[UPDATE] Religion in/and/as Pop Culture, a panel at (dis)junctions Grad Conference, Apr 5-6. DEADLINE EXTENDED to Feb 22
Despite claims that modernity is disenchanted and secular, one encounters religion everywhere. References to religion appear in many different pop culture media, whether as themes and topics or as casual references, character building, or background elements. Conversely, religious groups or institutions appropriate pop culture forms in order to reach new subsections of believers, proselytize to outsiders, or provide general messages for society at large. Consider the ways in which religion appears in popular novels like Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, themes in music like Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown, or television programs like Futurama, South Park, or Family Guy. Consider also the way evangelical Christian organizations have utilized media forms from the advent of radio through the Internet, or the comic book-format of the Chick Tracts. What does the ubiquity of religious imagery mean for both the secular and sacred arenas within which such interaction takes place? What benefits are there for secular media forms to reference or draw upon religious elements, however tangentially? What does it say that some of the most skillful users of diverse media forms are religious groups? How have these interactions—these encounters—with, between, among, against each other affected both religion and media forms? We welcome paper or panel submissions exploring any of these themes or other topics regarding encounters between religion and popular culture.
This is a panel call for the 20th Annual (dis)junctions Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Conference at the University of California, Riverside. This year's general theme, "encountering with(in) texts," examines the impact of situatedness, unexpectedness, and/or unpreparedness on "face to text" encounters with media objects, embodied encounters negotiated through or overdetermined by texts, and representations of "encountering" within texts. Please visit www.disjunctions2013.org for more information on this year's theme, our other subject- and discipline-specific panel calls, and Keynote Speaker Dr. Nicholas Mirzeoff.