CFP Deadline: April 30, Research Seminar, Spirituality and Popular Culture / Arts, UK

Scholars of religion have long been pointing out that going to the movie theatre, to a museum or an arts gallery can sometimes be experienced as religious/spiritual event during which the individual makes an encounter with the transcendent, that which is perceived to be not from this world. But popular culture and art themselves often portray spiritual experiences and transcendent encounters. When they do, they rely on aesthetic means and sometimes very stereotypical understandings of what such an encounter might look like. The religious/spiritual element, however, goes beyond the mere moment, the aesthetic/spiritual experience, the visual, or that what is depicted. Online and offline fan culture keep the discourse about popular culture and arts alive. Provocatively one could argue that fans perpetuate the spiritual experience through space and time thus creating.

Call for Contributions:
This one day research seminar on Spirituality and Popular Culture / Arts, 18 June 2015, at the Centre for Spirituality Studies, University of Hull, UK, will discuss questions of spirituality in popular and artistic contexts. The organizers invite discussion contribution on any topic in relation to spirituality and arts and popular culture and are particularly interested in the following themes:
•    Encountering popular culture / art as encountering the transcendent
•    Portrayals of spiritual experiences in pop culture and the arts
•    Fan culture online/offline – fan spirituality
•    The artist as spiritual guide
•    Film and cinema as spiritual practice and experience
•    The museum (or gallery) as spiritual place
•    Comic books and graphic novels and spirituality
•    How to do research on spirituality and popular culture/arts / new directions

New directions in popular culture spiritualities:
As the scholarship on religion/spirituality and popular culture is maturing (but often still not seen as serious scholarship by disciplines with a longer tradition), it is also time to think about new directions in the research of “popular culture spiritualities” and “artistic spiritualities.”

You are invited to submit proposals (title and a very brief abstract) for individual paper contributions / work in progress on any of the questions/topics listed above. You are also invited to submit papers / discussion topics / work in progress from your field of study/work not listed above and the organizers can break up into individual parallel sessions depending on topics and interests. Individual papers / contributions should be around 15 min. Please email your proposals to Claire Gregory,; deadline: 30 April 2015.

The event is free, but if you intend to attend, please register your participation.

9.00 – 12.30: Individual paper presentations
12.30-14.00: Lunch break
14.00-16.30: Roundtable with:
Dr. Rina Arya (University of Wolverhampton)
Dr. William Keenan (Liverpool Hope University)
Prof. Christopher Partridge (Lancaster University)
Exact times to be confirmed. A more detailed program will be made available after the submission deadline.

More information can be found on the CSS website.

This entry was posted in Calendar Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.