Thursday, August 23, 2012

Conference details

Online Baha'i Studies Conference: October 13, 2012

'Abdu'l-BaháLegacies and Resonances  

On the centenary of 'Abdu'l-Baha's historic voyage to the West, we take stock of the impacts, legacies and above all the ongoing relevance which the figure of 'Abdu'l-Baha still holds in a planet in transition. 

Among the speakers will be:

  • Robert Stockman (USA): author of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in America
  • Jan Jasion (France): author of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in France  and of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the West, A Biographical Guide to 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Western Travels   
  • Arthur Dahl (Switzerland): President of the International Environment Forum and former Deputy Director at the United Nations Environment Programme
  • Gloria Yazdani (Canada): Artist, human rights activist and former co-editor of the Online Journal of Baha'i Studies
  • Steven Cooney (New Zealand): Independent scholar and editor the Baha'i Studies Review
  • Ismael Velasco (UK): Interdisciplinary Baha'i scholar and social action specialist

Participants at the conference will be as much protagonists as audience, the simple and accessible online conference platform making possible an unprecedented degree of interaction, reflection,  discussion and exchange. Outstanding participant contributions and conversations will be featured in the conference proceedings, subject to previous consent.

Participants will be able to put questions to the speakers, comment live, communicate with one another in public and in private, and contribute their own ideas in an innovative, scholarly, consultative atmosphere. All that you need is a computer and an internet connection... and presto!

Presentations will be recorded, so time-zone differences will be no barrier to attendance and no contribution will be missed.

The event will open for registrations the week of September 17, 2012. To make sure you are notified, communicate your wish to attend by joining the event on Facebook, or by sending an email.

Finally, why not take the jump and present a paper yourself?  Cloud Conferences will take place four times a year. The call for papers is for the whole year.There are no limitations on theme, discipline or topic for expressions of interest. Submissions from young scholars such as (but in no way limited to) graduate students are particularly welcome.

This is a global experiment in using new media in the pursuit of collaborative insight into the Baha'i teachings, community, history and spirit. Your participation might just help birth something beautiful and significant. 

Let others know and let's discover the power of word of mouth.

And now, let's hit the cloud.

Call for Papers

The Baha'i Studies Cloud Conference Series

Call for Papers

The current call for papers invites scholars in every discipline to submit proposals for scholarly papers or presentations directly relevant to any aspect of the Baha'i Faith, to be presented at one of the forthcoming conferences, which are anticipated to take place quarterly beginning in October 13. 

The presentations will be by video link in a very easy to use platform requiring only a web-cam and access to the Internet. You will be able to speak directly as well as use Powerpoint, distribute handouts and even use an on-line whiteboard live. Speakers will be able to interact with one another and take questions live from the audience, with a chairperson moderating. All this will be administered by the organisers, speakers only having to speak to camera and if appropriate progress through their slides. Technical help will be on hand in the unlikely case it is needed.

Outstanding papers and presentations will be published in the Baha'i Studies Review, subject to editorial approval and peer review.

Submissions from young scholars such as, but not in any way exclusively, graduate students, are particularly welcome.

What can be presented?

Themes for the conference can include any of the following and any others that may be pertinent:

Foundational research:
  • Baha'i history: including all periods and all degrees of Baha'i connection, biography, community histories, contextual studies.
  • Baha'i scripture and authoritative guidance: including manuscript history, provisional translations, vocabulary analysis and conceptual analysis.
  • Baha'i theology: including doctrines, ethics, principles of Baha'i administration, metaphysics, etc.

Correlational research:
Connecting Baha'i ideas, practices, institutions and models to issues, concepts, practices, approaches, models and institutions in any field of human endeavour such as:
  • Politics
  • Economics
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Law
  • Community building
  • Sustainable development
  • Business 
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Indigenous rights, traditions and perspectives
  • Medicine
  • Arts

Comparative research:

Studies that compare Baha'i ideas, institutions or practices to those of other communities, traditions, institutions, philosophies, etc.

Descriptive research:

Studies that capture the way the Baha'i community operates in practice, including approaches such as:
  • Ethnography
  • Sociology - quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods
  • Action research
  • Appreciative inquiry

Who to contact?

Those interested should contact Ismael Velasco with a proposal, ideally with an abstract, although at this point an expression of interest will be adequate. It would be greatly appreciated if you would collaborate in the dissemination of this call for papers across your relevant networks and contacts.

With high hopes of your support and scholarly contribution to this potentially historic new development in Baha'i scholarship,

Ismael Velasco