Saturday, November 28, 2009

Doctoral Research Fellowship: New Media in Asia and/or the Middle East

A doctoral research fellowship is being advertised at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo for an individual interested in studying new media in Asia and/or the Middle East, and an interested in religion is one of the possible areas of specialization they are looking for. Applications are due 15 Dec 2009. Here is the scoop:

The successful candidate is expected to study the use of new media and communication technologies (including the Internet, satellite TV, and mobile phones) in Asia and/or the Middle East and their impact in the social, political, religious and/or cultural domains. The fellowship is open to projects from a wide range of disciplinary and methodological approaches to the study of new media. Comparative and/or multidisciplinary projects will be considered positively. Projects grounded in fieldwork in the region will be considered favourably. It is expected that the candidate analyzes primarily data in one or several of the region's languages. Candidates must therefore demonstrate advanced active skills in at least one relevant Asian and/or Middle Eastern language.

For more info contact the Research director at IKOS: Rune Svarverud, tel: + 47 22 85 69 82, e-mail: Research administration IKOS: Cecilie Lilleheil, tel: + 47 22 84 40 47, e-mail:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SSRC Graduate Dissertation Workshop on Virtual Worlds

The Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) is designed to help early-stage graduate students in the humanities and social sciences formulate more effective doctoral dissertation proposals. One of this year's program is on the theme of Research in Virtual Worlds. So if you are in your 2nd or 3rd year of your PhD in the USA and interested in doing a project which deals with the concept of the virtual check out this interesting program.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One more chance to Hear Heidi in Kiwi-land

If you are in New Zealand you have one more chance to hear and meet me in the flesh at a public lecture entitled" Networked Religion: Towards a Theology of New Media" at the end of November.

The lecture to be given by yours truly (Heidi Campbell) as the Wednesday 25 November 7pm at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre. This will be a culmination of my musings and research as one of Vaughan Park's Distinguished Academic Visitors for 2009. While at Vaughan Park I have been working working on a book project about how new media technologies raise important theological and ethical issues and how different forms ofreligious authority are being re-shaped and influenced by Internet use, especially within the Anglican tradition. Here is the talk's description:

In the past two decades significant changes have occurred affecting relationships with technology. Subtle shifts have occurred in the way religion is practiced and perceived in the Western World. This presentation looks at:

• how these changes are reflected in the practice of religion online
• what they have to tell us about the future of religious culture
• what a theology of new media might look like in order to address these issues.

An indication of attendance is appreciated: phone 09 473 2600, email

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Attention all Kiwis...Open Lecture at University of Otago

For anyone who finds themselves in the South Island of New Zealand in mid November, you are cordially invited to an open lecture at University of Otago based on my forthcoming book.

Dr. Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University, will deliver an Open Lecture for the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Otago. The talk is entitled 'When Religion Meets New Media: Considering the Religious-Social Shaping of Technology' and is based on work from her forthcoming book When Religion Meets New Media (Routledge, March 2010) on how religious communities negotiate their use of new. Please come along on Monday 16th November at 5.10pm. The lecture will be held in St David Seminar Room 2. Anyone who finds themselves in the South Island of NZ is most welcome to come along!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

PhD Fellowship new media in the Middle East and/or Asia

Here is the announcement for the PhD-position in new media (Asia/ME) at University of Oslo. For those interested you can find more information at the following link:
The deadline for applications is December 15, 2009.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Internet believers: Pastors open online churches

This is definitely not new news...the growth of online churches, but it is in the AP headlines today. Check the story Internet believers: Pastors open online churches which profiles established and recent online versions of church such as Life-tv, Flamingo Road Church, and Central Christian Church.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

CFP: Special Issue on Religion and the Internet: The Online-Offline Connection

Call for Papers for Special Issue of Information, Communication & Society on Religion and the Internet: The Online-Offline Connection

Guest Editors: Heidi Campbell & Mia Løvheim

Call Description:
In the initial waves of religion and internet research focus was often placed on how the internet would drastically change religious practice and ideology, due to growth of religious communities online and integration of religious rituals and practices into digital environments. Much attention was given to the novel uses and trends such as those seen in New Religious Movements online where once fringe or secretive religious groups were given a public platform making them more visible. Focus was also placed on how mainstream religions, such as Christianity and Islam, were appropriating to new media technologies or critiquing internet use and with a particular focus on the United states and Western Europe. As the internet has become increasingly embedded in the everyday lives of many researchers attention is now being drawn to the connection between online and offline religious practice, structures and belief. Furthermore, the rise of new software and models of internet communication, often referred to as Web 2.0, has created a heightened interest in issues of user lead content creation and web based social interaction. At the heart of these developments is an important issue, considering to what degree spiritual practices online are transformative or to what extent they reflect larger changes in religious culture and institutions offline. This special issue of Information, Communication and Society seeks to explore this area by considering what we think we know about the relationship between online and offline religion and what issues are still are in need of more detailed investigation.

Aims and Scope:
In particular this special issues aims to explore the relationship between online and offline forms of religious practice and community. Key questions include:

- What is truly unique about the performance of religion online?
- How is the practice and conception of religion online connected to offline practices, communities and institutions?
- In what ways does religion online reflect trends seen offline in religious culture and practice?
- How do these transformations connect with issues of globalization and glocalization?

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
- The interactions between online communities and offline religious institutions
- How participants in online religious activities frame their involvement in offline religious groups - Responses of offline religious authorities to religious manifestations and practices online from their community or tradition
- Religious organizations and/or denominations use of the internet, or debates regarding official policy towards and new media use
- Attempts of diasporic communities to connect with their faith tradition and sacred sites via the Internet
- Theoretical work that links research on contemporary religious practice to online religion, i.e. the relationship between internet use and everyday religion, the role of emotions in religious internet use
- How religious actors deal with questions of time, space and information management in online and offline society
- How Virtual worlds and computer games seek to present or re-present "sacred space"

Submission Details:
Please submit a 300-500 word abstract to the guest editors as an e-mail attachment to no later than 10 February 2010. The four best abstracts will also be submitted as a panel for consideration at the International Media, Religion and Culture Conference to be held in Toronto, Canada (9-13 August 2010). Please include full contact information and a biographical note (up to 75 words) on each of the authors and indicate whether you wish to be considered for the MRC panel submission.

Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 6 March 2010 and will then be invited to submit a full paper to the guest editors. Final manuscripts should be no more than 8,000 words, including notes and references, conform to APA style, and submitted by 20 August 2010. Please note all papers will be subject to anonymous peer review following submission.

Important dates:
10 February 2010: Deadline for abstract submission
6 March 2010: Announcement of results and full paper invitations
9-13 August: MRC Conference
20 August 2010: Submission of full papers
October 2011: Publication of special issue

For Inquiries, abstracts, or submission of full papers should be addressed to:

Heidi Campbell
Assistant Professor of Communication
Department of Communication
Texas A&M University
Bolton 102, 4234 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843
Email: or