(Not) My Religion: Negotiating Centres & Peripheries
Annual Graduate Student Symposium – Department for the Study of Religion
University of Toronto
Friday, March 30, 2012
The Department for the Study of Religion’s Graduate Student Association extends a cordial call for papers that investigate the place of religion in relation to centres and peripheries. We encourage interdisciplinary participation and welcome all essay submissions relevant to this year’s theme.
The often-invoked spatial imagery of centre and periphery has served as a powerful heuristic, both within diverse religious traditions and in the scholarship that explores them. Yet contemporary work on the constant negotiation and flux of ideas, practices, institutions, and power within centre-periphery models demands their redefinition. This symposium aims to examine the application and viability of conceptualizations of centres and peripheries in the study of religion. What characteristics allow traditions, or the scholars who study these traditions, to map the placement of a given practice, idea, or belief between centre and periphery? How are boundaries, metaphorical or material, constructed and legitimated? In what ways can we move beyond this model, to reconcile or merge centres and peripheries?
We welcome abstracts exploring these questions within the contexts of anthropology, area studies, gender studies, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, religious studies, and other allied fields, as well as those that extend the subject across historical and geographical boundaries. The following list of sub-themes has been identified to promote a broad and flexible interpretation of the theme, but is not exhaustive.
- Orthodoxy, heterodoxy, sects, and schisms
- Religion at the fringes and margins: magic, cults, superstition
- (De)authorizing texts: religious canon and apocrypha
- Heresy, excommunication, transgression, the antinomian, and deviant
- Religious constructions of selfhood and processes of othering
- Spatial conceptions of centre and periphery
- Religion and imperial centres/metropoles
- The global, local, and peripatetic
- Topography, borders, and liminal spaces
- Metaphorical and material peripheries, borders, and margins
- Structural distinctions: sacred/profane, high/low
- Alternative models of theorizing the relation between centres and peripheries
Applicants must submit 250–300 word proposals including paper title, five keywords, author name, institutional affiliation, and contact information to Arun Brahmbhatt (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 2, 2012 in order to be considered. Successful applicants will be notified by January 16, 2012.
Academic Coordinator, Graduate Student Association
Department for the Study of Religion
University of Toronto Email: email@example.com
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