Call for Papers: Religious Infrastructure: From Africa and Beyond (deadline: 30 November)

Benjamin Kirby Discussion

Conference title

Religious Infrastructure: From Africa and Beyond


Dr Yanti Hölzchen (Uni. of Tübingen), Prof. Dr Benjamin Kirby (Uni. of Bayreuth), Dr Genevieve Nrenzah (Uni. of Ghana)

Date and location

6-10 June 2023, Institute for African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon

Conference abstract

In this conference, we invite researchers from a range of disciplines to “think infrastructurally” (Chu 2014) about religion and to “think religiously” about infrastructure. Under the rubric of “religious infrastructure”, we set out to create an interface between two important research trajectories in recent years: the “material turn” in the study of religion and the multidisciplinary “infrastructure turn”. Considered together, these research trajectories both seek to subvert the same conceptual binaries that organise how their respective units of analysis are conventionally apprehended (e.g., cultural-material, social-technical, intangible-tangible). Accordingly, some researchers have sought to emphasise the material and technological dimensions of religious phenomena (e.g., Fredericks 2018; Handman 2017; Schwenkel 2017; Ukah 2016; Walker 2019), while others have highlighted the cultural and semiotic dimensions of infrastructural phenomena (e.g., Appel et al. 2018, Fredericks 2018; Larkin 2013; Von Schnitzler 2016). In addition, more attention has been directed to the sensory, imaginative, and affective workings of religious and infrastructural ensembles alike, as well as their capacity to fashion particular kinds of subjects, experiences, and forms of sociality. This conference capitalises on these multidisciplinary resonances, experimenting with the notion of religious infrastructure to generate new sites of empirical inquiry and conceptual elaboration for the study of religion and infrastructure alike.

Further details are available here [PDF].

Deadline for call for papers

30 November 2022