AGIC 2017

Call for Papers


Thursday, January 19th, 2017
Concordia University (Montreal, Canada)
Extended Deadline: October 21th, 2016

The Department of Religion at Concordia University announces the 22th Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference. Inaugurated in 1995, the conference seeks to encourage dynamic interdisciplinary discussion in relation to this year’s central theme: “Religion, Ideology & Violence.” Last year, 35 students and early career scholars representing over 15 graduate programs gathered to present their research. Following the success of previous conferences, we invite graduate students and scholars to consider how religion and/or ideology have been manifested and deployed, either through violence, or non-violence. We ask participants to question, explore, critique, and challenge previous and ongoing models, as well as assumptions made regarding violence and the role that religion and/or ideology have played in it.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, humanity has witnessed the decay of empires, a multitude of wars, coup d’états, new global economic frameworks, all while also transitioning through a vast array of ideologies. These conceptual models and ideas influenced not only the political spectrum but also shaped philosophy, historiography, economics, global politics, sciences, theories in religion, etc. Furthermore, they questioned our construct of history and our subsequent interpretation of the past, probing not only our endeavor to narrate the pas but also our positionality, our descriptive lens, as well as our implication with the “other.” While many have blamed religion or politics for the decadent amount of violence deployed, others have interrogated our modern discourse regarding identity, nationalism and/or understanding of the “other.” Continuing with this academic movement, we hope to stimulate interest in the area of religion and/or ideology, and how they have been exerted through the use of violence and/or non-violence. We welcome papers that explore the following topics, contributions on related issues, or topics outside of this list:

  • – History, historiography, hermeneutics
  • – Philosophy, methods, theories
  • – Political science, nationalism,
  • – Morals, ethics, non-violent resistance
  • – Arts (Films, visual arts, music)
  • – Sports, athletic discourse
  • – Law, social justice, global politics
  • – Global economy

The official languages for this conference are French and English. Your abstract of 300 words, along with five keywords must be submitted by October 21th, 2016 to the following e-mail address: Please include your name, e-mail address, university affiliation, degree, as well as any special needs required to participate in the conference. All submissions received will be acknowledged. A notification of decision will be sent by early November 2016. The 2017 Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference is hosted by the Department of Religion at Concordia University and will be held on January 19th, 2017.

 All accepted presenters will have the opportunity to enter an essay contest, with a first place prize of $100, and a second place prize of $50. In order to be considered for the essay contest, please send your complete paper (no longer than 2,500 words) by December 15th, 2016. Note that the best papers will be published in the “Proceedings of the Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference,” in collaboration with the Journal of Religion and Culture (JRC). For more information, please visit our website:


agic-logo-blackfinalThe Annual Graduate Interdisciplinay Conference (AGIC) gathers scholars to present current research on a particular theme. As an interdisciplinary event, it serves as a bridge between several fields in the humanities as well as a network opportunity for graduate students and professors from across North America.

AGIC strives at providing a platform to innovative research and new theoretical frameworks in order to advance research and develop theoretical ideas.This year, AGIC has asked graduate students to share their research on the theme of Religion, Ideology, and Violence. We have scheduled over 40 presentations, along with two special panel; one titled Gender, Secularism and Discursive Violence, and the other on Islam and Otherness. For our Keynote address, we have invited Dr. Michael Jerryson, who has co-authored several books with other specialists from the field of “Religion and Violence,” such as Prof. Mark Juergensmeyer, and Prof. Margaret Kitts. He has also published two monographs focusing on Buddhism and instances of violence. The title for his presentation is “Humanity’s Penchant for Violence: Structures of Thought and Religious Expressions.” For our schedule, click here.

Our main objective is to engage graduate students in meaningful conversations that considers how religion and/or ideology have been manifested and deployed, either through violence, or non-violence. In doing so, graduate students and participants will actively question, explore, critique, and challenge previous and current theoretical models pertaining to the topic of violence and the role that religion and/or ideology have played in it.


