CFP: Producing and Consuming Religious Identities in U.S. Media

full name / name of organization: 
Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference 2012 (Boston, MA)
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Call for panel participants: SCMS Conference March 21-25, 2012

Panel topic: Producing and Consuming Religious Identity in U.S. Media

The relationship between American media and religion has become increasingly significant in the past decade. Conservative Christian ideas about gender, sexuality, reproduction, the family, race, and citizenship have become blatantly political, due in large part to the use of film, television, and new media to deploy these ideologies to "secular" audiences. Since the box office success of The Passion of the Christ, churches have become a marketing battleground for both studio productions (The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Blind Side) and independent, overtly-Christian films (Facing the Giants and Fireproof). Television shows (Lost, Battlestar Galactica ) overtly probe questions of faith and fundamentalism, while reality shows like Sister Wives and 19 Kids and Counting have, in their own ways, contributed to discourses about the "realities" of religion and politics in U.S. culture. Moreover, developments in new media now provide greater tools for identifying and accessing faith-based audiences, while at the same time allowing religious communities to become more insular and reinforcing.

This panel invites submissions that explore the intersection between the two cultural institutions of American religion and the media. Possible topics might include, but are certainly not limited to:

- Faith-based media productions and religious subculture(s)

- Marketing to churches and faith-based audiences

- Religious imagery and on-screen representations of gender, sexuality, race, and nation

- Media representations of religion and politics

- Representations of race and/or gender in religious media

Please email your 300-word abstracts to Amanda Rossie ( AND Benjamin Sampson ( The deadline for these submissions is August 1, 2011. You will be notified by August 15, 2011 about whether your submission has been accepted or rejected.