Category Archives: Conferences

CFP: Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies

Monday 6th-Tuesday 7th April 2020
The Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
10 Handyside Street, London, N1C 4DN

Call for Papers and Panels: Following the success of its conferences in Edinburgh (2014), London (2015 and 2016), Chester (2017), Exeter (2018) and Nottingham (2019), the British Association for Islamic Studies is delighted to invite proposals for individual papers, or whole panels, for its Seventh Annual Conference which will be hosted by the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, London. Papers and panels may be proposed by senior and early scholars from Professor to PhD level.

Islamic Studies is broadly understood to include all topics and disciplinary approaches to the study of Islam and Muslim societies (majority and minority), across all time periods from the formative to the classical, and pre-modern to the contemporary. Though not an exhaustive list, papers are welcome, for instance, on the following:

  *   Art, Architecture and Material Culture in the Muslim world
  *   Diversity within Islam and Islamic Studies
  *   Economy, Marketing and Finance
  *   Education
  *   Gender Studies
  *   Hadith Studies
  *   History, Intellectual History, History of Science
  *   Interreligious Relations
  *   Law
  *   Literature, Media and Cultural Studies including Postcolonial Studies
  *   Muslims in Africa and Asia
  *   Muslims in Britain/Europe/North America and other minority contexts
  *   Philosophy, Theology and Ethics
  *   Qur’anic and Tafsir Studies
  *   Representations of Islam and Muslims
  *   Sociology, Anthropology and Political Science
  *   Sufism and Mysticism

An Inclusive Conference: BRAIS is committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusivity. We welcome papers from scholars of all backgrounds and will work hard to ensure that BRAIS 2020 is a welcoming environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

Submitting Your Paper Proposal: Your paper proposal should be submitted via the online submission form which is available HERE

In addition to information about yourself, you will need to provide a paper title and an abstract. Abstracts should not exceed 200 words and must be written in English.

Submitting Your Panel Proposal: BRAIS particularly welcomes proposals for whole panels curated around certain themes or methodologies. Panels will ideally include four individual papers, but panels of three individual papers will also be considered.

Your panel proposal should be submitted via the online submission form which is available HERE

We will require contact details, paper titles and abstracts for all papers submitted as part of the panel.  The panel should be submitted by the panel Chair who will be contacted by BRAIS once a decision has been made about your panel.

Submission Deadline  The deadline for submissions is midnight GMT on Sunday 17th November 2019.

PhD Fee Waivers A number of fee waivers will be available for UK-based PhD students whose papers are accepted for the BRAIS 2020 conference. Details of how to apply for fee waivers will be emailed to all those whose papers have been accepted for the conference.
Any Questions? If you have any questions, please contact the Conference Committee on:

CFP: Conference on “Rights, dignity and religion: responding to ‘modern slavery’”

St Mary’s Conference Centre, Sheffield, UK, Friday 24 January 2020

The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, and similar legislation being pushed forward in many countries of the world, has led to a rapid expansion of responses to severe exploitation in recent years. This includes growth of statutory, NGO and faith based organisation services, public communications, and policy development to identify and support people in or at risk of severe exploitation. A vast amount of activities are focused on defining and identifying individuals considered at risk of, or to be perpetrators of, ‘modern slavery’. Less attention has been given to considering the efficacy, quality and direction of support and policy responses, the ramifications of victimising imagery that frequently circulates in campaigns, and how religious responses may (or may not) shape how ‘modern slavery’ is framed and addressed.

Faith-based organisations and faith leaders are prominent in ‘modern slavery’ discourse, policy development and services. New ‘post-secular’ partnerships are being forged between statutory, third sector and faith actors to deliver specialist welfare provision. Examination of faith based organisations’ roles in responding to homelessness, drug and alcohol dependency, food poverty and development variously suggest that faith identity can be significant or insignificant, strategic or hidden, helpful or unhelpful in providing services.

