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Call for papers: Second annual conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR)

at the Clinton Centre, University College Dublin, 10th -12th May 2013

Conference theme:

Ireland, America and Transnationalism: studying religions in a globalised world

Extended deadline for abstracts: March 8th 2013

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Crawford Gribben (Queen’s University Belfast) “Ireland, America and the End of the World”

Prof. Alicia Turner (York University, Toronto) “Religion, the Study of Religions and other Products of Trans-locative and Trans-colonial Imaginations”

Public lecture:

Prof. Brian Victoria (Antioch University) “Reflections in a Catholic Mirror: The Struggle to Create a Buddhist Chaplaincy in the US Military”

We are pleased to invite scholars to take part in the second annual conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR). For information on the society, see: The Conference will take place Fri-Sun May 10th-12th, 2013 at the Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin (UCD), and is open to scholars of all disciplines that approach religions, both past and present, from a non-theological, critical, analytical and cross-cultural perspective.

Proposals for papers may relate to the conference theme ‘Ireland, America and Transnationalism’ or any other aspect of the Society’s work in the history, anthropology, folklore and sociology of religion in Ireland or the Irish diaspora, but also the work of Irish-based researchers on topics in the academic study of religions elsewhere in the world.

Although 19th and 20th century discourses often highlighted national, including Irish, religious uniqueness, this has always been at best a half truth. Megalithic architecture and pre-Christian myths are routinely studied in relation to other west European contexts. Christian conversion and medieval texts, early modern wars of religion and nineteenth-century ultramontanism also locate Ireland in a wider religious world. The conference theme encourages the study of religions in a global and comparative context, with particular reference to North America, the home of the largest Irish diaspora outside these islands.

From Ireland’s ‘spiritual empire’ of Catholic institutions to American enthusiasm for all things Celtic to imported Pentecostalisms, the religious exchange between the two has been intense. Adopting a transnational perspective highlights the networks of wider global relationships within which religions both in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora are enacted.

Please send a 150-200 word abstract for papers to Adrienne Hawley (Adrienne.hawley [at] by the closing date of Friday 8th March, 2013. Notification of abstract acceptance will be given by Friday March 15th, 2013.

Graduate students and early career researchers are invited to participate in a roundtable discussion. Each presenter will be given a maximum of 10 minutes to discuss their work in an informal setting.

Extra time will be provided after these presentations to facilitate questions and discussions. If you wish to participate in a roundtable please send a 100 word summary of your topic.

Proposals for themed panels from ISASR members are welcomed and may be made directly to the conference organisers via Adrienne Hawley (email above). The following panels have already been proposed:

– Folk Religion in Ireland: Meaning and Context (Convenors Dr. Marion Bowman, Open University & Dr. James Kapalo, University College Cork)

– Children’s Subjectivities and the Experience of Religious Educations (Convenors Dr. Karl Kitching and Dr. Yafa Shanneik, University College Cork)

– Gender and Religion

– Sacred landscape and indigenous imaginary (Convenors Dr. Lidia Guzy, University College Cork & Dr. Cécile Guillaume-Pey, Queen’s University Belfast).

– The Theosophical Society in Ireland and India: Activism, Identity and the work of James and Margaret Cousins (Convenor Colin Duggan, University College Cork)

If you wish to submit an abstract for these panels please indicate this in your abstract submission

The conference programme will be made available here once it has been finalised, probably in late March or early April.

Practical information

The conference will last from lunchtime on Friday 10th May to lunchtime

on Sunday 12th.

Conference fee: €75 waged, €35 unwaged. Payment details will be posted

on the website nearer the time.

UCD is a short journey from central Dublin; travel details are available

here. A map highlighting the Clinton Centre is available here.

There are a very large range of accommodation possibilities both in

south-central Dublin and in the city centre. ISASR is currently

exploring the possibility of organising accommodation with a nearby

provider and will announce this if successful; however we can offer no

guarantees at this point.

Further information on the ISASR Conference 2013 will be posted at:

The conference is hosted by ISASR in collaboration with The Clinton

Institute, UCD.