UPDATED: Material Religion and the Market

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

NeMLA Annual Convention

5-8 March, 2020

Boston, MA


“The familiar observation that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time obscures a more startling fact: the Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every year. Calculating how many Bibles are sold in the United States is a virtually impossible task” says “The Good Book Business” article published in The New Yorker in 2006, underlines the billion dollar industry of Bible-publishing in the U.S.


A sacred book, an amulet, an icon, a string of beads, a painting or a sculpture, a piece of jewelry, a pendant, or a t-shirt with a religious reference printed on it…Objects that have religious significance to their owners or viewers are situated in and operate through intricate networks of meanings, relations and power. The business part of the story that makes such objects available for purchase on the market is often overshadowed by the significance of the object itself. How does the market shape objects with religious significance?


This panel proposes to approach such objects from the perspective of the market, and explore how producers, marketers and consumers of such objects shape and mediate the experience of religion.


Paper topics may include but are not limited by:

material culture

gendered design, perceived masculinity and femininity

gender stereotypes


advertising and marketing

consumer studies


printing industry

digital media


Please create a user account, and submit a 300 word abstract by September 30th, 2019 through the NeMLA submission page: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/18254


NeMLA membership is not required to submit abstracts.

You can direct questions to Duygu Yeni Cenebasi at dyeni@syr.edu

About NeMLA Convention: http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention.html