Religion Department Graduate Student Conference
Imaginal Worlds: Religion in Speculative and Fan Fiction
Contemporary popular culture is riddled with religious allusions and ideations. In science fiction and fantasy literature, comic books and graphic novels, fanfiction and cosplay adaptations, familiar storylines are recursively created through conceptions of the divine and demonic, the miraculous and marvelous, the saintly and heretical. This confluence of evolving imagery and ideas raises questions of how, why, and in what forms audiences intellectually and emotionally inhabit imaginative narrative creations.
This conference will examine the impact of religious themes upon the construction of imaginal worlds and the ways in which speculative fictions can serve as a heuristic tool in religious studies. We will address a range of time periods, traditions, and geographic areas, from a variety of fields, including religious studies, history, gender studies, philosophy, political science, theology, literary studies, anthropology, and sociology.