is April 15, 2013.

Click here for more information.

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