Associate Professor of Religious Studies Brent Plate recently gave several conference presentations on topics ranging from museum education to material religion to public scholarship.
In July, a group of international scholars convened at Utrecht University in the Netherlands to discuss “The Future of Material Religion.”
Co-organized by Plate, the gathering formed the basis for The Routledge Handbook to Material Religion, a forthcoming volume co-edited by Plate. The volume will include the contributions of scholars from around the world who conduct research on the materiality of religion.
As a co-founder and managing editor of the journal Material Religion, Plate opened the symposium with an overview of the field. He offered summaries of past scholarship as well as an agenda for new directions in the field.
In August, Plate participated in the biennial conference of the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture in Boulder, Colo.
He presented a paper titled “Museum as Medium: The Public Understanding of Religion on Display,” offering an outline of the ways that museums shape the public’s understanding of religion, and arguing for ways religious studies scholars and museums needs to work together.
Plate was also a member of a panel on “Public Scholarship.” He discussed several projects that help build bridges between scholarly research and the public. The projects included “In God’s House,” a documentary film Plate made with Associate Professor of Art Rob Knight, a MOOC he worked on with LITS staff, and his writing for public venues over the years.