This 1-day conference will bring together academics, researchers, policy makers and service providers to explore how responses to ‘modern slavery’ can best secure the human rights and maintain the dignity of people experiencing severe exploitation. Instead of focusing on efforts to categorise ‘human trafficking’ or ‘modern slavery’, we will examine if the type and framing of responses and the faith identity of who delivers them matter for efforts to ‘end modern slavery’ and to support people exiting exploitation in building secure futures.

Keynote speaker:  Dr Yvonne Zimmerman, Associate Professor, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Author Other Dreams of Freedom: Religion, Sex and Human Trafficking, Oxford University Press.

We invite papers and other types of contributions (e.g. poetry, film, art) which reflect on these questions:

1) Standards and effectiveness
o   What do we know about the effectiveness of responses to human trafficking and modern slavery?
o   What constitutes best practice in working with people with past experiences of coercion and deception?

2) Representations, outcomes, rights and dignity
o   Do ‘modern slavery’ responses, discourse and visuals as currently framed adequately address the rights and dignity of people exiting severe exploitation?
o   Does a focus on individual rescue from a particular exploitation situation detract resources and attention from securing broader rights for vulnerable migrants and workers?
o   How do the images used to portray ‘modern slavery’ affect public imaginations and policy responses?

3) Religion and welfare provision
o   How might faith actors best articulate their contribution in this field?
o   What can we learn by comparing the roles of religious actors in different countries?
o   Are faith-statutory partnerships ‘postsecular’ if religious principles and identity are intentionally hidden?
o   What can we learn for the anti-trafficking field from faith based action in other areas such as food banks, homelessness and drug and alcohol dependency?

Submit abstracts at:  max 250 words by 31 October 2019

Any queries contact Rebecca Murray (<>).

Register at: before 10 January 2020.

CFP: Religion & Gender at the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture conference 2020

The International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture is coming to Chester, 11-13 Sept 2020

Gender: Transmutations and Transgressions

Gender, feminist and women’s studies, and gender activism have always walked a tightrope between transformation, transmutation and transgression.  Attempts to transform existing structures and practices have often been dismissed – at least initially – as unacceptable transgressions, seeming to ignore the fact that transgression is often a precursor to change and transformation we come to embrace. This panel invites proposals that explicitly address the themes of the conference – transformations, transmutations, transgressions – across gender, religion, culture, theology, literature, and the arts. Potential themes include (but are not limited to):

  1. inequalities in the academy – race, gender, religion, sexuality class, ableism, age
  2. religion, gender, and activism
  3. the relationships between literature and the arts, and gender and
  4. religious feminisms and agency
  5. queer theory, religion, and the arts
  6. the body

Please send abstracts (around 300 words) for 20-minute presentations and queries to and no later than 1 December 2019. We also welcome alternative formats and suggestions for panels. Please do get in touch if you have any questions.

Reminder: CFP Deadline 15 November

The 25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion

17th-19th August 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden

THEME: Religious Organisation(s):  Challenges and changes in contemporary society

In today’s globalised and fast changing society, religious organisation and religious organisations face several challenges: Globalization, migration and different secularisation processes, together with political, technological and environmental changes/issues, influence, not only society in general, but also religious organisations and the ways in which religion is practiced and expressed in contemporary society. This situation prompts questions such as:

  • · How do religious organisations handle an influx of new members from other parts of the world and at the same time, an increased loss of members who have been there for a long time?
  • · How do religious organisations react to new technology such as digital communication instead of face-to-face interaction, and web-broadcasted religious meetings?
  • · How do religious groups and organisations handle the late modern individual who has little need of belonging to religious groups, and who is sceptical of religious authority?
  • · How can we explain why late modern individuals choose to belong to conservative and fundamentalist religious groups?

These, and other, questions concerning how religion is organised in contemporary society will be addressed at the 25th NCSR conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden 17th-19th August 2020, which includes a pre-conference for doctoral students in the morning of 17th August.


  • 15th November 2019          Deadline for submission of session proposals (paper sessions, panels, posters, authors-meets- critics, workshops etc.)
  • 15th Mars 2020                   Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers (max. 200 words)

Information on abstract format and delivery, programme, registration, venue etc. will be available at the conference website:

The conference is hosted by Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, at Gothenburg University.

