The Center for Media, Religion and Culture and the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder will host the 11th biennial conference of the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture (ISMRC), which will explore the relationship between media, religion and public scholarship. This conference will be held August 8-11, 2018 and will bring together international scholars from various disciplines including media studies, journalism, politics, religious studies, the anthropology and sociology of religion, history, the study of literature and public policy. The conference, since its first meeting in 1996, has become the leading international gathering for the discussion of research in religion, media and culture. We invite proposals for panels, workshops and/or roundtable sessions as well as for individual papers. The Call for Papers can be found here.

Following the success of the first doctoral student pre-conference at the 2016 ISMRC conference in Seoul, we will also host a workshop for PhD students on Tuesday, August 7. Details about this workshop, along with the Call for Papers, can be found here. Participants will be notified of their acceptance to the pre-conference after review of paper proposals.

The International Academy for the Study of Religion and Video Gaming (IASGAR) is hosting a post-conference event on Sunday, August 12 from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Details about the IASGAR post-conference “LEVEL UP” 1st IASGAR conference on video gaming and religion, and the call for papers, can be found here.

Conference Location
Village Center Dining and Community Commons
University of Colorado Boulder
3300 Baseline Road
Boulder, Colorado 80303

Conference Registration

Please complete conference registration online.

Registration Fees

Before June 4, 2018
$230 for scholars from OECD countries
$150 for scholars from non-OECD countries and students

After June 4, 2018
$290 for scholars from OECD countries
$190 for scholars from non-OECD countries and students

*The registration fee includes light refreshments during conference breaks, all lunches, and a banquet dinner. Membership in the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture is also included.

Conference Participation

Each conference registrant may appear twice in the program booklet; this includes paper, panel and roundtable presentations as well as respondent/commentator roles (please note that this does not include chairing of sessions/panels).

  • The panel/session format is a maximum of 5 people including a respondent and/or a chair
  • Each paper presentation should take a maximum of 20 minutes, including questions 
  • No full papers are required to be submitted in advance


A limited number of scholarships are available to support PhD students from non-OECD countries who have been accepted as conference participants; these scholarships will fund conference registration fees. For consideration, please submit a short letter detailing your situation/need by Friday, April 13. Applications should be in PDF format and emailed to

Advertising in the Conference Program

Advertising space is available in the conference program for universities, research programs, journals and publishers. If you would like to purchase an ad, please email the advertisement file to by July 1. Payment will be arranged upon receipt of file. Advertising can also be secured during conference registration.
Images must be 300 dpi or higher. Submit the final files as either Adobe InDesign, JPG or PDF. Please ensure that all images and fonts are included and include a ⅛” margin.
Half page, 8.5” x5.5”, black & white: $300
Half page, 8.5” x5.5”, color: $300
Full page, 8.5” x 11”, black & white: $500
Full page, 8.5” x 11”, color: $500

Keynote & Plenary Speakers

Anthea Butler
University of Pennsylvania Anthea Butler

Anthea Butler is Graduate Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Butler’s research and writing interests cover religion and politics, religion and media, African American religion, sexuality, gender, and popular culture. She is the author of and Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World on The University of North Carolina Press. She is currently completing a book project on religion, politics, and evangelicals from 2008 to the 2016 election which will be published with The New Press.

A sought-after media commentator on the BBC, MSNBC, CNN and other media outlets, Professor Butler also provides op-ed on contemporary politics, religion, and race at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. She has also served as a consultant to the PBS series God in America and the American Experience on Aimee Semple McPherson.

Merlyna LimMerlyna Lim
Carleton University

Merlyna Lim is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society and Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University. Prior to joining the Carleton University, she held research and teaching positions at Princeton University, Arizona State University, and the University of Southern California. In 2016, Lim was named a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s New College of Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.

Lim’s research and teaching interests revolve around social and political implications of media and technology, especially digital media, in relation to issues of justice, democracy and civic/participatory engagement.

Lim’s current research attempts to analyze specific roles of digital media in the politics of transformation, identify regional patterns and constellations of digital media as an instrument for protest and mobilization, and examine how regional and national contexts may define and/or shape mobilizations and social movements. She is currently completing a book on on/offline spaces of global protest movements and another book on the socio-political history of digital media and activism in Indonesia.

John Durham PetersJohn Durham Peters
Yale University

John Durham Peters is María Rosa Menocal Professor of English and of Film & Media Studies at Yale University. 

A media historian and social theorist, he has authored a number of noted scholarly works. His first book, Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication, traces out broad historical, philosophical, religious, cultural, legal, and technological contexts for the study of communication. His second book, Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition, updates the philosophy of free expression with a history of liberal thought since Paul of Tarsus. His most recent book, The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media, radically rethinks how media are environments and environments are also media. He has held fellowships with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Peters received a PhD in Communication Theory and Research from Stanford University in 1986. He taught at the University of Iowa for 30 years, and began a position at Yale University in 2017.


A detailed schedule is available here.

Tuesday, August 7
12:00-5:00pm: Doctoral student pre-conference workshop
7:00pm: Opening reception, Koenig Alumni Center (1202 University Ave, Boulder, CO 80302)

Wednesday August 8
9:00-10:30am: Plenary session 1
10:45am-12:15pm: Panel session 1
12:15-2:00pm: Lunch
2:00-4:00pm: Panel session 2
5:00-6:30pm: Keynote, Old Main Chapel (1600 Pleasant Street, Boulder, CO 80302)
6:30-7:30pm: Reception, Koenig Alumni Center (1202 University Ave, Boulder, CO 80302)

Thursday, August 9
9:00-10:30am: Panel session 3
10:45am-12:15pm: Panel session 4
12:15-2:00pm: Lunch
2:00-3:30pm: Panel session 5
4:00-5:30pm: Plenary session 2

Friday, August 10
All day: Field trips to religious and cultural sites (TBA)

Saturday, August 11
9:00-10:30am: Panel session 6
10:45am-12:15pm: Panel session 7
12:15-2:00pm: Lunch
2:00-3:30pm: Plenary session 3
4:00-5:30pm: Business meeting
7:00-8:30pm: Banquet, Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center (1669 Euclid Avenue, Boulder, CO 80302)

*Unless otherwise noted, all events will be in the Village Center Dining and Community Commons.

Field Trips

We will host several field trips that will expose participants to the unique religious landscape of Colorado and the Mountain West region of North America. More details about the trips will be posted in early July.


Any questions about the conference or registration can be sent to