Category Archives: Conferences

Save the Date: Socrel Annual Conference- 13-15 July 2021

The Socrel conference is now due to take place on Tuesday 13th – Thursday 15th July 2021 at the University of York. Our invited speakers (Sam Perry, Sarah-Jane Page, Colin Campbell, Linda Woodhead, Grace Davie, Eileen Barker and Jim Beckford) who were due to participate in the 2020 conference are all able to make this new date, and we will also work towards having the postgraduate study day on Monday 12th July 2021.

A call for papers will be circulated this autumn and we will be honouring those bursary recipients who were awarded bursaries in 2020 for Socrel 2021. Should any bursary recipient have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or our PGR Liaison officers, Joanna Malone and Emily Lynn.

So please save 13-15th July 2021 in your diaries and all being well, we will see each other again then!

Life on the Breadline Conference [Online]: Faith-Based Activism in Austerity Britain – Registration open

11th September 2020

Registration is now open for the Life on the Breadline Conference: Faith-Based Activism in Austerity Britain – an online half day academic conference exploring faith-based responses to poverty and austerity.

The conference is free to attend but please register in advance through Eventbrite –

The workshop will take place online starting at 9.30am and finishing at 12.40pm BST.  The link to attend will be sent to people who have registered.  

Conference Overview:

How has austerity impacted people in the UK? What are the implications of this for theology and faith-based social action? Two years into the Life on the Breadline research, this conference grapples with these questions with a particular focus on Christian responses to UK poverty and austerity.  In addition to presentations from the Life on the Breadline team, we are pleased to announce two keynote speakers: Human geographer Dr Sarah Marie Hall from the University of Manchester speaking on the legacies of austerity from her recent ethnographies of everyday austerity, and theologian Professor Rachel Muers from the University of Leeds speaking on Christian social action and class.

Call for Papers: The Sacred and The…Profanity – Online Symposium

8th September 2020

To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 200 words to: Dr Paul Martin: and Nicole Graham: by 15th July 2020.

Building on the recent growth of scholarship in the field of humour and religion, this interdisciplinary online symposium aims to bring together scholars from a wide range of fields to explore the multifaceted relationship between humour, obscenity, and religion, and to consider what happens when these worlds collide.

There are many examples that seem to support the view that religion and humour have a tense relationship; whether it be ‘comic’ representations of religious figures in the media, jokes about God, or films and television which focus on religion and morality that are considered blasphemous or offensive. These occurrences are often enthusiastically cast as a conflict between religious freedom and the right to dignity in belief, on the one hand, and freedom of expression and the right to offend, on the other. However, the intersection of humour, obscenity, and religion is much more complex than this, and this symposium invites participants to work through various aspects of this relationship. Of particular interest is the place of humour and the obscene in religion, the positive functions it can serve and ultimately its value. We want to ask: what role can humour play in the sphere of religion, and how comfortably? Even if joking might be allowed, can it ever truly fit in? Who decides on the value of humour for religion?

We welcome submissions which consider these, and other, questions in relation to a number of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Historical or contemporary examples of humour or obscenity in religion
  • Gendered experiences of laughter, humour, and joke-telling
  • Ritual
  • Joke-telling
  • Satire
  • The Media
  • Blasphemy
  • The usefulness of humour and the obscene
  • Limits of humour
  • The policing of humour

In addition to the panel of papers, the symposium will include a round table entitled: “Exploring Religion and Ritual in Humour and the Obscene”. Confirmed speakers for this round table are: Professor Bernard Schweizer (Co-Founder of the Humour and Religion Network), Dr Emily Selove (Senior Lecturer of Medieval Arabic Language and Literature), Dr Lieke Stelling (Assistant Professor in English Literature), and Dr Simon Weaver (Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications).

We welcome papers that address one of these themes in a 15-minute talk. The organisers will review all submissions anonymously.

All papers will be presented remotely and observed online. Each talk will be followed by a discussion.

Fostering Ethics – Islam, Adoption and the Care of Children

Virtual Conference – Thursday 25 June, 14.00 – 18.30 (BST)

A joint conference hosted by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies and CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) at the University of Cambridge – this event will explore the challenges and possibilities for a new ethics of care for orphaned or abandoned children in Muslim communities.

The adoption or fostering of children represents a complex issue in Islam, and a source of common misconceptions. The topic has gained increasing attention recently, given the reality of many Muslim children in foster care and the urgent needs of unaccompanied minors among refugees and migrants of Muslim background. This online conference brings together a number of academics and experts from the UK and abroad, to share relevant research and shed light on the issue from a variety of perspectives, including Islamic law and history, social science, and professional experience in care.

For a full programme and to register for the event please see the Eventbrite page:

Hashtag: #FosteringEthicsIslam

Centre of Islamic Studies: ‘Muslims in the UK and Europe’ symposium for 2020 has been cancelled

University of Cambridge’s Centre of Islamic Studies ‘Muslims in the UK and Europe’ symposium for 2020 has been cancelled

It is with regret that we can confirm that this year’s ‘Muslims in the UK and Europe’ symposium has been cancelled. We had explored the possibility of taking it online but felt that the benefits of the symposium came largely from the professional and personal relationships formed at the event which would not be possible in an online setting. We hope to announce the ‘MUKE’ 2021 event at the start of next year – pandemic permitting.

