Representation of Religions in the Media: Multidisciplinary Approaches

Representation of Religions in the Media: Multidisciplinary Approaches
Liverpool Hope University, 29 and 30 July 2013

Keynote Speaker:
Professor Debra Mason
Director, Center on Religion & the Professions, Missouri School of Journalism, USA

Religion remains a significant aspect of contemporary social, political and cultural life, and continues to be an object of media scrutiny. Religions are represented in documentaries, serial dramas, comedies, soap operas and on Reality TV. Religions are depicted in films and portrayed in the broadcast and print media, on the internet, and within multi-platform texts. This two-day symposium will explore both positive and negative representations of religions in the contemporary media from a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective. The symposium will be used to develop a network of academics whose expertise on media representations of religions will support new initiatives and open new areas of study. We are negotiating with a leading academic publisher for an edited volume of selected papers.

Abstracts are invited from researchers on religion and media from any academic discipline. We encourage papers related to the depiction of religions in all areas of the media. Papers dealing with any faith tradition are welcomed. We welcome proposals from postgraduate students as well as from established academics. Papers may include, but not restricted to the following themes:
* Religion in news / features/ documentaries: positive or negative representations?
* Attitudes towards religions in interviews/ talk shows/ reality shows/ comedy shows/ advertisements etc.
* Representation of religious images/ symbols in the media
* Issues of authenticity in fictional representations of religions
* Depictions of Religions in films and audience response
* Role of media in creating Islamophobic/ Anti-Semitic/ Anti-Catholic/ Anti-religious sentiments
* Freedom of expression versus religious sensitivities
* Religion versus secularism: Role of the media

Proposals should be submitted electronically as an MS Word document together with a short c.v.. Abstracts should be of no more than 300 words. Proposals should be sent to Dr Salman Al-Azami by 28 February 2013. Successful applicants will be notified by 14 March 2013.

The symposium is jointly organised by the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies and the Centre for the Applied Study of Muslims and Islam in the UK.