Event: Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion

Please note that alongside general interest for the network there are also some streams here also for studying digital nonreligion.

http://www.derby.ac.uk/digital-methodologies-in-the-sociology-of-religion

16th November 2012, Enterprise Centre, University of Derby

Organised by the Centre for Society, Religion & Belief (SRB), University of Derby

Funded by Digital Social Research (DSR)

Book your place

This conference is generously subsidised by Digital Social Research. There is a small registration fee of £30 (+ £6 VAT)

Within an era of a growing reliance on digital technologies to instantly and effectively express our values, allegiances, and multi-faceted identities, the interest in digital research methodologies among Sociologists of Religion comes as no surprise (e.g. Bunt 2009; Cantoni and Zyga 2007; Contractor 2012 and Ostrowski 2006; Taylor 2003). However the methodological challenges associated with such research have been given significantly less attention. What are the epistemological underpinnings and rationale for the use ‘digital’ methodologies? What ethical dilemmas do sociologists face, including while protecting participants’ interests in digital contexts that are often perceived as anonymised and therefore ‘safe’? Implementing such ‘digital’ research also leads to practical challenges such as mismatched expectations of IT skills, limited access to specialized tools, project management and remote management of research processes. Hosted by the Centre for Society, Religion, and Belief at the University of Derby and funded by Digital Social Research, this conference brings together scholars to critically evaluate the uses, impacts, challenges and future of Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion.

Please forward this to your invitation to your professional networks and to your students. A few travel bursaries are available for post-graduate students in the UK. Please write to either Sariya Contractor (s.contractor@derby.ac.uk) or Suha Shakkour (s.shakkour@derby.ac.uk) for further details.

 

Plenary Speakers:

Prof. Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University Methodological Challenges, Innovations and Growing Pains in Digital Religion Research

Dr. Eric AtwellLeeds University Applying Artificial Intelligence to the Understanding of Islam

                       

Draft Programme

09:45 – 10:15  Registration & Refreshments

10:15 – 10:40  Welcome, Introduction and Housekeeping

Dr. Sariya Contractor & Dr. Suha Shakkour

Prof. Paul Weller, Head of Research and Commercial Development, EHS

Dr. Kristin Aune, Director, Centre for Society, Religion & Belief

10:40 – 11:25  Plenary: Methodological Challenges, Innovations and Growing Pains in Digital Religion Research

Prof. Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University

11:25 – 12:40  Social Networking Sites

Anti-Social networking: Facebook as a site and method for researching anti-Muslim and anti-Islam opposition

Dr. Chris Allen, University of Birmingham

Role of Digital Communication Technology in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Lead Revolution in Egypt

Dr. Abul Hassan & Prof. Toseef Azid, Markfield Institute of Higher Education

Ethical Challenges of researching Muslim women’s closed religious newsgroups

Dr. Anna Piela, Independent Researcher

12:40 – 13:40  Lunch

13:40 – 14:55  Digital Resources and Tools

Surveying the Religious and the Non-Religious

Dr. Tristram Hooley & Prof. Paul Weller, University of Derby

  Research Approaches to the Digital Bible

Dr. Tim Hutchings, Durham University

Employing Distance Learning to Improve the Quantity and Quality of Islamic Studies

Dr Muhammad Mesbahi, Islamic College & Morteza Rezaei-Zadeh, University of Limerick

14:55 – 15:40  Plenary: Applying Artificial Intelligence to the Understanding of Islam

Eric Atwell, Leeds University

15:40 – 15:55 Refreshments

15:55 – 17:10  Communication

Prospects and Limits for Mxit and Mobi Methodologies for Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Federico Settler, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Researching Religious Discourses Online: Some thoughts on method

Thomas Alberts, SOAS

The Online Communication Model: A theoretical Framework to Analyse the Institutional Communication on the Internet

Juan Narbona & Dr. Daniel Arasa, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

17:10 – 17:30  Concluding Comments, Publication Plans

Dr Sariya Contractor & Dr. Suha Shakkour

Centre for Society, Religion & Belief

University of Derby

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