Call for Papers: Living on the Edge (the Fourth International Conference of the ISSRNC)

Living on the Edge’
the Fourth International Conference of the ISSRNC 
at the University of Western Australia (UWA-Perth) 
16-19 December 2010

Papers proposals accepted until 16 September

Online Registration is open for 4th ISSRNC conference in Australia!!

The discounted early registration fee is available until 15 September 2010: AUD $300 for members and AUD $450 for non-members (AUD $150 for student members and AUD$ 250 for non-member students).

Please note that all presenters must be members of the ISSRNC.

To register, go to the website for online registration.

Payments may be made using Visa or Mastercard only. You can also register for the dinner on Saturday evening in the centre of Fremantle or at the wineries of the Swan Valley (venue to be determined). Registration includes afternoon reception at Kings Park (including Aussie BBQ, Australian wines and cheeses), program book, conference bag, two lunches (Friday and Saturday), and morning and afternoon coffee/tea breaks. Vegetarian options will be available at all meal times. Any other dietary specifications may be communicated directly to the Conference Organiser at

Keynote Speakers Confirmed
Dr. Richard Walley, Noongar Elder of the Songman Circle of Wisdom – Welcome to Country
Professor Clive Hamilton, Australian National University - The Metaphysical Implications of Geoengineering
Professor David Tacey, La Trobe University, Melbourne – Edging Towards the Sacred
Professor Freya Mathews, La Trobe University, Melbourne - Over the Edge: Extinctions and the Limit of Ethics
Professor Mary Stange, Skidmore College – Hunting the Edges: The Intersection between “Hunter-Conservationism” and “Green Environmentalism”
Conference Information and Call for Papers
Conference Call for Papers as PDF

The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, in association with La Trobe University, Melbourne, is organising its 4th International Conference, which will be held between 16 and 19 December 2010, at the University of Western Australia (UWA-Perth). Perth, located on the edge of land and sea, is a perfect site at which to discuss the notion of ‘Living on the Edge’. We invite proposals from scholars exploring the intersection and edges of religion, nature and culture from a wide range of critical perspectives and from all disciplines.

Questions arising point to the edge as a place of transition and transformation, a launching place for change and action to counter ecological degradation and regenerate communities and ecosystems.

The conference asks how human and nature ecologies are affected by the environmental crisis. It covers the variety of challenges and approaches to change – scientific, social, psychological, spiritual and cultural – that emerge through living on the edge.

Through a multi-disciplinary framework of religion, nature and culture, the conference explores the relationships between people and nature, social and ecological systems, local and global economies, art and ecology, science and religion, and cultural diversity and biodiversity.

Edge spaces, like ecotones, are places of rich fecundity. Using the metaphor of the meeting of two ecosystems, the edge represents the meeting place between disciplines where different modes of knowing and working are shared. It interweaves personal stories of environmental, social and spiritual change with theoretical discussion from a range of disciplines in dynamic interchange. It transcends the boundaries to move to new possibilities of mutual understanding, research and action.

The following questions serve as guidelines for exploring the themes of ‘living on the edge’. There are more, of course, and we would welcome hearing about them.

1. How is living on the edge defined in a local, regional or global context?
2. What features and qualities are reflected in an environmental, social, psychological, economic and spiritual sense?
3. Are we living on the edge of extinction? What are the tipping points?
4. How do local histories and cultures distinguish living on the edge?
5. Can the ‘edge’ be integrated with the ‘centre’? And what are the implications?
6. How do the natural sciences deal with edge issues? Do the social sciences hinder or help? Is there a meeting point?
7. How do individuals and communities cope with the awareness of ecological deterioration? Is there a relationship between social, psychological and ecological resilience?
8. Predictions of rising rates of environmentally displaced or affected people in the coming decades raise some important psycho-spiritual themes. What sorts of social and psychological distresses are anticipated? How does secularism or religiosity contribute to or alleviate these experiences?
9. How are Indigenous cultures affected and how are they effecting change?

Other important issues concerning the ‘edge’ may include: the rural-urban interface; the sea-land interchange; the problem of water resources; the nexus between peace and warfare; dichotomy tame-wild, male-female, East-West.

It is also likely that a special issue (or two) of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture may be published on the theme and associated ideas, drawn from excellent and original scholarly papers arising out of this conference.

Proposals for individual paper presentations, sessions, panels, posters should be submitted directly to the conference email address. It is not necessary to be an ISSRNC member to submit a proposal.

Proposals should include, in a single, attached word or rich text document, the name and email of the presenter(s), session and/or presentation title, a 250-300 word abstract of the session and/or presentation, and a brief, 150 word biography (including highest degree earned and current institutional affiliation, if any). Session proposals must include a title and abstract for the session as a whole as well as for each individual paper. Panels and roundtables should include a title and abstract and a 150 word biograpphy that includes information that will help the scientific committee evaluate the strength of each panelist for the theme of the session. Proposers are encouraged to be creative, including with regard to formats. They should also provide information about ideal and acceptable lengths for proposed sessions, and whether any technology, such as image projectors, are desired. Most paper presentations will be scheduled at 15-20 minutes and a premium will be placed on discussion in all sessions.

The Deadline for submitting proposals is 15 September 2010. Notification as to whether proposals have been accepted will be no later than 1 October 2010 and delivered to the email address provided in the proposal attachment.

All presenters at the ISSRNC conference must become members by 30 September 2010. Soon after this date the program will be finalized and made available here.
The Scientific Committee for the review of the program has been established. The ISSRNC gratefully acknowledges the service of the following scholars on it:

Dr. Dora Marinova
Professor of Sustainability, Curtain University, Western Australia
Dr. Greg Bailey 
Associate Professor & Reader in Sanskrit Studies, La Trobe University, Australia
Dr. Aidan Davison
School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania
Dr. Takeshi Kimura
Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Freddy Manongi (TBC,)
Ph.D. Candidate, Ecology of Religions, University of Bangor, Wales, the United Kingdom
Deputy Principal Academic, Research and Consultancy, College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, Tanzania
Fachruddin Majeri Mangunjaya (Msi)
Associate Lecturer, Faculty of Biology, Universitas Nasional, Jakarta INDONESIA
Dr. Makarand Paranjape
Professor of English, School of Language, Literature and Cultural Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Dr. Sarah Pike
Professor, Department of Religious Studies, California State University
Dr. Adam Possamai
Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies, University of Western Sydney, Australia
Dr. Sylvie Shaw
The School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics
Universityof Queensland, Australia
Dr. Laura Stocker
Associate Professor, Curtin University, Western Australia
Dr. Kocku von Stuckrad
University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

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