The Virginia Graduate Colloquium in Theology, Ethics, and Culture
University of Virginia, May 6-8, 2016
Keynote Speaker: Talal Asad
The 2016 Virginia Graduate Colloquium invites creative submissions by graduate students on the conference theme: “Religion and Media.” We are honored to present as our keynote speaker renowned anthropologist Professor Talal Asad, whose transformative work on the genealogical mediations of religious and “secular” traditions has deeply influenced the study and practice of religion today.
Religion is often described as a “mediated” phenomenon, whether ritually, doctrinally, aesthetically, communally, politically, narratively, and/or violently. Potential topics could include: material histories of the Gutenberg press, oral epic traditions, Qur’anic calligraphy, televangelism, propaganda posters and wartime radio broadcasts, Mormon architecture, illuminated medieval manuscripts, and iconoclastic controversies. What, for example, is the significance of an online presence for religious authorities, like the Dalai Lama via Twitter? What is the function of “scientia media,” or middle knowledge, regarding divine omniscience in analytic philosophy? How is Christ depicted as “the Mediator” by Christian theologians? How is God both immediately and transcendently One within the Islamic intellectual tradition? What is the interpretation of Jehovah-rapha and covenantal remediation before and after the Holocaust? In short, the conference will initiate a dialogue about “media,” construed not only as a “mode of transmission” but also as a process of (re-)/mediation and repair, to open new lines of investigation for theological and religious studies.
We welcome a broad range of submissions including, but certainly not limited to:
Technology and Society
American Religious History
Political & Material Cultures
Aesthetics & Literature
Digital Humanities/Media Theory
Philosophy of Religion
Proposals must consist of a 250-word abstract and a one-page Curriculum Vitae, due by February 1, 2016. Notifications of acceptance will be made by March 2016. If accepted, presentations must be no longer than 20 minutes. Submissions should be sent to vgc.tec.2016@gmail. Further details, including conference schedule and travel information, will be available at a later date.