  • Date: Thursday January 19, 2017
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Keynote address: Dr. Michael Jerryson, from 4:30 – 6:00 pm, Room H-763.
  • Location: Henry F. Hall Building,
    SGW Campus, Concordia University,
    ROOM H-765
    1455 De Maisonneuve W.
    Montreal, Quebec

Map of SGW Campus (PDF)  or find it on the Concordia Website.
A) Hall Building, 1455 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest, Room H-765
B) FA Building, Department of Religion, 2060 MacKay, Room FA-202


Religion, Ideology & Violence

8:15 – 9:00

Registration & Coffee H-765

9:00 – 10:15

  • Studies on the Holocaust (H-760)
    • Framing absent bodies: the changing role and perception of the Holocaust victims’ ashes, by Myriam Gerber, (Ph.D. in History at Concordia University).(Withdrawn)
    • Religious Elements in Nazism, by Neil Matthews (M.A. in Religion, Concordia University)Studies on the Holocaust (H-763)
  • Philosophy of Religion (H-762)
    • Christian Human Rights, by Tsoncho Tsonchev (Ph.D., McGill University)
    • Thomas Hobbes and the Specter of Violent Death: An analysis of the use of fear in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, by Ina Kristen Simon (M.A. in Theology, Concordia University)
  • Christianity in Text and Philosophy (H-763)
    • Relire l’infanticide de Bethléem (Mt 2,16-18) à la lumière du génocide culturel des Autochtones, by Sebastien Doane, (Ph.D. Theology, Université de Laval)
    • Jésus chassant les vendeurs avec un fouet : Histoire des interprétations et lecture contextuelle non-violente, by Sonny Perron-Nault, (M.A. in Theology, Université de Montréal)
    • Theology of Liberation or the Liberation of Theology?: Interreligious Learning as a Way Forward In Preventing Religion Related Violence, by Christian Stackaruk, (Ph.D. in Theology, University of Toronto)
  •  Violence during the Roman Empire (H-767)
    • Consecrated Bodies and the Aesthetic of Mithraic Violence, by Nina Mazhjoo (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • Naked and Unafraid, by Alison Cleverley ()
    • Archaeological remains of conflicting ideologies behind violence during the Roman Empire, by Catherine Leiser (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)

10:30 – 12:15

  • Religion and Nonorthodox Practices (H-760)
    • Violence Spiritualized: The Function of Violent Tropes in Mipham’s Redaction of the Gesar Epic, by James Quinn (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • “What’s Disgust Got To Do With It?”: Examining the Role of Disgust in Religious Violence, by Sid Sudiacal (Ph.D. in Theology, McMaster Divinity College)
    • The case of Waco, by Kevin Singer (Ph.D. in Higher Education, Baylor University)
  • Media, Literature and Entertainment (H-762)
    • Virtual Conflicts, Real Minds: The cosmic battle between good and evil in the World of Warcraft, by Jocelyn Beaudet (Undergraduate in Religion, Concordia University)
    • Mixed Messages: Myth as Both Source and Critique of Violence in Superhero Narratives, by Etienne Domingue (M.A. in Religion, Université de Sherbrooke)
    • Picturing Biblical Violence: Contemporary Adaptations of Violent Biblical Texts, by Lucas Cober (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
  • Gender, Secularism and Discursive Violence (H-763)
    • Post-Modern Conversion: A Structural Analysis of the Discourse and Narrativization of Transsexual Transition and Christian Conversion, by Keegan Lathe-Leblanc (M.A. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • The “Promise Keeperss” and Nondenominational Christian Movements, by Laurel Andrew (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • The Ethics of the Secular and Modernity’s Slaughterhouse: Religious Minorities and Vegan Animal Rights Advocates as Undesirable Subjects in the Imperialist Project of “Humanizing the World,” by Marion Achoulias (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • Politics of Piety? Debating the Function and Meaning of Religious Symbols in Quebec, by Jennifer Guyver (Ph.D. in Religion, McGill University)
  • Christianity in History and Society (H-767)
    • Iroquoian Demons and European Witches: Cultural Conflict in 17th Century New France, by Tiawenti:non Canadian (M.A. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • Modélisation opératoire du phénomène de la violence religieuse américaine : Cas d’étude le fondamentalisme actuel au sein du protestantisme américain, by Daniel Chevalier (Ph.D. in Religion, Université de Sherbrooke) (Withdrawn)
    • Renouncing Violence after 9/11 and the War on Terror, by Michael Gillingham (Ph.D. in Religion, University of Alberta)

