Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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NATURE & THE POPULAR IMAGINATION: International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture

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 Pepperdine University, Malibu, California

Nature & the Popular Imagination’

The Fifth International Conference of the

International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture

8-11 August 2012, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California (USA)

pleased to announce its next conference in Malibu, California at Pepperdine University in August 2012. The conference theme will be “Nature and the Popular Imagination.”

Malibu is located on the Pacific Ocean, just minutes from Hollywood, that archetypal place of imagination and dreams, the backyard and playground for practitioners of the cinematic arts. For generations, the interconnections between religion and nature have been expressed, promoted, and contested through the incubator of popular culture, and sometimes even in films produced in Malibu itself or the Santa Monica Mountains above it. As a global, symbolic center, both reflecting and inventing nature/religion representations, Malibu and its environs provide an ideal venue for critical reflection on the religion/nature nexus in the popular imagination.

The ISSRNC cordially invites creative proposals including but not limited to papers, panels, film screenings, and forums with “cultural creatives” from this region and beyond, to illuminate the conference theme.

Specific proposals, for example, might explore:

Apocalypticism (Abrahamic, Mayan, Scientific, etc.).

Documentary film: nature faking and realism

Theatrical film and nature spiritualities

Nature in cartoons and animated films

Malibu (and/or California) as sacred, imperiled, and desecrated places.

The spiritualities of celebrities, including as animal and/or environmental activists

As always, while we encourage proposals focused on the conference’s theme, we welcome proposals from all areas (regional and historical) and from all disciplinary perspectives that explore the complex relationships between religious beliefs and practices (however defined and understood), cultural traditions and productions, and the earth’s diverse ecological systems. We encourage proposals that emphasize dialogue and discussion, promote collaborative research, and are unusual in terms of format and structure. Individual paper and session proposals, as are typical with most scholarly associations, are also welcome.

Presenters will be encouraged to submit their work for possible publication in the peer reviewed Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, which is the official journal of the ISSRNC, and has been published quarterly since 2007.

Given the ISSRNC’s commitment to internationality financial assistance will be available for a number of scholars from outside of North America. We anticipate being able to provide travel grants to at least ten international scholars.

Submitting Proposals

Proposals for individual paper presentations, sessions, panels, and posters should be submitted directly to Sarah Pike at spike@csuchico.edu. It is not necessary to be an ISSRNC member to submit a proposal. Individual paper proposals should include, in a single, attached word or rich text document, the name and email of the presenter(s), title, a 250-300 word abstract, and a brief, 150 word biography (including highest degree earned and current institutional affiliation, if any). Proposals for entire sessions must include a title and abstract for the session as a whole as well as for each individual paper. Proposers should also provide information about ideal and acceptable lengths for proposed sessions, and whether any technology, such as data projectors, are desired.

Most paper presentations will be scheduled at 15-20 minutes and a premium will be placed on discussion in all sessions. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously by the Scientific Committee, but conference directors will be aware of proposers’ identities in order to select for diversity in terms of geographical area and career stage. Student proposals are welcome.

Requests for assistance with invitations to assist with visa processes must be included with proposals.

Requests for financial aid from scholars outside of North America must also be included with proposals, and provide a clear statement as to whether such aid is essential for attendance, the needed amount, and an explanation of supplemental travel resources that will be available to the proposer. Decisions on travel grants will be made by the ISSRNC Board of Directors based on recommendations from the conference directors and scientific committee.

The deadline for proposals is 1 April 2012.

for full details see:

<http://www.religionandnature.com/society/>

THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGION, NATURE AND CULTURE (ISSRNC)

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