CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS – 12th Conference for Critical Animal Studies

  • Date: June 20-22, 2013
  • Site: Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC)
  • Host: MCTC Philosophy Club (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Breaking the Silence on Global and Local Intersections of Ethnicity, Spirituality, and Nonhuman Animal

One StruggleAs the poor become poorer, more prisons are constructed, and the global south struggles with exploitation, disease, hunger, and mass displacement, social justice activists are becoming more intolerant of global racism and discrimination. In kind, the theme of this year’s annual North American Conference for Critical Animal Studies is the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, animals, and spirituality. Some of the foundational questions that the conference is interested in discussing include: Can activists compare struggles of racism to nonhuman animal suffering? What is the intersectional history of ethnicity and animals? Do you have to be anti-racist to be an animal advocate? How has religion aided in the marginalization of people of color and nonhuman animals? How has religion aided in the liberation of people of color and nonhuman animals? How, if at all, do animal advocates challenge colonization, imperialism, and racism? What are the theoretical and scientific similarities between racism and speciesism? How have different ethnic and spiritual groups addressed animal advocacy?

We welcome proposals from community members including nonprofit organizations, political leaders, activists, and professors, staff, and students from within higher education. We are especially interested in the histories of social movements, spirituality, global religions, race, ethnicity, decolonization, critical race theory, nonviolence, alliance politics, freedom, democracy, total inclusion, global trade, globalization, whiteness, radical feminism, anti-racism, imperialism, prison abolition, labor rights, disability rights, legal issues, and indigenous rights/sovereignty.

Presentations should be fifteen to twenty minutes long. We are receptive to innovative formats including roundtables, panels, community dialogues, theater, and workshops. You may propose individual or group “panel” presentations, but please clearly specify the structure of your proposal and stress in your paper/roundtable/panel/etc. proposal how you will be focusing on the program theme and linking it to ethnicity, spirituality and critical animal studies.


  • Proposals or abstracts for panels, roundtables, workshops, or paper presentations should be no more than 500 words.
  • Please send a 100-word (maximum) biography for each facilitator or presenter—speaking to your activism and scholarship—in third person paragraph form.
  • The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2013.  Accepted presenters will be notified via e-mail by April 15, 2013.
  • Please send proposals/abstracts and biographies electronically using an MS Word attachment in Times Roman 12 point font to:  Write in the Subject line: “Conference Proposal”

GRADUATE PROGRAM – MA & PhD in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion at CIIS

CIISCIIS2In fall 2013, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) will launch a new graduate program in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion. The program is housed in the Institute’s Philosophy and Religion Department, and will offer both MA and PhD degrees.

CIIS is now accepting applications for the fall 2013 semester.

The ecological challenges of the 21st century represent a crisis of values and consciousness. The twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss are among the greatest existential threats humanity has seen. Graduate study in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion allows students to cultivate the knowledge and wisdom to respond to the ecological crisis from integral and transdisciplinary perspectives. Students gain skills and insight to transform practices, worldviews, and consciousness in the service of a more just and flourishing planetary future.

The program’s uniquely integrated curriculum explores such questions as:

  • What are the roles of religion, spirituality, and culture in the ecological crises of our time?
  • What ecological insights do the world’s religious heritages offer?
  • How can exploring worldviews help us to understand and address ecological trauma?

Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion MA

The MA in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion emphasizes an embodied, engaged approach, in which contemplative practice and career exploration complement rigorous study. Students are at the forefront of a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field devoted to ecological healing and resilience. Graduates will be well prepared to engage environmental issues in multiple spheres, or to pursue doctoral-level study.

Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion PhD

PhD students investigate and analyze the role of worldviews, philosophies, and religions in generating and responding to global challenges. Doctoral students wishing to specialize in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion should possess a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to the program (e.g., religion, ecology, biology, environmental studies, environmental history, geography, anthropology, literature, or philosophy) from an accredited graduate institution.

Core Faculty Core faculty are at the forefront of the dialogue linking spiritual and cosmological with ecology and sustainability. Faculty include: Elizabeth Allison, Robert McDermott, Jacob Sherman, and Brian Swimme.

For more information, visit the program’s website.

To speak with an admissions counselor or to apply, email, or call 415.575.6164.


JOB – Assoc. or Full Prof.; Chair of Department of Philosophy and Religon; California Institute of Integral Studies

The Department of Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) invites applications and nominations for an associate or full professor to serve as Chair of the Department, beginning fall 2013. The Chair will be a distinguished scholar who is also an experienced, collaborative institution builder. The Chair will work with existing leadership to inspire and re-envision an innovative interdisciplinary graduate program in Philosophy and Religion. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to electrify and energize a successful and flourishing graduate (MA/PhD) program.

