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Media, religion and culture focus of conference at Ryerson University

Acclaimed visual artist Jane Ash Poitras
Acclaimed visual artist Jane Ash Poitras will give the keynote speech at an international conference focusing on media, religion and culture at Ryerson University, which starts Monday, Aug. 9 at the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre.

WHAT:   What does religion have to do with the hit television programs The Colbert Report and The Daily News? How are religious leaders tweeting and texting to connect with their communities? Scholars and experts on religion, media and culture from around the world will gather at Ryerson University to explore these and other current and controversial topics as part of the seventh International Conference on Media, Religion and Culture, held for the first time in Canada.



1. Acclaimed visual artist Jane Ash Poitras will give the keynote speech on Monday, Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. In her address, Experiences of an Advocate for Shamanism, Poitras will talk about her experiences incorporating mass media images to create works of art exploring a variety of religious ideas, histories and experiences. Her work will be on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in September.

2. Other notable speakers include Professor Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University, a leading expert in the digital world of religion and Mara Einstein, a professor of media studies at Queen's College, New York, who will discuss the crisis facing the Church of Scientology. Stewart Hoover, a professor of media studies at the University of Colorado who has written extensively on media, religion and culture, will explore the challenges journalists face in covering religion stories during his presentation. Ryerson journalism professor Joyce Smith, who organized the conference, will present a paper on the way writers and directors blend news reports and fact with intangible ideas of faith.

Poitras and various panelists will be available for media interviews during the conference.

For conference details, visit:

The conference has been sponsored by Ryerson University and the Stichting Porticus Foundation, Amsterdam.


Monday, Aug. 9 to Friday, Aug. 13
Poitras's speech: Aug. 9, 5 p.m., Room ENG103

WHERE:   George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre
245 Church Street
Ryerson University
(Check program schedule for presentation locations)


Suelan Toye
Public Affairs
Ryerson University
Office: 416-979-5000 x 7161

If you require this in another format, please contact Ryerson University Public Affairs at 416-979-5000 x 7134.








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