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LIMINAL SPACES, IMAGES AND TEXTS 12–14 June 2019, Trinity College Dublin

Key Note Speaker

Professor Dr Alison Scott-Baumann

Professor Dr Alison Scott-Baumann is Professor of Society and Belief and Associate Director of Research (Impact and Engagement) at SOAS, University of London and chair of Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN). She and her research team recently completed a three year AHRC grant to analyse representations of Islam and Muslims on university campuses and this complements her work on free speech on campus (2015-18). In early 2019 she was commissioned by the government to work with Muslim community groups and improve young Muslims’ access into higher education, reprising a project she conduced for government in 2008-10. She speaks on BBC radio 4, has written for Guardian and several higher education blogs, and applies modern philosophy (Ricoeurian) to social justice issues. She etches on copper and is completing a series on Parmenides.


Patrick (Pat) Brittenden

Patrick (Pat) Brittenden’s background is in education, working as a secondary school teacher, head of Religious Studies department and later as a university lecturer. Originally from New Zealand, Pat grew up in Algeria, was educated in the UK and then went on to work in the development sector in Tunisia, leading a project of the integration of children with special needs into mainstream schools in the south of Tunisia.

Pat also has considerable experience in inter-religious and inter-cultural relations, especially Muslim-Christian relations. His PhD (University of Oxford, July 2018) explores the liminality of the contemporary Muslim-background Church of Algeria, focussing on the role of teaching and learning and its impact on the development of the Church and national identity in Algeria.

As a research associate at the Centre for Christianity and Culture (Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford) Pat’s current research brings together a passion for teaching and learning with Christian theology in majority-Muslim contexts. He teaches, trains and writes on these related themes.

Sandra Cardarelli

Sandra is an art historian specializing in late-medieval and Renaissance Italian art and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, where she graduated with a PhD funded by the AHRC.

She has been working and has published on the interplay between centres and peripheries and how this shaped the visual culture of liminal communities in Tuscany, and on broader issues such as the role of art and visual culture in the formation of individual and collective identities. This research resulted in the co-edited volume: "Art and Identity: Visual Culture, Politics and Religion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance" (Cambridge Scholars, 2012).

She also works on sanctity, visual culture and healing, and this is also part of a co-edited volume: "Saints, Miracles and the Image: Healing Saints and Miraculous Images in the Renaissance (Brepols, 2018).

Yu-Chun Chen

Yu-Chun Chen was born in Taipei city, Taiwan. She studied Sociology for eight years and acquired bachelor and master degrees in Tunhai and National Taiwan University. Her master thesis The Politics of Depoliticization: A Narrative Sociological Analysis of Political Events in Taiwan acquired the Honorable Mention of Cultural Studies Association in 2010. She was also an editor for Renlai Monthly magazine from 2010 to 2013 which concerning on the cultural, social and spiritual issues in Asia and throughout the world. Currently, she embarks on a PhD program in social anthropology at the University of Roehampton, with a project of ‘Become and becoming a dancer: an ethnography of the Taipei Dance Circle’. The Taipei Dance Circle (1984 – ), founded by Shaw-Lu Liu, created the baby-oil dance as an avant-garde genre among modern dance troupes in the world. After he died in 2014, the troupe in a liminal state tried different collaboration to create performances such as Lending Ear to Dance, Eye to Sound in 2015, Golden Era in 2016 and Floating Horizons in 2017. My fieldwork participated in the process of touring Golden Era and making of Floating Horizons as well as dancers’ changing life from August 2016 to September 2017.

Michele Feder-Nadoff

Feder-Nadoff is an artist (BFA, MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and anthropologist (PhD, El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico). Her doctoral project “Body of Knowledge—between praxis & theory—The Agency of the Artisan and their Craft, Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán: Towards An Anthropology of Making” was based upon long-term 1 apprenticeship to the village master coppersmith, maestro Jesús Pérez Ornelas (1926-2014) in his family forge. Feder-Nadoff’s research integrates extensive ethnography and community collaboration initiated in 1997. Her PhD was funded by National Council on Science and Technology in Mexico and El Colegio de Michoacán, 2012-2017. Feder-Nadoff is a Fulbright Scholar (2010-11), editor of Rhythm of Fire: The Art & Artisans of Santa Clara del Cobre (2004) and director-producer of Night-Blooming Jasmine (2006), the accompanying poetic video documentary. In 1998 she co-founded Cuentos Foundation which operated out of her artist studio through 2009. Brauer Museum of Art and Rockford Museum of Art presented mid-career retrospective installations in 2013. She was a visiting researcher in Tim Ingold’s Knowing from the Inside project, University of Aberdeen, Scotland May-June 2017 and April-May 2018.

