Oral History Society Annual Conference 2017: “Remembering Beliefs: The Shifting Worlds of Religion and Faith in Secular Society” — Call for papers extension

– Final deadline 20 January 2017.

There is still time to submit an abstract to ‘Remembering beliefs – the shifting worlds of religion and faith in secular society’, the Annual Conference of the Oral History Society in conjunction with Newman University and Leeds Trinity University 14th – 15th July, 2017, Leeds Trinity University, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5HD, UK

This year’s Oral History Society conference promises to be more than usually interesting and thought provoking, judging from proposals already received. The organisers welcome submissions aiming at tackling issues raised below, including those which take the widest understanding of what is meant by belief as well as those that explore the inherent methodological challenges.

In recent years, belief and non belief have developed new significance. What might once have been valued as something individual and private in many contexts only a generation ago can now be a matter of open identification and even confrontation and judgement. In seeking to understand what has changed, memory has an important part to play: identifying how belief and non belief have played out at the level of family, community and society; recognising how people engage in the practices of belief and experience the institutions of organised religion. For reasons perhaps of prejudice, perspective and communal difference oral historians have largely neglected the topic of belief and non belief.

Going beyond studies which have focused on those with religious conviction, oral history offers the possibility to move debate outside the confines of institutionalised religion both conceptually and practically, pushing the boundaries of what is meant by belief. Indeed, it offers the ideal approach to understanding manifestations of belief and secularism at an individual level while tracking their relationship to shifting expressions of broader cultural norms and the conferment of identity. Tackling this exciting agenda, the remit of the Conference will be broad but contributions should focus on oral history in relation to the following:

· methodological challenges in understanding belief, secularism and religion

· understanding the process of secularisation through oral history testimonies

· inter-subjectivity in interviews on belief and non belief

· the role belief plays in shaping memory

· exploring the interface of religion, belief and cultural/ national identities

· belief and education

· belief and non belief in social, political and cultural transformations

· shifting the narratives of religion away from an institutional base

· gender and established religious institutions

· sects and movements

Keynote speakers: Professor Callum Brown, University of Glasgow; Dr Abby Day, Goldsmiths, University of London; Dr Tina Block, Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia. After-Dinner Speaker, Friday, 14 July: Bruce Kent

All proposals for oral history-based contributions, including papers, panels, presentations, workshops, posters and displays should be submitted by 20th January 2017 to OHSConf2017@ohs.org.uk.

Email polly.owen@ohs.org.uk to register your interest in receiving conference booking details when they are available.