Corps laïcs

Appel à contribution pour une rencontre Secular Bodies, Affects and Emotions, Tübingen, 11-13 février 2016.  DLC 1° avril 2015.

With few exceptions, studies of secularity and the secular have not paid much attention to questions of emotions. Approached either as a form of social and political arrangement, as a particular ideological project or as a way of grasping the changing and diminishing role of religion in modern societies, the secular has most often been examined at the macro-level, thus configured as a zeit-diagnosis, or a discussion about abstract principles. While religion has increasingly been investigated through the lens of practices, embodied experiences and emotional
attachments, the same cannot be said for the secular.
With this workshop we invite scholars to address the secular, not merely as formalized legal-political arrangements, but as lived realities, richly textured by commitments, attachments, hopes, obligations, fears and joys. By bringing into dialogue studies of secularity/the secular with the recent theorizing on emotion and affect in the social sciences and humanities, the aim is to anchor the study of the secular in actual bodies, places and practices. What kind of emotional engagements do people have with ‘things’ (ideas, institutions, practices) which are labelled as secular? Is there a kind of ‘secular affect’ in the sense that Saba Mahmood has argued, which emerges from an embodied attachment to secular ideals such as ‘free speech’? Or, referring to Charles Hirschkind’s reflections on Asad and Connolly which provoked his question: Is there a secular body? Does secularity invite or even entail a specific habitus or feeling rules, appropriate reactions and displays? Are there specifically secular emotional practices, and are they identified as such by social actors? How are such rules and practices cultivated and challenged? And how can we analytically approach and appropriately theorize emotional and affective dimensions of the secular?
More precisely, we would like to bring together contributions that both consider the conceptual implications of investigating the emotional textures of the secular (what is meant by emotions, what is meant by the secular) and present a specific arena or case in which such an investigation may be unfolded.
These could include, among other things:
– Investigations of comportment and emotionality in ‘classic’ secular settings such as the laboratory, the university
– Emotional practices in explicitly secular(ist) or humanist/atheist ritual settings
– Historical and ethnographic investigations of the emotions in connection with secular ideologies (socialism, nationalism etc.) and social movements
– Affective attachments to secularized understandings of religious belonging
– Affective dimensions of public controversies surrounding the visibility of religion in the public sphere
The workshop is conceived as preparation for an edited volume, thus we can include only original material that has not yet been published. We invite proposals (max. 500 words) together with a short c.v. to be submitted by April 1, 2015. Please send proposals to monique.scheer[at]
The workshop will be held at the University of Tübingen, Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft from Februar 11-13, 2016. Participants will be asked to submit their written contributions in advance of the workshop to give discussants time to prepare their comments. Pending the finalization of funding, we expect
to be able to cover travel and accommodations for contributors.

Géographies émotionnelles de la religion

Un appel à contribution est ouvert pour le colloque international Emotional Geographies, Edimbourg (Ecosse), 10-12 juin 2015, Emotional geographies of faith, spirituality and religion.

This session explores the intersections of emotional and affective geographies with analysis of the spaces and places of faith, spirituality and religious identity. How are emotional and affective registers engaged in religious practice? How are affective spaces of religious and spiritual meaning both made and encountered? What are the tensions between narratives of faith and the emotional? How do affective spaces of religion become legible with – or in opposition to – the affective spaces of the secular, or those of religious ‘others’?
Papers are welcome which cover any aspect of the emotional geographies of faith, spirituality and religion. Contributors might include reflection on the emotional geographies of faith communities or practioners; the making of affective religious or spiritual spaces; the ways in which emotions are engaged by researchers and participants; emotions and ethics in research on faith, spirituality and religion.
Please send an abstract (250 words)  to Claire Dwyer, UCL ( or Betsy Olson, UNC ( by 31st October 2014.