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Finding meaning in ritual

July 2, 2010 Leave a comment

By Paola Banchero, University of Alaska Anchorage
Religion and Media Interest Group Chair

“July? Where has the summer gone?” lamented my husband. I didn’t have it in me to tell him that we’ve spent nearly three weeks frittering a good part of the summer away watching World Cup soccer games, especially the ones that began at 6 a.m. Alaska time. I’d make sure to have coffee made by the time the game started. We talked about where we were when the last World Cup was played, and the one before that, when I’d try to see games at the mall in Guadalajara, where I was living at the time. Every four years, I become a dedicated soccer fan, reading about the players and coaches, doing cartwheels when a Cinderella team makes it to the quarterfinals or beyond, screeching at the television when the referee makes a bad call. My nuttiness for the World Cup subsides after the final, In the intervening four years, I catch only the occasional match.

A similar sensation must come over people who go to church for the “important” holidays of Easter and Christmas. They crave the ritual, the moment of participation and the good feelings that linger afterward. The details of the sermon are forgotten, but the message lasts a bit longer, perhaps until the next holiday. Meaning is found in participating in the ritual.

I’ve come to think of the annual conference of AEJMC as a similar kind of ritual. Sometimes I refer to my notes from a particular session, but more often, I think about which conference I met a colleague at or when I first heard about the research of an impressive scholar. I’m sure that the Denver conference will be particularly memorable. I’ll mark the annual ritual the same way I usually do: going to as many sessions as my brain can absorb, meeting up with old friends and slipping away for at least one good dinner. However you spend time at the conference, consider it more than a meeting of colleagues. While this year’s RMIG board can’t shoot like the Argentines or pass like the Germans, I’m hopeful we’ve had a role in making the AEJMC conference a meaningful ritual, one that you will remember for years to come.

Here’s the schedule to help you make your travel arrangements.

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Categories: Newsletter, Uncategorized

Deadline for paper competition approaches

February 20, 2010 Leave a comment

By Chiung Hwang, BYU-Hawaii
RMIG Research co-chair

The paper call is out. You may find it on AEJMC website/newsletter or RMIG website, if you have not yet received it through e-mail. We encourage everyone to consider submitting your work to our interest group. Please also forward the paper call to your colleagues and graduate students. All topics related to religion and media, and both quantitative and qualitative research methods, are welcome.

The deadline for the paper competition is April 1, 2010, as usual. We will also continue the paper competition reward system this year to encourage quality papers. The winners last year received not only a cash award, but also a very beautiful plaque that they can proudly display in their office.

I am compiling a list of relevant journals to our field, which you will find under a separate page, listed at the top. This is something I think can be useful for publication consideration. What I have so far is the beginning of this compilation process. Please drop me a note if you know of any other journals that I should include. The final product, I hope, can be a brochure to distribute to all our members as a reference. This list includes the journal titles and the condensed version of their descriptions.

Categories: Uncategorized