PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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New Religious Movements Unit and Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction Unit

Call for Papers: 

Podcasts as/and Sacred Texts: Welcome to Night Vale
The podcast Welcome to Night Vale describes itself as "a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events." ( Since its debut in 2012, the podcast has stimulated its audience with imaginative storytelling, magical realism, theological and religious complexity and mystery, paranormal activity, conspiracy theory, monstrosity, Gods, Glow Clouds, sexuality, angelology and a deeply human narrative of relationship and meaning. The podcast's creators--Joseph Fink, who was a religious studies major, and Jeffrey Cranor--interweave theological reflection with sacred texts, themes of religion and science, belief and doubt. We seek proposals that attend to Welcome to Night Vale's odd mix of texts and theology, constructive reflections and critiques on the themes of the podcast, the audience of the podcast itself, its characters and quirks. And, more generally, can podcasts be sources of theological reflection, can podcasts be sacred texts for those who listen?

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
ChairSteering Committee