Composed of a transdisciplinary array of distinguished scholars, the Department of Philosophy and Religion is dedicated to the critical study of and engagement with the diverse philosophical and religious inheritances of our world, including both majority and underrepresented (esoteric, contemplative, Earth-based, and subaltern) traditions. Oriented toward a vision of liberation and planetary healing, the Department affirms the value of multiple ways of knowing. Current areas of concentration in the Department include: Asian and Comparative Studies; Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion; Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness; and Women’s Spirituality.

Candidates must possess considerable experience with successful collaborative leadership, as well as substantial experience with graduate education. A well-established and distinctive record of scholarly publication that engages Philosophy and/or Religion is required. The field of specialization is open. Those with research and teaching interests in Gender and Women’s Studies, Ecology and Religion, Native American traditions, Judaism, or Islam are especially encouraged to apply. The candidate will teach courses in her or his area of specialty, mentor master’s and doctoral students, and lead the process of imagining and introducing new areas of concentration within the Department.

Applicants whose information is received by October 31 will be given priority consideration and may be able to meet with faculty representatives at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting in Chicago on November 17-20. All applications must be received by December 15. Finalists will be invited to San Francisco for on-campus interviews in February 2013.

To apply, please send the following materials to and note “Department Chair, Philosophy and Religion” in the email subject line:

  1. Cover letter describing how your skills and experience match the requirements of the position
  2. Curriculum vita
  3. List of three professional references
  4. Samples of recent publications, presentations, and the like

CIIS is an urban university, located in the heart of San Francisco. The Institute is known for the diversity of its people, programs, and opportunities to learn. CIIS provides generous health benefits and sabbatical leave. More information about CIIS and the Philosophy and Religion department can be found at the university’s official website. CIIS is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. CIIS is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from minorities and individuals with disabilities.

JOB – Asst. Prof.; University of Virginia; Religion, Ethics, and the Environment.

The University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, seeks to make a faculty appointment at the rank of tenure-track Assistant Professor or Associate Professor in Religious Ethics, with a concentration in Religion, Ethics, and the Environment.  The successful candidate’s tenure home will be the Department of Religious Studies, but he or she will also be invited to participate in an interdisciplinary initiative in Environmental Humanities in the Institute for Humanities and Global Cultures.

Candidates must be well-grounded in religious and philosophical ethics and well-informed about environmental sciences and policy. Candidates must also demonstrate a commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research.  PhD must be in hand by appointment start date (August, 2013).  The normal teaching load is 2/2 and includes both undergraduate and graduate courses, some of which will be co-taught with faculty in other departments and schools and cross-listed with those departments and schools.

To apply, please submit a candidate profile through Jobs@UVA and attach the following: cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, statement of research interest, unofficial transcript and contact information for three references Posting number 0610553.  In addition, three confidential letters of recommendation should be sent to: Prof. James F. Childress, Chair, Search Committee, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400126, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4126.  For priority consideration all materials must be received by October 28, 2012, but the position will remain open until filled.

JOB – Asst. Prof, Environmental Ethics, Univ. Chicago Divinity School

The University of Chicago Divinity School seeks to make an appointment for a new, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Environmental Ethics.

A candidate for this position should be qualified to teach and direct research in Environmental Ethics (e.g., the value of and duties towards biotic, non-living realities, and ecosystems, environmental criticism, animal rights, food ethics, the ethics of consumption, etc.).  The candidate must exhibit a broad knowledge of the field of religious ethics (comprising theological, political, philosophical, and comparative inquiry), a command of issues in moral theory central to environmental ethics, the ability to engage materials in the physical and/or biological sciences, and a coherent and creative agenda for research and publication.  Religious tradition(s) and primary focus of scholarly expertise are open. The candidate should also have the ability and desire to work with the University’s Program on the Global Environment.

The Divinity School is the graduate professional school for the academic study of religion at the University of Chicago, a private research university.  Faculty in the School teach Ph.D. students in 11 different areas of study, and master’s level students in M.A. and M.Div. programs, offering courses at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels.  Many faculty hold associate appointments in other departments and schools of the University; such associations are encouraged.  A normal teaching load is 4 courses per year on a quarter system; in most cases that leaves one quarter open for research in residence (in addition to summers free for scholarship).