Kind regards from the CIS team

Centre of Islamic Studies

University of Cambridge

Postponement of the IV ISA Forum of Sociology to February 2021

As you have been informed recently, the Executive Committee of the ISA decided to postpone the IV ISA Forum of Sociology in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to February 23-27, 2021

We are aware that this postponement may be problematic for many of you. The size and speed of the Covid-19 outbreak gave us no other solution. We will redouble our energy and motivation to use these seven months delay to make this Forum a major and insightful meeting of the global sociological community in extraordinary times.

All the activities that have been prepared for the Forum will be maintained. This includes the regular session as much as the plenaries and the common sessions. We will however provide some flexibility to the RC that would like to adapt their program and, if they decide so, to allow their participants to update the title and abstracts of their contribution to the Forum. The abstract selected for the Forum in July 2020 remain thus valid for the Forum in February 2021.

Together with a new “early registration deadline”, we have set a new calendar that allows some flexibility to RCs that wish to update and re-open some of their panels to new participants to replace the colleagues who will not be able to join us in February and to take into account the questions and challenges raised by the Covid-19 outbreak, its social impact and the world that will come out of it.

15 September – 15 October 2020

  • The authors of abstracts selected for the ISA Forum will be invited to confirm their participation to the Forum before October 15th, 2020. They may update their abstract and title, in consultation with their session organizers or RC program coordinators.

15 October 2020 Final day to confirm participation by authors of the already accepted abstracts.

  • The abstracts that have not been not confirmed will be automatically removed from the program

16 – 25 October 2020 Publication of the calls for new abstracts proposals by the RC/WG/TG

26 October – 12 November 2020 Submission of new abstracts proposals via online platform

12 November 2020 Deadline for new abstract submissions

24 November 2020 Authors are notified about the acceptance or rejection of their abstracts
15 December2020 Presenters final registration deadline (early registration fees apply).

We are aware that postposing the Forum will require additional work for our RC program coordinators, presidents and boards, for the Local Organizing Committee and in particular for its president Hermilio Santos, and for the ISA Secretariat. We would like to thank each of them and ensure them we will be there to support them. On our side, have no doubt that we will use this delay to make this Forum an insightful space, to reinforce the existing panels and projects and to set up new ones, such as the “Sociological Movies section” for which a call will soon be published.

The CoVid outbreak is shaking our world in a way that no one expected and will have deep consequences on our world and the way we see it. The 2021 ISA Forum of Sociology will be a unique opportunity to learning from colleagues from all continents and sharing analyses of the crisis, its social impacts and the world that will emerge out of it with. We look very much forward to seeing all of you.

Sari Hanafi, President of the International Sociological Association

Geoffrey Pleyers, ISA Vice President for Research and President of the IV ISA Forum of Sociology

RN34 Sociology of Religion Conference Cancellation

Due to the current circumstances, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the 2020 ESA-RN34 Sociology of Religion conference planned for 26-28 August 2020 in Groningen (Netherlands). If you have registered for the conference and already paid the registration fee, we will be in touch in the upcoming weeks to arrange the reimbursement of this fee. Although the conference cannot go ahead, the organizers are discussing possibilities to organize a short online session (on one of the days of the conference, still to be set) with the Keynote Speakers. More information will be posted in the upcoming weeks on the conference website. Stay tuned!

25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion (NCSR) postponed

Due to the continued uncertainty associated with the global Covid-19 pandemic, the planning committee for NCSR2020 has decided to postpone the 2020 conference. Although no definitive decision has been made on the issue, our intention is to arrange the conference in Sweden in 2022.

We are thankful for all the abstracts that we have received. However, new abstracts will be requested for the future conference. Please feel free to present the work highlighted in your abstracts at other venues. We recommend that you reach out to the contact person for your session if you are interested in sharing your research with researchers within the same field.

The registration fee will be fully refunded to all participants that have already made the payment. We will do our best to handle the refunds as soon as possible. If you do not receive your refund in a timely fashion, please email us at

We appreciate your patience while we deal with the extraordinary circumstances that we are all negotiating at this time. More details will be released about future NCSR-conferences at a later date on the conference website.

Association for the Sociology of Religion 2020 Conference Cancelled

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 ASR Annual Meeting in San Francisco has been cancelled. There remains great uncertainty around whether this global health crisis will be resolved by August. Some experts are predicting social distancing orders will last at least through the summer.  The American Sociological Association has cancelled its SF conference, and we do, too.

This news is very disappointing. Every year, we look forward to intellectually stimulating research and conversation, sharing teaching experiences, and navigating grant opportunities. I want to express my sincere gratitude to our current President, James Cavendish, and our Program Chair, Brian Starks, who have already put a lot of work into creating a conference theme, proposing joint sessions with the ASA, soliciting session proposals and abstract submissions, and fielding questions about the Annual Meeting. I also appreciate the time and effort that ASR’s Council has dedicated to helping us plan this conference.

If you already registered for this conference, we will be happy to refund your money in full. We would also be happy to accept your payment as a generous donation to the ASR. If you would like a refund for your registration fee, please email me.

Please stay safe and healthy, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.  


Rachel Kraus, PhD, MPA
ASR Executive Officer
Professor of Sociology
Ball State University