Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Advertising and Ramadan

This week in a class I am teaching on Judaism, Islam and the Media we did a case study on advertising images during Ramadan. We discussed Armburst's article “The Riddle of Ramadan: Media, Consumer Culture and the ‘Christmasization’ of a Muslim Holiday" and I also brought in reflection froman interesting article from JMR called Ramadan Advertising in Egypt: A Content Analysis With Elaboration on Select Items. We also discussed some images we found at AdBlogArabia. It is interesting to see how some ad agencies and companies are using similar strategies that companies use in the USA during Christmas to re-frame this religious holiday in terms of consumption (or in the case of Ramadan highlighting the lack or control of consumption). This obviously has raised some concern within the Arab world about de-sacralizing of the holiday by possibly trivializing religious ritual practice. Anyways, it sparked some great conversation in class.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In the News: Doing Church Online

Last week I spent 40 min talking to Scott Andron from the Miami Herald talking about my research on christian community online. The result was an interesting article on how groups in Florida and across the USA are using the internet to do church and build community online that appeared last weekend. There's even a quote by yours truly at the end of the article. Check out: Every Sunday morning, while hundreds of South Floridians converge on...

One Web Day

As the subtitle to my book proclaims, "we are one in the network" and you too can join in the harmony & connection affored by the web on "One Web Day". Organizer hope to encourage people to think of themselves as responsible for the internet, and to take good and visible actions on Sept. 22 that (1) celebrate the positive impact of the internet on the world and (2) shed light on the problems of access and information flow. For more info check out this video at youtube.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Exploring New Media Worlds (CFP)

Exploring New Media Worlds:

Changing Technologies, Industries, Cultures, and Audiences
in Global and Historical Context

An international conference hosted by
Texas A&M University, February 29 to March 2, 2008

Integrating fields of study in a time of change; setting a new agenda for media studies.

Papers and proposals are invited on any aspect of the conference themes, offering reports of new research, position-taking conceptual essays, discussions of media and telecommunication policy, and both international and historical comparisons on changing technologies, industries, cultures, and audiences.

The program will include keynote speakers, roundtable discussions, thematic panels, prominent scholars as respondents, and time for interaction. A wide selection of papers from the conference will be published. Travel grants are available for student members of the National Communication Association (see our webpage for more information).

Send papers or proposals (abstracts or annotated outlines) with a 50 word professional biography by email attachment to Panel proposals are also acceptable. Deadline: November 20, 2007.

For more information see
email or

Keynote speakers:
Larry Grossberg; Steve Jones; Vinny Mosco; and Ellen Seiter.

Confirmed participants:
Carole Blair, Sandra Braman, Celeste Condit, Bruce Gronbeck, Andrea Press, Ronald Rice, Paddy Scannell, Joseph Turow, Angharad Valdivia.

And the Texas A&M faculty:
Patrick Burkart, Heidi Campbell, Antonio La Pastina, Srivi Ramasubramanian, Eric Rothenbuhler, Michael Stephenson, Randy Sumpter, and Ian Weber plus strong faculty groups in Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Health Communication, and Organizational Communication.

The Exploring New Media Worlds conference is hosted and co-sponsored by the Department of Communication, the College of Liberal Arts, the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, and the Program in Presidential Rhetoric, Texas A&M University, with support from the National Communication Association.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

GodBlogCon 2007

The 3rd annual GodBlogCon is coming up in Nov 8-9, 2007, to be held in Las Vegas held in conjunction with the Blog World Expo. The conference got it's start in 2005 at Biola University in CA, and recieved media attention as the first-ever Christian blogging conference. Thsi year's confrence promises sessions on "New Media Ministry to the Myspace- Facebook Generation" and "Developing a Pod & Vidcast Ministry". I can't make the conference myself because of my teaching schedule but sounds like a great opportunity to explore the thinking and motivations behind using new media for Christian outreach.

Friday, September 07, 2007

6th International Conference on Media, Religion and Culture

The conference web site for the 6th International Conference on Media, Religion and Culture is up and running. So if you are interested in interacting with other scholars from around the world on issues related to the intersection of media and religion, and also fancy a visit to São Paulo in August 2008, check out the details for Dialogues in Diversity.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Al-Quran for Your iPod

In my continuing search for the interesting intersections between religion and the Ipod, came across this video on you tube which shows interesting demonstration of "First and Only Completely Readable 'Arabic' version of Al-Quran for your iPod" provided by The download is complete with vocal reading, chanting of the chosen portion of the koran. Here we see the digitized word married with classic sung recitation made portable and readily available to Muslims on the move.

Grad Conference CFP:In Medias Religiones

In Medias Religiones
A Conference on Religion, Media, and Material Culture
Saturday, 02 February 2008
Duke University & UNC-Chapel Hill

Call for Papers
From oral history to sacred writing on papyrus to internet evangelism, religion has been tied closely with media that convey itsmessage. What roles do specific media play in religious activities?What roles do specific religions play in media? Who producesreligious media and what are their cultural affects? This undergraduate and graduate student conference explores how a varietyof media and religious formations interact. We investigate religionas a material process by tracing how religious subjectivities aremediated by culturally-specific objects, images, and artifacts.

We invite 100-word abstracts for 20-minute papers on any topic dealing with religion & media.
Please submit abstracts by 01 November 2007.

Questions? Please visit