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Matters of Place: Placing Religion in Film

M. Gail Hamner explores the place of religion in film where, beyond cartography, place is relational: indexed in an at once individual and collective where, what and when. Beyond tracking actual and tangible places such as the Vatican or American West, religion in film is about what she calls affecognitive economies that offer expression for felt if unthought responses to those places. Hamner’s attention to film form, including light and sound, and to the sedimented histories of certain places further offer ways of feeling the violences that not only mark our current world filmicly but that also inundate our daily lived lives.

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Religion and ‘Radiation Culture’: Spirituality in a Post-Chernobyl World

Elena Romashko analyzes how atomic power may be interpreted through the lens of spirituality and mythology as a cultural response. By focusing on the Chernobyl explosion in 1986, she proposes the idea of a ‘radiation culture’ where nuclear radiation has evolved from a purely scientific concept, first observed in the controlled environment of the lab, to a culture with its vivid beliefs and folklore.

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Sensing Eid al Kabir’s Tactile, Viscous Stickiness: Affect, Embodiment and Material Religion

Rebecca Moody reads Eid al Kabir in Fes, Morocco, through the lens of affect theory. The sights, sounds and smells of Eid yield the circulation of “sticky” affect that, as it touches each participant and observer, in turn renders them sticky and therein “(re)surfaces” their material bodies. Moody argues that affect theory offers a unique approach to the study of material religion, specifically Islam, by combining the materiality of the human body with the “textures” of affect that circulate around Islam in its different, quotidian expressions.

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Affects of Consumption and Commodification in a Moroccan Ramadan

Rebecca Moody narrates her impressions of commodification and consumption during Ramadan in Fes, Morocco, through a series of ‘still lifes’. By paying attention to the power of the ordinary as affects and traces, Moody encourages us to pause and contemplate how the sacred and the secular are mixed in daily life. Never separated, they flow into each other, carried by the everyday struggles and celebrations of bodies and minds in this sacred month in the Islamic calendar.

Thinking With The Tabot: The Material Dimensions of Waiting in Addis Ababa

Alexandra Antohin uses the material analogy of the Ethiopian tabot to explore alternative dispositions to waiting and indeterminacy. She explores how ‘moving foundations’ of the home and church facilitate conditions of sustaining instability. This thought-provoking discussion considers how dilemmas of displacement and the manipulation of time during crises, such as urban resettlement, can revise sociocultural assumptions about the march of time as moving fast and forward.

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