Edited Volume Call for Chapters

Please find below a call for chapters for an edited book on visual methods in the sociology of religion. All queries regarding this should be sent to roman.williams@calvin.edu.

Over the past 40 years, visual sociology has grown from a small group of enthusiasts with insufficient numbers to become a section of the American Sociological Association to an international network of practitioners organized as the International Visual Sociology Association. While this growing subfield continues to make inroads into the discipline, the use of visual methods in the sociology of religion is only beginning to gain traction. This comes as a surprise, however, given the visual, symbolic, and material nature of religion and spirituality. Houses of worship, for example, are a prominent feature of the modern landscape and everyday religious faith and practice is materially present in everything from clothing and garden statues to the artifacts present in people’s homes and workplaces. It is curious, then, that visual methods are not more prevalent in the sociology of religion and that the literature in this subfield does not approach the range of methodological possibilities currently available.

“Seeing Religion: Toward a Visual Sociology of Religion” will assemble original chapters by sociologists who employ visual methods in their work on religion or spirituality. Instead of producing chapters with a singular focus on visual methods, contributors will present findings from their current research, include a detailed discussion of their methodology, and situate their research within the broader contexts of visual sociology and the sociology of religion. As such, the book will take the form of a reader that will demonstrate the unique contribution and potential of visual methods for the sociology of religion. An effort will be made to present the widest possible variety of methodological approaches and research topics. Visual data (photographs and images) will be incorporated throughout the book, and a DVD-ROM will provide space for contributors to present additional visual data in the form of color photographs, images, and video clips.

Authors should submit a 250–500 word abstract via email (roman.williams@calvin.edu) by February 22, 2013. Contributors will be notified by mid-March of editorial decisions, at which time a book proposal will be presented to potential publishers—several academic presses have already been approached and expressed interest in reviewing the proposal. The tentative deadline for completed chapters is January 2014. Contributors will be encouraged to present drafts of their chapters in sessions being organized in 2013 for the annual meetings of the International Visual Sociology Association (July 8-10, London), the Association for the Sociology of Religion (August 11-12, New York), and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (November 8-10, Boston).

Roman R. Williams, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of SociologyCalvin College Tel. 616.536.6026calvin.academia.edu/RomanWilliams