CFP: Sacred Sites/Sacred Stories

Call for Papers
ANU Religion Conference 2018
Theme: Sacred Sites/Sacred Stories: Global Perspectives
05-07 April 2018, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific,
The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Abstract Deadline: 15 October 2017

The study of sacred sites is a prominent feature in a number of disciplines. Sacred sites and stories and pilgrimage are the theme of the conference. Topics of enquiry range from the role of sacred sites in religious traditions, through to how sacred sites form part of the development of modern tourist industries, the role of sacred sites in international relations and the ways in which sacred sites can be the focus for disputes. At a time when many sacred sites and their stories face challenges due to economic development, environmental change and the impact of mass pilgrimage and tourism the conference offers an opportunity for wide-ranging discussions of the past, present and future of sacred sites and stories and their significance in the world today.
The conference will have the following panels:

•    Pilgrimage and Tourism
•    Historical Perspectives
•    Visual Arts and Architecture
•    Indigenous Traditions
•    Competition and Contestation

We welcome proposals for paper presentations that address the theme of one of these panels. Individual papers that are relevant to the main theme but are not aligned with any of the proposed panel streams will also be considered for presentation.

•    Panel Proposals. While proposals for individual papers are welcome, applicants are also encouraged to collaborate with peers to propose panels of 3-4 papers that converge on a particular theme.
In view of the major role that Australia and the Asia Pacific region plays in national and international discussions about sacred sites and sacred stories we particularly welcome panels on Asian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Pacific perspectives on sacred sites. We also welcome papers covering a range of time frames, from pre-history to the contemporary era, and from all traditions and locations.

If you are interested, please send your abstract (150 words), including a note of which stream your proposal addresses, and bio (80 words) to the following email ( The conference fee is AU$350, but for masters students, doctoral candidates and early career researchers who do not have full-time positions the fee will be AU$250. The conference cost includes registration fee, conference dinner and refreshments. The two best papers submitted by HDR students will be awarded (AU$500 each). To be considered for this award, the full paper must be submitted at least one month before the conference (by 07 March 2018). There will be a limited number of bursaries available for some accepted masters students, doctoral candidates and early career researchers. Please note that those selected to receive bursaries will be informed of this before the conference but the bursaries will not be dispersed until the papers have been presented at the conference. In addition, selected papers may be considered for publication in a book volume.

Dr David W. Kim (Australian National University)
Dr Peter Friedlander (Australian National University)
A/Prof McComas Taylor (Australian National University)
Dr Barbara Nelson (Australian National University)