UPDATE: [Graduate] Reminder: Religion, Secularism and Nationhood UIUC

full name / name of organization: 
Brandon Jernigan
contact email: 

Religion, Secularism and Nationhood

April 3-4, 2009

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The British Modernities Group, in conjunction with the University of
Illinois Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the Illinois
Program for Research in the Humanities, invites submissions from diverse
disciplinary backgrounds and methodological orientations for our annual
graduate student conference, this year themed "Religion, Secularism and
Nationhood." The conference will open with a keynote address by Gauri
Viswanathan of Columbia University.

In response to the changing articulations of religious subjectivity and
religious communities in the so-called post-secular world, it is crucial to
heed the double aspect of religion as a "scrupulous observance," in
Jean-Luc Nancy's words, and as the means of social cohesion. As a wide
range of scholars have suggested, this "religious turn" also calls for
critical interventions in narratives of secularization and nationhood.
Edward Said's deployment of "secularism" as an epistemological category to
critique nationalism and Benedict Anderson's comparison of national
ceremonies and religious rituals emphasize ties between religion,
secularism and nationhood. This graduate conference will engage this
critical trend by focusing on how religious controversies circumscribe
national identity in "Greater Britain" (including transnational and
international formations) in textual cultural production from the
eighteenth century to the present moment. It will also investigate
religion's central role in colonial expansion and in establishing and
questioning cultural difference.

Possible topics for consideration include but are not limited to:

    * secularization, progress and modernity
    * religion, nationalism and community
    * pluralism and tolerance
    * knowledge and faith
    * empire and the unassimilable "Other"
    * political theology and public religions
    * alternative religious histories
    * conversion, historicity and secrecy

This plenary-style conference is designed to facilitate dialogue between
panels, participants, and attendees. To that end, panelists are strongly
encouraged to attend the full conference, scheduled late Friday and all day
Saturday. Presenters will be expected to submit their papers to their
panel's faculty respondent by March 14, 2009.

Please send 300-word abstracts for individual 15-minute papers to
modernities_at_gmail.com. The deadline for abstract submissions is February
15, 2009. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 20, 2009. In
the body of the e-mail, please include the following information: name,
university and departmental affiliation(s), level of graduate study, and
title of paper.

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Received on Mon Feb 02 2009 - 12:57:08 EST