Alexandra Grieser

Alexandra Grieser is Assistant Professor for the Theory of Religion at Trinity College, Dublin. Her research focuses on Method and Theory in the Study of Religion; European Pluralism (1800 – contemporary); the History and Theory of Knowledge; Religion and Rhetoric; and Aesthetics of Religion. She is a founding member of the working group for the Aesthetics of Religion in the German Association for the Study of Religion, and a memver of, a network project funded by the GRF. She has published on changing plausibility patterns in modern religion (Transformations of Immortality, 2008), on fascination as an aesthetic strategy (2009), on knowledge production in museums (2011); on religious and scientific imagery (2014; 2017); and on the Aesthetics of Religion as a systematic, bio-cultural approach to the Study of Religion in an international and interdisciplinary context (Aesthetics of Religion: A Connective Concept, 2017).

Zohar Hadromi-Allouche

Doctor Zohar Hadromi-Allouche is an Assistant Professor in Classical Islamic Thought and Dialogue in the School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin. She has a BA in Arabic Language and History of the Middle East from Tel-Aviv University and a PhD in Religious Studies from SOAS, University of London. Her research applies literary approaches to religious texts such as the Hebrew Bible, the Qur’an and other classical Islamic sources, as a way of exploring the developing meanings of such texts over time, as well as their interconnectivity. Dr Hadromi-Allouche has edited two volumes on inter-disciplinary aspects of the Fall, alongside studies in classical Islam and Hebrew Bible. Her current research focuses on the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, and in particular the Character of Eve in the Islamic tradition.

Jamie Ingram

I am a post graduate researcher in archaeology at the University of Southampton, specialising in the study of informal religious practice in English Medieval Christianity. My specific interest is in the activities of lay worshipers as they encounter the divine, currently focusing on the encounter of pilgrims within the empowered spaces of southern England’s religious establishments. My research takes in the material remnants of informal practice in the form of historic graffiti and the development of a theoretical framework for the understanding of the interaction between the lay worshiper and the divine realm.

José R. Irizarry

Dr. José R. Irizarry teaches in the field of Theology and Culture at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. He also serves as Vice-President of Education for the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Prior to his appointment to this position in 2016, he served as Academic Dean and held the Limardo Chair in Practical Theology at the Ecumenical Seminary of Puerto Rico. and served as professor of educational ministries and academic administrator at theological schools in Chicago, Illinois, and Berkeley, California. Irizarry holds a philosophy degree from the University of Puerto Rico, a theology degree from McCormick Theological Seminary and a doctorate in Religion and Personality Sciences from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. As a scholar in the field of religious education and intercultural relations, he has traveled internationally to lead seminars, conferences, and conduct research. In 2007 he was elected President of the Religious Education Association in the United States and Canada. Irizarry served on the Board of Directors of the Westminster John Knox Press for eight years, and participates in the Editorial Board of five ecumenical journals. His major research interests are intercultural relations, social theory, critical theo-pedagogy. and aesthetics.

In addition to this research focus I am the co-lead for the Hampshire Historic Graffiti Survey, a community archaeology project that was established in 2017 to record the graffiti found in the churches and other historic buildings of Hampshire. I also provide guidance to a number of other surveys and have consulted with the Sussex survey to provide expert knowledge and assistance in the interpretation and recording of graffiti in the Sussex region. I am also involved in the Old Sarum Landscapes Project, working to understand the early medieval settlements at Salisbury.

Michael Hubbard MacKay

Michael Hubbard MacKay is an associate professor in the Department of Church History at Brigham Young University. He is lead historian and editor of Documents, Volume 1 in Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers and the author or coauthor of several books, including From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon; Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones; and Sacred Space: Exploring the Birthplace of Mormonism. He is also the editor of several anthologies, including Producing Ancient Scripture.

Michael T Miller

Dr Michael T Miller works in Jewish Studies and Philosophy, specialising in Jewish mysticism and modern Jewish philosophy. His monograph, The Name of God in Jewish Thought (Routledge 2016) offers a philosophical/theological examination of Jewish mystical traditions regarding the relationship of naming to identity, incorporating apocalyptic, rabbinic, and kabbalistic texts analysed through the lens of thinkers such as Rosenzweig, Benjamin, and Levinas. His other research outputs have been in journals such as Journal for the Study of Judaism, Medieval Mystical Theology and Film-Philosophy. He has taught in Jewish Studies and Philosophy at Liverpool Hope University since 2016 and has been Religion and Theology editor for early career journal HARTs and Minds since 2014. His current research is on Black Jewish theology, in particular the African Hebrew Israelite community.

