Daily Schedule

Below is the full schedule for each day. Click on a time slot to see more details.

  • April 20th
    Thursday Schedule
    2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Registration
    Initial registration and check-in will take place at The New School University Center lobby, located at 63 Fifth Ave (corner of 5th Ave and 13th St).
    5:30 pm - 6:00 pm
    Welcome Remarks
    Welcome remarks for the 2017 conference from ICI Senior Director Ashok Gurung, ISSRNC President Sarah Pike and The New School President David Van Zandt.
    Karenna Gore
    6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
    Keynote -- Reverence for Life: Biocultural Heritage as Resistance and Restoration

    This is the opening keynote talk by Karenna Gore. The talk will take place in the University Center's Tishman Auditorium, located on the ground floor.

    Climate change is about more than science and sustainability, it is about meaning. In the Anthropocene, the nature of humanity’s relationship to the rest of the natural world is what matters most to the continuity of the habitability of the planet. We will continue on this course of destruction or we will resist that trajectory (driven by fossil fuels, deforestation, throwaway consumerism) and prioritize the kind of balance, humility and reverence that was taught and practiced in most ancient societies, including the foundations of most faith traditions. Place-based religion and culture are important to cultivate and maintain so that we take care of the planet as a whole and replace perverse economic incentives with real regard for the most important things in life such as air, water, food and culture. Colonial religions must unravel their conceptual ties to empire— which have become entrenched within those traditions but are not intrinsic to them— and stand in solidarity with indigenous traditions. This is happening in Standing Rock and beyond and it is the most hopeful sign in the climate movement— every bit as hopeful as renewable energy and even more radical and threatening to the powers that be. It is imperative that the academy and the policy intelligentsia and religious institutions all give this movement proper regard and support— from the ground up.

    7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Reception
    Following the opening keynote talk by Karenna Gore there will be a reception taking place in [add location here].
    7:15 pm - 7:30 pm
    Announcements
    Any important announcements or updates about the conference will take place immediately following the keynote talk.
  • April 21st
    Friday Schedule
    8:00 am - 10:00 am
    Registration
    For anyone who did not register and check-in on Thursday night, registration will be available in the lobby of The New School's University Center, 63 Fifth Ave.
    8:00 am - 8:30 am
    Coffee+Tea
    Coffee and tea will be available before the morning session in the [add location here].
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 1, Panel A -- Pilgrimage and Pluralism
    Session A: Pilgrimage and Pluralism
    • Jenny Butler, “Croagh Patrick Mountain as a Site of Cultural Hybridity and Religious Syncretism”
    • Nour Farra Haddad, “Mount Hermon (Jabal El Sheikh) in Lebanon: A Sacred Biblical Mountain – Pilgrimages and Rituals”
    • John Schelhas & Sarah Hitchner, “The Sacred Landscape of the Sierra Nevadas of California: A Social Map of the John Muir Trail as a Modern Pilgrimage”
    • Juan Campo, “Sacred Mountains in the Landscapes of Modern Mass Pilgrimages: Between Preservation and Eradication”
    • Michael Northcott, Presiding
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 1, Panel B -- Religious Practices and Environmental Management
    Session B: Religious Practices and Environmental Management
    • Ashwini Pethe, “Appropriating the Sacred: Safeguarding Environment Through Religious and Cultural Practices in Kullu Valley”
    • Gerrit Lange, “Western Himalayan Nāgas as Guardians for Water Resources”
    • Sarah Robinson-Bertoni, “Lands Sacralized by Sustainable Agriculture, Words Sacralized by Climate Justice: From Local Landscapes to Global Religious Leadership in Human and Ecological Community Sustainability among Catholics and Muslims”
    • David Krantz, “Shmita Revival: The Reconsideration and Expansion of Sacred Land”
    • Todd LeVasseur, Presiding
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 1, Panel C -- Shaking Up the Sacred: Religion, Geology, and Risk in the Eastern Himalaya
    Session C: Shaking Up the Sacred: Religion, Geology, and Risk in the Eastern Himalaya
    • Michael Hamburger
    • Mabel Gergan
    • Kalzang Bhutia
    • Amy Holmes –Tagchungdarpa, Discussant
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 1, Panel D -- New Religious Landscapes of Europe and the Americas
    Session D: New Religious Landscapes of Europe and the Americas
    • Kimberly Kirner, “The Spirits of Place: The Sacred in Nature and at Home Among Contemporary Pagans”
    • Agita Misane, “Innovation and Sacrality: The Typology of Newly Created Sacred Sites in the Baltic States”
    • Francesca C. Howell, “Materiality of Place: Finding Sacredness and Resilience through Bonds with Place”
    • Alexander Grandjean, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Experimenting with Nature and Power Places in Eco-Spiritual Networks and Movements in French-speaking Switzerland” **Co-author Irene Becci (not presenting)
    • Sarah Pike, Presiding
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 1, Panel E -- Learning from Indigenous Traditions to Create Ecological Cultures
    Session E: Learning from Indigenous Traditions to Create Ecological Cultures
    • Jason Brown
    • Derek Simon
    • Kristin Pomykala
    • Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, Presiding
    10:00 am - 10:30 am
    Coffee+Tea
    A short break between sessions to stretch, use the restroom and get more coffee/tea.
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Session 2, Panel A -- Conservation: Management and Values

