Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate recently participated in academic events in several areas of the world.
He presented “Religion and Film: The Altar and the Screen” at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. He was invited by the university’s Institute for Culture and Society, and specifically the working group on “Religion and Civil Society.”
The presentation included material from the forthcoming revised and expanded edition of his book Religion and Film (Columbia University Press). An interview with Plate, “Podemos utilizar técnicas de análisis estético del cine para estudiar las religiones,” is featured on the university’s website.
Plate organized and presided over three sessions on material religion at the International Society of Religion, Literature, and Culture conference at University of Glasgow. For the past 16 years, Plate has coordinated sessions on film and the visual arts for the biennial conference that meets at various universities in Europe.
This year, he brought together nine scholars from Europe and North America who gave papers on the religious dimensions of architecture, museums, spiritual tourism and material texts.
For the latter, Plate worked with the special collections department of the University of Glasgow libraries so the session could be held in the library. Rare books on display during the session included original prints by William Blake and the 12th century Hunterian Psalter, possibly the most valued book in the collection.
Plate also made a presentation titled “Do Androids Conduct Electric Rituals? Sensuous Religion and the Post-Human” via Skype during the “Popular Culture, Religion, and the Anthropocene” symposium in Singapore. Though he was not able to travel to Singapore National University to present in person, Plate plans to continue working with colleagues there as they prepare papers for publication.