Call for Papers | Fandom and Religion | University of Leicester Conference Centre, College Court, 28–30 July 2015

sport-fandomFandom and Religion at the University of Leicester Conference Centre, College Court 28th- 30th July 2015. Organized by the Theology, Religion and Popular Culture Network, with the support of:

Offers of short papers (15-20 mins when delivered) and panel sessions (3 or 4 contributors, 1.5 hours) are invited either directly on the conference theme (Fandom and Religion) or on any aspect of study relating to popular culture and religion. ‘Popular culture’ is to be understood widely (e.g. TV, film, radio, media, music, sport, videogames) and ‘religion’ may mean organized religion, religiosity, spirituality. It is expected that the conference will need to address the question as to what constitutes ‘religion’ in Western culture, as well as examining how popular cultures are used ‘religiously’, how religious practices and beliefs are influenced by practices of popular cultural consumption, and how religion appears and is carried within culture in its many forms.

The conference is inter-disciplinary (especially sociology, mass communications, cultural studies, religious studies and theology) and welcomes researchers working in academic and practitioner (media, culture, faith community) settings. Papers which draw together and reflect on the results of empirical studies are especially welcome.

For the event, we expect to group papers with similar concerns, in the following groupings:

  • Popular Culture and Religiosity
  • Religion in Popular Culture
  • Theory Papers/Literature Reviews

We shall, however, respond to the range and style of papers/panels offered in drawing up the programme.

We welcome proposals of papers and panels on such topics as

  • Case-studies of fan culture (TV, sport, film, music etc.)
  • Celebrity worship
  • Sport and/as religion
  • The impact of celebrity culture on religious practice
  • Religious beliefs and practices within popular culture
  • Media practices and/as religion
  • Uses of popular culture by religious groups
  • Theoretical debates about ‘fan culture and/as religious practice’
  • Theories of religion as applied to popular culture use

 Short Paper proposals:

Please send a Word file containing:

  • The title of your paper
  • A 250-word abstract of what you would deliver
  • Details of AV requirements (other than data projection for Powerpoint presentations)

Do not include your name or institution in the file. Include your name and institutional affiliation (where appropriate) and the title of your paper in the e-mail you send to accompany your abstract. This will enable anonymous consideration of the paper proposals.

For Panel proposals:

Please send a Word file containing:

  • The title of your panel session
  • The name of the chair/convenor of your session
  • Names and details (50-word biogs of each) of three or four panel participants who would be members of the panel and introduce the discussion
  • Two or three key questions/issues which your panel session would address.

Note: it will be assumed, in our receiving details of the proposed panel session, that all named participants will have consented to their names being put forward and that they will be committed to attending should the panel be accepted.

Deadline for receipt of all short paper and panel proposals:

Monday January 12th, 2015 (noon, UK time)

We expect to be able to respond to offers by mid-February.

Participants would be expected to book their conference place by the end of April 2015.

All proposals should be emailed to

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.