First Conference of the International Society for Heresy Studies May 30-31, 2014

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International Society for Heresy Studies

First Conference of the International Society for Heresy Studies
May 30-31, 2014

Deadline for conference proposals extended to March 1st, 2014!

The International Society for Heresy Studies announces a Call for Papers for its inaugural conference at New York University, May 30-31, 2014. We will accept proposals for papers, roundtables, and panels on the topic of heresy and/in literature and art. This conference will examine the historical and contemporary developments of heretical thought in its dialogue with literature and art. Much of the published work in literature and religion, whether confessional or skeptical, tends to treat religion in a reductive manner. Terms like "religion," "Christian," and "God," are left unproblematized and are assumed to have a single fixed meaning. The study of heresy and its relationship to literature and art helps to destabilize these terms and their usage. The origins of heresy in the Western world come out of debates around literary practices and devices—allegory, typology, canon formation, authorial intent, and literary influence—so it is not surprising that discourses of heresy are powerful tools in literary study. We welcome papers and proposals on any aspect of heresy and literature or heresy and the arts, with a particular focus on papers that draw multiple disciplines into dialogue. Papers that examine the historical relationships and contexts are welcome alongside papers that explore creative and constructive accounts of heretical thinking. Speakers and attendees working in philosophy, theology, history, literary theory, art history, creative writing as well as working writers, poets, and artists are welcome. Heresies can be understood as specific doctrinal deviations from normative articles of faith, as subversive or alternative belief systems, as various nontraditional conceptions of the deity, or as nonconformist stances. We use the term "heresy" in a value-neutral way, neither celebrating nor condemning it, but simply making it a central object of critical inquiry.

To be considered for a talk at the conference, submit abstracts of up to 500 words to Bernard Schweizer ( or Gregory T. Erickson ( by March 1, 2014.
Featured Speakers at the Conference:

• Thomas J.J. Altizer
• Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
• James Wood


• 2 Awards of $400 each for scholars applying from abroad.
• 2 Awards of $400 each for graduate students (applying from anywhere).

To apply, submit a 500-word abstract for a conference talk by March 1st, 2014, to Gregory T. Erickson ( A selection committee will decide the winners based on originality, suitability, and scholarly merit. Winners will be notified by March 20.