We look forward to seeing you in Gothenburg,

  • · Magdalena Nordin,
  • · Daniel Enstedt,
  • · Mia Lövheim,
  • · Martha Middlemiss Lé Mon,

CALL FOR PAPERS: “Religion on the Periphery”

CALL FOR PAPERS 14th ISORECEA conference “Religion on the Periphery”
Olomouc, Czech Republic, 23-25 April 2020

Individuals or groups on the periphery have always been part of various societies, not only today but also in the past, in ancient times. Modern Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe, pays more and more attention to and exhibits increasing sensitivity about minorities, to people on the periphery, to those who are marginalized because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion or lack of religion. Attitudes of society and individuals to such persons or groups can be seen as an indication of the state of their culture and civilization, as an indication of the prevailing values, as a touchstone, which can not only unite but also divide the society. Numerous religious traditions throughout history demonstrate, however, that peripheral areas of social life, as well as peripheral areas of faith, are phenomena that involve special treatment and special attention by religious authorities as well as by ordinary believers.

Science and the humanities are also aware of peripheries and have peripheral areas, certain methods or theories can play a crucial role, some marginal. It is the same within the academic study of religions. Traditionally, the historical approach and the study of the history of religion have played a significant role. Many other approaches have emerged, however, since the nineteenth century. Some of these, such as the study of the origin and development of religions, have lost their popularity and then regained it later. Some approaches have been marginalized, others favored. In other words, science, including the study of religions, also creates different stratifications, exclusions, and the ostracism of individuals and groups of scholars.

The aim of this conference is to encourage scholars from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Western scholarship, to reflect on the variety of such peripheries – in particular, peripheries in/of religions as well as in the study of religion; for instance, various forms of heresy, apostasy and blasphemy, ways and forms of religious and social exclusion, and types of power and powerlessness within religious traditions. At the same time, it is considered important to draw attention to the peripheral areas of religious studies, the reasons for the marginalization of certain scholars, and the exclusion of some approaches, methods and concepts. If religious studies is to be a discipline creating its own peripheries, it is undoubtedly important to take them into account.

We want to address these issues in the forthcoming international conference and encourage scholars from various parts of Europe and elsewhere to share their theoretical and empirical insights about religious diversification and varieties of approaches to it.

The conference topics include but are not limited to:
•  Non-believers and atheists in religious societies
•  Religious people as a minority
•  Dominant and peripheral discourses on religion
•  Exposing the explicit and implicit in religions
•  Transformations of the New Religious Movements: from the periphery to the mainstream or disappearance
•  Peripheral religious practices in history and modern times: magic, divination and ritual healing
•  Religious diversification and social exclusion
•  Theories and methods on the peripheries: marginal approaches in the study of religion

Important dates:
  *   Submission of abstracts: by December 15th 2019
  *   Submission of session/panel proposals: by December 15th 2019
  *   Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 15 January 2020
  *   Notification of acceptance of session/panel proposals: 15 January 2020
  *   Opening of registration: 15 January 2020
  *   Final date for registration: 15 February 2020
  *   Final program: 15 March 2020

Date and Location for SocRel 2020 conference

Dear colleagues,
I am pleased to circulate the date, location and list of speakers for the next Socrel Annual Conference

Celebrating SocRel at 45: Beyond Binaries in the Sociology of Religion
14 July – 16 July 2020
University of York

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Sarah Jane Page (Aston University)
  • Professor Sam Perry (University of Oklahoma)
  • Further speaker TBC

Special 45th Anniversary Panel:

  • Professor Eileen Barker (London School of Economics)
  • Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick University)
  • Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University)
  • Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)

A full call for papers including conference theme, abstract submission and registration links as well as further conference information will be circulated in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, please do pop this date in your diaries and we look forward to seeing you in York next year!