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Review of candidates will commence on October 1. Application should be made online, at questions contact Dean Margaret M. Mitchell, The University of Chicago Divinity School, 1025 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL  60637 (

FINAL CALL FOR PROPOSALS – Nature & the Popular Imagination

Henri Roussau's "The Snake Charmer" (1907), found at the Orsay Museum in Paris.The Fifth International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture
–8-11 August 2012
–Pepperdine University, Malibu, California (USA)
Deadline for Proposals: April 1, 2012

Deadline pushed back to May 1st, 2012

The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) is pleased to announce its next conference in Malibu, California at Pepperdine University in August 2012. The conference theme will be “Nature and the Popular Imagination.” Malibu is located on the Pacific Ocean, just minutes from Hollywood, that archetypal place of imagination and dreams, the backyard and playground for practitioners of the cinematic arts. For generations, the interconnections between religion and nature have been expressed, promoted, and contested through the incubator of popular culture, and sometimes even in films produced in Malibu itself or the Santa Monica Mountains above it. As a global, symbolic center, both reflecting and inventing nature/religion representations, Malibu and its environs provide an ideal venue for critical reflection on the religion/nature nexus in the popular imagination.

The ISSRNC cordially invites creative proposals including but not limited to papers, panels, film screenings, and forums with “cultural creatives” from this region and beyond, to illuminate the conference theme. Specific proposals, for example, might explore:
Apocalypticism (Abrahamic, Mayan, Scientific, etc.).

• Documentary film: nature faking and realism
• Theatrical film and nature spiritualities
• Nature in cartoons and animated films
• Malibu (and/or California) as sacred, imperiled, and desecrated places.
• The spiritualities of celebrities, including as animal and/or environmental activists

As always, while we encourage proposals focused on the conference’s theme, we welcome proposals from all areas (regional and historical) and from all disciplinary perspectives that explore the complex relationships between religious beliefs and practices (however defined and understood), cultural traditions and productions, and the earth’s diverse ecological systems. We encourage proposals that emphasize dialogue and discussion, promote collaborative research, and are unusual in terms of format and structure. Individual paper and session proposals, as are typical with most scholarly associations, are also welcome. Presenters will be encouraged to submit their work for possible publication in the peer reviewed Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, which is the official journal of the ISSRNC, and has been published quarterly since 2007.

Given the ISSRNC’s commitment to internationality financial assistance will be available for a number of scholars from outside of North America. We anticipate being able to provide travel grants to at least ten international scholars. 

Submitting Proposals
Proposals for individual paper presentations, sessions, panels, and posters should be submitted directly to Sarah Pike at It is not necessary to be an ISSRNC member to submit a proposal. Individual paper proposals should include, in a single, attached word or rich text document, the name and email of the presenter(s), title, a 250-300 word abstract, and a brief, 150 word biography (including highest degree earned and current institutional affiliation, if any). Proposals for entire sessions must include a title and abstract for the session as a whole as well as for each individual paper. Proposers should also provide information about ideal and acceptable lengths for proposed sessions, and whether any technology, such as data projectors, are desired.

Most paper presentations will be scheduled at 15-20 minutes and a premium will be placed on discussion in all sessions. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously by the Scientific Committee, but conference directors will be aware of proposers’ identities in order to select for diversity in terms of geographical area and career stage. Student proposals are welcome.

Requests for assistance with invitations to assist with visa processes must be included with proposals.  Requests for financial aid from scholars outside of North America must also be included with proposals, and provide a clear statement as to whether such aid is essential for attendance, the needed amount, and an explanation of supplemental travel resources that will be available to the proposer. Decisions on travel grants will be made by the ISSRNC Board of Directors based on recommendations from the conference directors and scientific committee.

Registration & Lodging
The cost for registration has yet to be determined. Inexpensive lodging will be available in the dorms at Pepperdine University. While additional lodging will be available at nearby hotels it will be comparatively expensive due to the summer tourist season, so we encourage all who can to stay on campus. Details about registration and lodging will be forthcoming here at the Conference Website and will be sent by email to ISSRNC members and any others who directly express interest in the conference to its directors.

Conference Directors
The Conference Directors are Chris Doran (, from Pepperdine University, and ISSRNC board member Sarah Pike (, from California State University, Chico. Professor Doran will head up the local organizing committee and Professor Pike the Program Committee, including the Scientific Committee, which will evaluate
proposals. Please direct inquiries to the appropriate conference director.

Special Events
A number of special events and excursions are in the works, including a scholar-led
tour of The Getty Villa in Malibu, discussions with prominent filmmakers and actors, hiking trips in the Santa Monica Mountains, and opportunities to enjoy the beautiful and famous Malibu coast. Some of these may be offered before or after the official conference period. Information about these events will be provided here as it becomes available.

Conference Sponsors
The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture is a scholarly organization, established in 2006, which is devoted to understanding the complex relationships. It has hosted conferences previous in Florida (USA), Mexico, The Netherlands, Australia, and Italy. The August 2012 will be the first conference in six years in the United States. The ISSRNC is especially grateful to Rick Marrs, the Dean of Seaver College at Pepperdine University, whose visionary leadership and generosity has made it possible to hold the ISSRNC’s 2012 International Conference in the iconic and beautiful seaside space known worldwide as Malibu.