Religion and Media Workshop on "Persuasion's Power: How Religion Makes Its Publics" PDF-NOTE: Internet Explorer Users, right click the PDF Icon and choose [save target as] if you are experiencing problems with clicking. Print

Friday, November 22, 11:00 AM–6:00 PM

Jenna Supp-Montgomerie, Auburn Media and University of North Carolina, Ann M. Burlein, Hofstra University, and Kathleen Foody, College of Charleston, Presiding

The 2013 Religion and Media Workshop will survey the mutually constitutive relationships between religion, publics, and the art of persuasion. The Religion and Media Workshop, one of the most popular sessions at the AAR annually, is a daylong seminar designed to foster collaborative conversation at the cutting-edge of the study of religion, media, and culture. We invite you to join us for a master class on the productive power and possible pitfalls of persuasion.

This year's workshop will explore the practices and histories of persuasion in the constitution of religious publics. We will pay particular attention to concerns within the academy over religion’s persuasive power and the push to police the boundaries of the secular study of religion.

The workshop will not be structured as a traditional paper session, but rather as a participatory master class in publics, persuasion, and religion. Three to five readings will be circulated to participants before the event. Because of the nature of this collaborative workshop, it is essential that all participants commit to studying the readings ahead of time and prepare to participate in seminar-style conversation.

In the morning, the workshop participants will draw out key terms from the readings and identify a series of questions to organize the day. After lunch, journalists and media professionals will discuss the negotiation between persuasion and representation in their own practices of media production. Scholars in the field will then lead a conversation considering the relationship between persuasion, rhetoric, and the constitution of publics in Sikh traditions and American Evangelical communities. Finally, scholars will participate in a moderated question-and-answer session examining religious studies and its anxious relationship to persuasion and the secular study of religion. Participants will return to our organizing questions at the end of the day and collectively assess the practice of persuasion in the study of religion.

The master class will be led by:

  • Laila al-Arian, producer for Fault Lines, a current affairs program at Al-Jazeera English
  • Jason Bivins, North Carolina State University
  • Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University
  • Christian Lundberg, University of North Carolina
  • Arvind Mandair, University of Michigan
  • Lisa Webster, coeditor of Religion Dispatches
The cost for the workshop is $60, which includes the entire day of sessions and lunch. Registration is limited to the first 75 participants. To sign up for the workshop, you may select it during the online Annual Meetings registration process, or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or fax in this form to +1-404-935-5321 for those that have already completed registration.

This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.