Call for papers


This one-day workshop brings together scholars who engage with cultural and social histories on the intersection of religion, science, and the supernatural in colonial contexts, from the 16th to the 21st century. We seek to explore how narratives and practices of supernatural beliefs interacted with experiences of colonialism and imperialism.

We particularly welcome papers from PGs & ECRs who address methodological and theoretical issues concerning supernatural religion in empire, and are interested in reflections on dynamics of cross-cultural religious practices, beliefs and phenomena across a range of methods and sources.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Racialised notions of ‘superstition’ & ‘modernity’

– ‘Hybridised’ religious & mystical phenomena

– Colonial saints and martyrs

– Legacies of supernatural religion in the postcolonial age

– Scientific knowledge production & experience

– Supernatural landscapes & bodies in empires

– Material culture of religious supernaturalism

– Fictional & artistic representations

Proposals should ideally be based on ongoing research to stimulate discussion. Limited travel bursaries are available; please indicate in your correspondence whether you would like to be considered. We welcome abstracts (300 words & short bio) before 30 June and any questions at kristof.smeyers@uantwerpen.be

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