Religion and Environment: Relations and Relationality
2021 Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture
February 19-28, 2021
Hosted by Arizona State University
* Proposals Due: August 24, 2020 *
(Download a pdf version – revised CFP)
This is a year of pandemic, a year of disruption, a year in which struggles for racial and economic justice can no longer be ignored. In that spirit, and in the interest of protecting the health of our members, the ISSRNC is postponing its in-person conference until 2022. In the interim, in partnership with Arizona State University, we will hold a nearly-carbon neutral virtual conference in February 2021. As our first step toward our commitment to low carbon conferences, our 2021 gathering will feature numerous opportunities for networking and informal conversation among our members, in addition to a select group of virtual sessions. We look forward to continuing the networking and informal conversation, along with a full slate of paper sessions, in the full conference in 2022.
For our 2021 conference, the ISSRNC welcomes pre-arranged session proposals from all disciplines that address the intersections of religion, nature, and culture. We are especially interested in engaging questions of relationality: relations between human and other-than-human beings (including animals, spirits, gods, places, etc.), among cultural groups, among academic disciplines, etc. There is no unidimensional way to understand these troubled times: environmental crises are closely linked to social, racial and political inequities, and knowledge about the links between social systems and earth systems science is relevant to work in community organizing. Concepts of the human person as an interdependent element within complex systems of social and ecological relations are challenging the dominant norms in the social sciences and humanities. To meet the challenges we collectively face, we invite and encourage scholarly reflections on integrative, holistic, and radically plural ways of knowing.
Possible paper and panel proposals topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- concepts of kinship, reciprocity, and relational ontologies across cultural traditions, especially Indigenous cultures;
- multispecies ethnography and relations between humans and other-than-human-beings, including creatures, plants, and inanimate beings;
- environmental jurisprudence, the rights of nature and the legal personhood of other-than-human entities;
- the religious and ecological dimensions of immigration, migration, and asylum;
- structural racism and anti-racism in environmental movements and religious imaginaries;
- religion and environment in critical race theory, Black studies, Asian studies, and Latinx studies;
- interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in the environmental humanities and sustainability research;
- religious imaginaries and religious responses regarding the COVID-19 pandemic;
- as always, papers examining other aspects of the religion, nature, and culture nexus are welcome.
Proposals and Deadlines
To sustain the kinds of active, thoughtful engagement that make ISSRNC conferences successful, and with hopes of having a full-sized, in-person conference in 2022, our upcoming conference will be smaller and more structured. This means that, with regret, we will not be accepting individual paper proposals for the online conference. We encourage you to use social media—including the ISSRNC Facebook page, the ISSRNC listserv, and the members’ forum on ISSRNC.org—to connect with other scholars and form engaging session collaborations. Additional information and inspiration for online conference participation can be found here:
For this fully online conference, the ISSRNC invites proposals for pre-arranged sessions. We welcome creative proposals for 90 minute sessions (45 minutes of which will be apportioned to any number of speakers and 45 minutes of which will be apportioned for audience participation and discussion). Sessions can feature any number of speakers in any configuration (e.g. traditional three paper panels, multispeaker roundtables, lightning round sessions with abbreviated papers from numerous speakers, debates, documentary shorts, etc.).
Some sessions will consist of pre-recorded presentations with live discussions between presenters and conference attendees. Other sessions will be fully live. All sessions will be recorded and posted online for continued conversation and exchange.
Session proposals will be submitted online. Requested materials include:
- Session title
- 500-word (or less) description of the session that clearly describes the session’s topic, organizational format, and relationship to conference themes;
- Individual paper titles (if necessary)
- 200-word (or less) abstracts that articulate the central argument and findings for each presenter;
- Names and contact information for each presenter;
- Preference of live or pre-recorded session (with brief explanation as to why this would be the best format).
Timeline and logistics:
- The session proposal deadline is 24 August 2020; please submit using the online form here: 2021 Conference Submissions
- Those proposals that are accepted will be announced 22 September 2020; proposals will be anonymously peer-reviewed by an international scholarly committee and decisions will prioritize proposals that are creative and engaging in the online format, and that feature presenters who are diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, seniority, etc.
- Registration will open 1 October 2020, all presenters must be registered for the conference and be members in good standing of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture by 29 October 2020. Registration will be $10 for graduate students and contingent faculty and $25 for permanent faculty
- Video presentation deadline 1 February 2021.
Interested scholars are also encouraged to connect with us via social media: