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The Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Unit invites proposals on the following topics. Please note we are committed to diversity and thus strongly encourage the use of world cinema and global visual culture products as well as the gender and ethnic diversity of participants. Additionally we expect presenters to incorporate visual media in presentations and ask that all proposals indicate how visuals will be used. We also ask that proposals be clear about their theoretical and methodological approaches and perspectives.

2021 Themes and Topics:

Feeling Images
As a co-sponsorship between the Religion, Film, and Visual Culture unit and the Religion, Affect, and Emotion unit, we invite proposals exploring the affective dimensions of visual imagery and the ways in which a more robust accounting of visuality as an emotionally laden form of (ap)perception might deepen religious studies scholars' understanding of contemporary religious belief and practice. Both theoretical and empirical projects will be considered, but extra consideration will be given to proposals that focus on the neuro-biological underpinnings of affect/emotion and its implications for inter-religious engagement and navigating differences in an increasingly polarized world.

For 2021, the Religion, Film, and Visual Arts Unit will hold two postponed panels from 2020.
Pedagogy of Religion and Film
Korean Cinema

Mission Statement:

This Unit offers a forum for theory and methodology of the visual for those interested in the interdisciplinary study of religion, film, and visual culture. There is no single way to study religion and the visual, and we expect scholars to provide new perspectives on the way we understand visual culture and to provide this understanding through traditional and emerging methodologies.

Method of Submission:




Kutter Callaway, kuttercallaway@fuller.edu

Rebecca Moody, rmoody@wpi.edu


Steering Committee:

Jennifer Caplan, jacaplan@syr.edu

Ken Derry, ken.derry@utoronto.ca

Joel Mayward, jmayward@gmail.com

Kristian Petersen, kristianpetersen20@mac.com

Lina Verchery, linaverchery@fas.harvard.edu


Session Allotment: Tier 2 – Two 2-hour sessions

Next Review: 2022