12:15 – 1:30

Lunch (Vegan and Kosher offered) FA-202

1:30 – 2:45

  • Apocryphal Literature (H-760)
    • Crime and Banishment: The Punishments of the Watcher Angels in 1 Enoch, by Elliot Mason (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • The State’s Use of Abstract Representations of Violence in Ancient Israel and the Modern Day, by Robert Kashow (Withdrawn)
    • Brother-Husbands and Moronic Tzaddiks: Liminal Figures and Spaces in Jewish Literature, by Jesse Toufexis (M.A. in Religion, Concordia University)
  • Sociology ideologies (H-762)
    • Le Candomblé: une émancipation politique des femmes? by Farah Cader (Ph.D. in Religion, Université de Sherbrooke)
    • Religious freedom, ideology and violence against LGBTQ persons, by Robert Smith (Ph.D. in Religion, Université de Montréal)
    • Understanding the 1994 Genocide in Twanda from the Perspective of Religious Studies, by Spyridon Loumakis, (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
  • Identity & Otherness (H-763)
    • Peacebuilding through Inclusive Identity and Boundary Formation, by Hyung Jin Kim Sun (Ph.D. in Theology, Emmanuel College) (Withdrawn)
    • Privileging the Lens: Framing Islamic Violence and the Creation of Authoritative Discourses, by Jeremy Cohen (Ph.D. in Religion, McMaster University)
    • Removing Site from Sight: The Spectacle of Cultural Heritage Destruction, by Stéphanie Machabée (Ph.D. in Religion, Yale University)
  • Islam and Otherness (H-767)
    • A Nonviolent Islam: a discussion on the underlying theory and hermeneutics of modern Islamic nonviolence with historical examples of nonviolent action on the ground—and the implications for a new theology of nonviolence, by Afra Jalabi (Ph.D. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • Jawdat Said: A Voice Calling in the Wilderness. An introduction to Said’s life, Works, by Naser Dumairieh (Ph.D. in Religion, McGill University)

3:00 – 4:15

  • Violence throughout History (H-760)
    • Religion, (Non-)Violence, and the American Civil Rights Movement, by Sarah Daigen, (M.A. in Religion, Carleton University)
    • Sir George Mackenzie and Religio-Politics of Violence in Restoration Scotland, by Alp Rodoplu (Ph.D. in History, Concordia University)
    • Mémoire, religion et idéologie : justification et diplomatie dans la guerre gothique, by Marc-Antoine Vigneau (Ph.D. in History, Université de Montréal) and David Brodeur (M.A. in Religion, UQAM)
  • New Questions, new Approaches (H-762)
    • Réflexion sur la guerre, by Louis Charles Fauteux (M.A. in Religion, Université de Montréal)
    • Apprehending Hand Guns, by Emilie St-Hilaire (Ph.D. in Humanities, Concordia University)
    • Democratizing Dialogue: New Social Movements and the Future of Interfaith Activism, by Ashely Crouch (M.A. in Religion, Concordia University)
  • Nationalism and Ideologies (H-763)
    • Malekian’s “Way to Freedom” as an Alternative to the Violence of Religious Authoritarianism in Iran, by Dorota Dejneka (M.A. in Religion, Concordia University)
    • Canadian Beasts and Where to Find Them: Examining the Role of Folklore in the Construction of National Identity, by Elijah Smith (Ph.D. in Religion, Wilfried Laurier University)  (Withdrawn)
    • Moral Authority: Nationalism and the Policing of Protest in Canada and the United States, by Kyle McLoughlin (M.A. in Sociology & Anthropology Concordia University)
  • Islam and Apocalypticism (H-767)
    • Le Monde musulman et la lutte contre la radicalisation islamique: Le Maroc comme exemple, by Moulay Hicham Mouatadid (Ph.D. in Religion, Université de Sherbrooke)
    • L’épistémologie de la violence et la conception de l’altérité: le cas de l’État Islamique, by Amany Fouad Salib (Ph.D. in Religion, UQAM)
    • Invoking the Apocalypse: Violence and the Islamic State’s Doomsday Message, by Jacob McLain (M.A. in Religion, Duke University)

4:30 – 6:00

Closure and Keynote Address H-763

  • Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michael Jerryson (Youngstown University, Ohio). Humanity’s Penchant for Violence: Religious Structures of Thought and Religious Expressions

6:00 – 21:00

“Wine & Cheese”

Executive Committee

Joseph E. Brito, President
Lindsey Jackson, Communication Officer
Amanda Mormina, Communication Officer
Chloé Collier, Agenda Coordinator
Catherine Leisser, Food Coordinator
Tirza Harris, Workflow Analyst and Development, and Finance Officer
Purna Roy, Event Coordinator
Scarlet Jory, Reviewing Coordinator
Neil Matthews, Advertisement & Media Coordinator
Ashely Crouch, Social Media
Josée Roy, Volunteer Coordinator

Reviewing Committee

Tiawenti:non Canadian
Lucas Cober
Chloé Corriveau
Scarlet Jory
Keegan Lathe- Leblanc
Nicola Morry
James Quinn
Rachel Wallace


Department of Religion
Journal of Religion and Culture
Concordia University Alumni Association