Should you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,
Rachael  (Socrel conference and events officer)
Dr Rachael Shillitoe
Research Associate
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT

Call for Papers Artificial Intelligence and Religion

International Conference
3 – 5 March 2020
Centre for Religious Studies
Centre for Information and Communication Technology
Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Trento

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are having a significant impact on contemporary societies, and it is a widely held belief that their societal impact will become disruptive in a not too distant future. Religion has proved to remain a salient and determining feature of human societies, with an estimated 84% of the global population in 2010 identifying with a religious group, according to the PEW Research Centre. The goal of this conference is to explore current interactions between the religious sphere (widely construed in terms of diverse communities, institutions, practices, precepts, beliefs, and rites) on the one hand, research and innovation in the field of AI on the other. AIR2020 will bring together researchers and scholars in artificial intelligence, religious studies, economics, legal studies, science communication, narratology, philosophy, and sociology. While covering the more obvious and researched topics, such as the role of religious vocabulary in popular AI narratives and techno-utopian or dystopian visions of human futures, the conference will also focus on less researched areas, such as the involvement of religious actors in shaping current debates over AI governance, the impact of AI technologies on freedom of religion or belief, the value alignment problem for AI with regard to religiously grounded values, and the discrepancy between non-expert perceptions of AI and the current state of the art in AI research, development and innovation.

AIR2020 is embedded in the mission on religion and innovation of the Centre for Religious Studies, as articulated in our 2019 position paper Religion and Innovation: Calibrating Research Approaches and Suggesting Strategies for a Fruitful Interaction. Our position paper proposes a set of eleven recommendations concerning action research in religion and innovation that can benefit societal actors in their attempts to strengthen the interaction between religion and innovation. For an account of FBK-ISR’s work on religion and innovation please consult our booklet Religion & Innovation at FBK.

The conference is organised by the Centre for Religious Studies (FBK-ISR) in collaboration with the Centre for Information and Communication Technologies of Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK-ICT).

Abstracts and submission
The organisers welcome abstracts for 30-minute papers which engage with contemporary interactions between religion and artificial intelligence, in particular regarding – but not restricted to – the following topics:

  1. Involvement of religious actors/stakeholders (institutions, religious leaders, communities) in public debates over AI governance (e.g., analysis of soft law initiatives)
  2. Artificial intelligence and freedom of religion or belief (case studies of digital tools, strategies and trends promoting or impeding freedom of religion or belief)
  3. Value alignment: religiously grounded values and utility functions (quantifiability of religiously grounded preferences)
  4. The current state of AI research and development vs. non-expert perceptions of extant AI technologies (popular AI narratives and their relation to contemporary AI research and development)
  5. Religious imagery in AI narratives (in science communication, media, popular culture, academia, religious commitment or mere rhetoric?)
  6. The role of AI topoi in epistemically possible and/or merely speculative scenarios of humanity’s future(s) (transhumanism, posthumanism, techno-utopias and techno-dystopias)

Abstracts, max. 750 words in length and formatted for blind review, should be emailed to by Monday, October 21, 2019.

Please include your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and paper title in the email body, use “AI and Religion 2020” in the subject line of your email, and indicate which of the above topics your paper will address. Acceptance notices will be sent out by Thursday, November 7, 2019.

For further inquiries about the conference, please contact Dr Boris Rähme (

SocRel Sessions at the April 2020 BSA Conference at Ashton Univ.

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to draw your attention to the BSA Annual Conference taking place at Aston University next April. The call for papers can be found at the bottom of this email as well as the abstract submission links and deadline. I am also pleased to announce that SocRel will be hosting a stream plenary session at the annual conference on: ‘Modest Workwear as Aesthetic Labour: learning to wear religion’  with speakers Professor Reina Lewis (London College of Fashion, UAL) and Dr Lina Molokotos-Liederman (London College of Fashion, UAL). This is shaping up to be a great event and we would encourage you to submit your paper within the SocRel study group sessions.

Should you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Dr Rachael Shillitoe
Research Associate
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT

The theme for the BSA Annual Conference 2020 is – Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies and we’d like you to help shape the discourse by presenting your research to the largest annual gathering of the sociological community in the UK.

