Religion and Media Workshop on "What’s Next for Texts: Scripting Religion in a Networked World" 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 18, 9:30 AM–4:30 PM
Moscone Center West–Room 2003

Jenna Tiitsman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Auburn Media, and J. Barton Scott, Montana State University, Presiding

In 2011, the AAR will not only be meeting concurrently with the Society for Biblical Literature, it will be doing so near Silicon Valley, the global epicenter of the digital revolution. Taking its cue from this conjuncture, this workshop will ask, “What’s next for texts?” Although it might seem that the diffuse networks of the internet should have exploded the sacred book once and for all, “scripture” continues to shape the contemporary world in ways that are at once unexpected and determined by the textual past. To engage this newly digital world, still running on texts, we need to ask how texts work beyond their content. How do production, circulation, and appropriation of texts create communities and movements? How are texts taken up and mobilized by the communities that preceded them? How can scholars, activists, and media makers engage these new waves of digitization and what will such engagement do?

Our unique three-part workshop includes panels, intense discussion, and small group sessions. The structure of the workshop is as follows:

Book Objects, Then and Now

  • Elizabeth Castelli, religious studies, Barnard College, takes up texts that fall into obscurity through her translation of Pasolini’s never-produced film on Paul
  • Juliane Hammer, Islamic studies, George Mason University, considers how texts take on new lives through interpretation in her study of American Muslims’ use of the Qur’an to confront domestic violence
  • James Watts, religious studies, Syracuse University, introduces the Iconic Books Project database of textual objects and their ritual uses

Texts/Codes/Bodies: Scripting the Virtual Public

  • Ann Burlein, religious studies, Hofstra University, unravels the scriptural genome and Mark Hansen’s Bodies in Code: Interfaces with Digital Media (Routledge, 2006), arguing that as media becomes digital, the body returns
  • Ken Hillis, communication studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, traces the ideology of the digital archive and the idea of the universally accessible library
  • Jeremy Stolow, communication studies, Concordia University, studies spirit photography and other technologies that visualize what we cannot see

Roundtable on Interpreting Digital Texts: Collaboration, Research, and Teaching via the Digital Humanities

  • Erika W. Dyson, religious studies, Harvey Mudd College, maps formal and informal relationships between individuals using digital archives
  • Amy E. Earhart, English, Texas A and M University, and board member of Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth Century Electronic Scholarship, surveys the multiple technologies involved in the emergence of the digital humanities
  • Lewis R. Lancaster, East Asian languages and cultures, University of California, Berkeley, discusses digitizing Buddhist manuscripts and using multidimensional interactive visualizations
  • Michael Pasquier, American religious history, Louisiana State University, visualizes everyday religion in a small region of the Lower Mississippi Valley using new resources for teaching and creating digital humanities
  • Timothy Tangherlini, Korean folklore and popular religion, University of California, Los Angeles, shows how digitizing a folklore corpus of stories on house elves allows for new discoveries of similarities and innovative indexing
  • Rebecca Davis, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, will speak about learning in a networked world; digital scholarship and liberal education

The Religion and Media Workshop, one of the most popular sessions at the AAR annually, was a resounding success in 2010, inspiring new conversations and collaborations in the study of religion and media. The 2011 Religion and Media Workshop promises to be equally rich.

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, log back into the online Annual Meeting registration system and add the workshop or fax in this form to +1-404-727-7959.

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