Graeme Nixon

Dr Graeme Nixon is a senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen. For the last nine years he has been the programme director of the University’s MSc Studies in Mindfulness programme. He practices, publishes on and supervises research projects on mindfulness. In this field he is particularly interested in debates about the possibility of secular mindfulness, Buddhist origins and criticisms of mindfulness. Formerly a secondary teacher of Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies, Graeme retains an interest in the manifestations of meditation across multiple wisdom traditions (religious or otherwise). As a teacher educator he is particularly interested in the development of thinking skills in schools and he has written on this as well as delivered training for professionals on how to weave a suite of thinking skills approaches (including mindfulness) into their life and work.

Lisa Olsen

Lise Olsen is a responsive artist based in Scotland who works in-between a sphere of space and the sonic. By embracing uncertainty, she records sound and collects stories to create fragmented realities. Lise commenced her PhD candidature in Sonic Arts at the University of Aberdeen in 2018. Her latest research explores immersive soundscapes and the embodied experience of the in-between. She graduated with a MFA in Art, Society and Publics and a BA (Hons) in Art and Philosophy from DJCAD, University of Dundee. Lise has collaborated and facilitated a variety of sound-walking experiences. Projects include soundwalks at WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre in Dumfries, Scone Village in Perthshire and The McManus Museum in Dundee. She has presented her research and sound compositions at many Scottish events including SonADA 2018:Rediscoveries 9: Aberdeen, The Sound Thought Festival 2017: CCA. Glasgow, The Artists Book Market Talks 2017: The Fruit Market, Edinburgh and Spaces of Uncertainty 2017: VRC Centerspace at the DCA, Dundee. Lise documents her research and experiences on her blog

Olga Sicilia

Olga Sicilia has engaged as a Social Anthropologist in long-term fieldwork on a border region in Northern Zimbabwe (mid Zambezi Valley) while attached as a Research Associate at the University of Zimbabwe during the same period. Her work focuses broadly on issues of oral histories and memory work, ritual ancestral practices, historical landscapes, territoriality, and temporality. She is currently revising her PhD thesis for book publication. To this end, and within current anthropological discussions and theoretical debates, she is working on aspects of memory, history, historiography, and its connection to territoriality, materiality, and contemporary politics in Zimbabwe. In this context, issues concerned with pastness, memory ('collective memory' or 'embodied memory'), and historiography as they relate to ritual and spirit possession (by territorial ancestral spirits), or to land and territoriality are part of her work as well. A second broad area she is exploring in detail -connected to some extent to the previous one- relates to the complex question of the relationship between the agency of mediums, and the ancestors that possess them. Here she aims to discuss the limits and potentials of the notion of liminality (eg Van Gennep, Turner) as a conceptual tool for understanding the question of 'agency' and spirit possession, as compared for example to current debates about how 'agency' is better understood as an effect of entangled relationalities with the material/immaterial worlds that people are part of (eg Ingold).

Maria Antonietta Struzziero

An independent scholar, she completed a PhD in Linguistic and Literary Studies at the University of Salerno. Her doctoral dissertation concentrated on Jeanette Winterson and the love discourses in some of her novels. She has published articles on Thomas Hardy, Italo Calvino, Julian Barnes and Jeanette Winterson, and given papers at international conferences. She has co-edited “Voci ed echi: Quaderni di letteratura comparata” and translated two novels. She is currently working on mythology in contemporary novels, particularly Colm Tòibìn’s House of Names and Madeline Miller’s Circe.

Eric Ziolkowski

Eric Ziolkowski is H. P. Manson Professor of Bible, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, and Co-coordinator of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies Program at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. He is the author numerous books, articles, and essays in the comparative study of religion and literature. He has lectured widely in North America, Great Britain, and Western Europe, as well as Poland, Australia, and China (Beijing, Suzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong). Recent scholarly books include Kierkegaard, Literature, and the Arts (2018), The Bible in Folklore Worldwide, vol. 1: A Handbook of Biblical Reception in Jewish, European Christian, and Islamic Folklores (2017), and The Literary Kierkegaard (2011). Formerly the North American Senior Editor of the journal Literature and Theology (2004–2012), he is a main editor of the prospective thirty-volume Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (2009–; sixteen volumes published to date), and co-edits two book series: Studies in Religion and the Arts (Brill), and Studies of the Bible and Its Reception (De Gruyter).