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The Religion, Media, and Culture Unit invites individual presentations, paper/multimedia research presentation sessions, and roundtable proposals on the following themes:
--Mediating hope and the future: as we emerge from a year full of apocalyptic scenarios real and imagined, is there any cause for hope? How is hope and/or the future mediated, and what does religion have to do with it?
--Unlikely/unexpected mediations and/or new ways of conceptualizing mediation in relation to religion: sensational forms, material religion, the body, etc.
--Artificial intelligence
--Mediating COVID/viruses/virality
--Mobile phones and self-surveillance: technologies of self-management and outsourcing life to apps and algorithms with lifestyle apps, bible-reading/prayer/meditation apps, biometrics, contact tracing, etc.
--Cancel culture: how is it mediated through various lenses including religion? What is the role of digital media & authorities in cancel culture?
--Hate mail/male: toxic masculinity, religion, and digital media. How does toxic masculinity marginalize particular groups and intersect with race/ethnicity, citizenship, sexuality, and gender?

--For a possible co-sponsored session with the Religious Conversions unit, we seek individual papers or complete panels that investigate conversion and proselytization by means of digital media, whether by examining change of religious self-identity primarily or exclusively due to online/electronic/virtual means (e.g., social media, religious institutions’ websites, gaming sites) or proselytization through on-line, electronic or virtual media (e.g., not “in-person” proselytization).

--For a possible co-sponsored session with the Critical Approaches to Religion and Hip-Hop unit and the Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Unit, we seek individual papers or complete panels that investigate Race, Religion, and Rap in the Digital Age.

Women Still Run This Thing! Hip Hop, Womanism, and Collective Meaning-Making

Far too often the hypermasculine male is the trope that commercial Hip Hop puts out as “Hip Hop.” As scholars in the field of Hip Hop Studies and Womanist Thought, we know this is not true. Women play an influential role in Hip Hop Culture; principally as it pertains to the social constructs of sexual orientation, gender constructs, race, and social issues. This year, we invite papers for a co-sponsorship between the Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society and Critical Approaches Religion and Hip Hop. Topics can include, but certainly not limited to:

· Hip Hop womanism
· Hood womanism
· Verzus and Cancel Culture
· Meg Thee Stallion and #ProtectBlackWomen
· Hip Hop of the South
· WAP and politics of sexuality (Cardi B, Meg Thee Stallion)
· Women in Hip Hop & their historical contributions (Missy Elliott, Nikki Minaj, No Name, Rhapsody, etc.)
· Women & their role in activism & politics within the hip hop culture
· The construct of “male sponsorship” for entry into rap music
· Does rap music hate women?
· The gendered & social discourse of “Bitch”
· Hip Hop & #MeToo
· Women in Hip Hop & Digital Technocultures


RMC is committed to diversity and inclusivity. Pre-arranged panels should reflect gender and racial/ethnic diversity as well as diversity of field, method, and scholarly rank as appropriate. We strongly prefer papers that include audio/visual media and ask that proposals make use of media clear. We are also particularly interested in session proposals and presentations that break from traditional paper-reading formats. We encourage panels that propose innovative ways to develop collaborative conversation, especially those that allow for timely analysis of current events.

Mission Statement:

This Unit provides a multidisciplinary forum for exploring the intersections between media and religion. Areas of interest include the participation of religion in digital culture, mediation of religion, the interplay between religious and media communities and between religious and media practices, and the significance of both media and religion in the transformation of religious structures and practices.

Method of Submission:




Kathryn Reklis, kathryn.reklis@aya.yale.edu

Deborah Whitehead, deborah.whitehead@colorado.edu


Steering Committee:

William Chavez, wchavez@ucsb.edu

Elonda Clay, elonda.clay@gmail.com

Margarita Simon Guillory, mlsg@bu.edu

Rachel Wagner, rwagner@ithaca.edu

Kayla Renee Wheeler, krw18@case.edu


Session Allotment: Tier 2 – Two 2-hour sessions

Next Review: 2022