Contemporary explorations of bodies generate a broad range of potential thematic questions or the conference in 2020. These include, but are not restricted to:

  • What role are bodies playing in current disputes over who is a citizen in different global locations and who has the right to cross state boundaries?
  • Does the concept of the ‘social body’ retain validity in contexts of fragmented identities and fractured ties to the state?
  • Looking at issues such as disability and age, how important are bodies as vehicles for citizenship rights and welfare entitlement?
  • What do contemporary disputes over gender and the body say about the intersection of medical, scientific and political classifications in establishing legitimate bodies’?
  • In what ways do bodies play into intersectional dynamics of inequality and marginalisation?
  • How important are bodies in understanding some of the costs of long-term austerity?

The conference will take place at Aston University, Birmingham from 21–23 April 2020.
Our Annual Conference is renowned for having an open, approachable and inclusive culture.  Whether you’re looking to refresh your networks, get stuck into intellectual exchanges, find some space to develop your research ideas or learn new approaches, we can help you. 

Whatever you’re searching for, you’ll find it at the BSA Annual Conference link.
There are opportunities for everyone connected to the discipline and if you’d like to present your research to the primary annual conference for sociology in the UK, we’d like to hear from you.
Abstract submission deadline Friday, 11 October 2019. Please follow this link to submit your abstract

Call for abstracts: Global Mormon Studies Conference

March 26 -27th 2020, Coventry University, England

The overarching theme is ‘From the Outside Looking In: International Latter-day Saints and their Neighbours’.

We are hoping for submissions  that examine the ways in which those on the “outside”-both those outside of North America and those outside of Mormon faith traditions-perceive the institutional church and the process that enculturation plays in the church’s development internationally.

This includes but not limited to:

  •   The presence of Mormonism in interfaith activities,
  • The role of representation and advocacy in bridge-building between secular/Mormon/mainstream religion
  • To what extent does an American-grown religion thrived in international settings
  • How have the church’s American cultural roots impeded its growth in other countries
  • How does the church’s globalization compare to the globalization of other religious traditions
  • The similarities and differences in the ways those of other faiths view the Mormon church in different countries
  • To what degree do international church members adapt or repurpose the Mormon church’s practices to navigate their host nation
  • How does Mormon women shape negotiations between Mormon and non-Mormon spaces
  • The tension between institutional Mormon structures and secular notions of gender equality

Please submit your abstract to
Abstract submissions should include a preliminary title and be no more than 300 words.

  • Deadline for submission: 1 October 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: 22 October 2019
  • Deadline for final paper submission: 1 March 2020

For all general enquiries, please contact: 

To find out more about the conference please follow the link;

CFP: “Who Speaks for Islam?”

The Islamicate Graduate Student Association invites papers for our 17th Annual Duke-UNC Conference, the longest running graduate student Middle East & Islamic Studies conference in the country. This year’s conference “Who Speaks for Islam?: Approaches to Authority within the Academy and Beyond” will be held in Chapel Hill, NC on Saturday, February 29, 2020. In light of recent attempts at intimidation by the state, we are particularly interested in thinking through the politics of power. As such, we are seeking papers that interrogate questions of authority and power. As keynote speaker, Professor Kecia Ali will speak to gendered citational politics and structures of authority within the academy.

We are seeking submissions from fields inclusive of, but not limited to: Religious Studies, Political Science, Sociology, History, Art History, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Asian Studies, Critical Race Studies, Geography, Women and Gender Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, American Studies, and African Studies.

In addition to seeking submissions from graduate students, we are also seeking submissions from independent scholars, advocates, and people outside the academy. We are also open to artistic, photographic, or other forms of aesthetic submissions. Please include a one page artist statement with your submission.

Please submit a short bio and a maximum 500 word abstract to by Friday November 15, 2019. Accepted abstracts must submit their 10-20 page paper by Friday January 10, 2020. We look forward to your submissions!