    Session A

    Conservation: Management and Values

    • Luke Shirley & Todd LeVasseur, “The Capability for Sustainability in Sacred Lands: The View from Ladakh”
    • Carey Clouse, “The Himalayan Ice Stupa: Religious Marker and Water Cache in Ladakh”
    • Mary Louise Stone, “The Spirituality of Earth’s Largest High Mountain Lake: Titiqaqa in the Andes”
    • Jeffrey Keefer, “Reframing Perspectives of Mountains and Sacred Landscapes in an Age of Climate Change: Exploring Neopagan Leadership as Stewards of Nature”
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Session 2, Panel B -- Landscape and Place: Hidden and Revealed

    Session B

    Landscape and Place: Hidden and Revealed

    • Seth Auster-Rosen, “The Celestial Place of Lapchi Mountain: Mimesis, Appropriation, and Purity”
    • Judy Jibb, “Giving Voice to Akiko: Do the Chaudière Falls Serve as a Sacred Site in Contemporary Northeastern Canada?”
    • Ian Baker, “Hidden Lands in Himalayan Myth and History”
    • Robert Boschman, Discussant
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Session 2, Panel C -- Scriptural Perspectives from the Summit: Qur’an and the Bible

    Session C

    Scriptural Perspectives from the Summit: Qur’an and the Bible

    • Eric Wagner, “Mountain – Man: A Correspondence of Biblical Proportion…Or at Least of Biblical Imagery”
    • Drew Nagy, “The Pedagogy of Creation in the Israelite Wisdom Tradition”
    • İbrahim Özdemir, “The Mountain Symbolism in Early Islamic Thought”
    • Dylan Shaul, “Sacred Space, Sacred Time: The Sanctification of the World in Jewish and Christian Religious Traditions”
    • Anna Gade, Presiding
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Session 2, Panel D -- Catastrophe and Mountain Landscapes

    Session D

    Catastrophe and Mountain Landscapes

    • Najiyah Martian, “Contesting Interpretations of the Volcanic Eruption of Mt. Merapi”
    • Megan MacDonie, “Explosive Encounters: Volcanic Landscapes and Cultural Exchange in Colonial Guatemala”
    • Volker Gottowik, “After the Explosion: Mount Rinjani and its Social Perception on Lombok, Indonesia”
    • Michael Hamburger, Discussant
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Session 2, Panel E -- Epistemology on a Himalayan Scale: Local Ecological Knowledge, Sacred Landscapes, and Animate Beings

    Session E

    Epistemology on a Himalayan Scale: Local Ecological Knowledge, Sacred Landscapes, and Animate Beings

    • Elizabeth Allison
    • Georgina Drew
    • Steven Goodman
    • Lindsay Skog
    • Emily Yeh
    • Ashok Gurung, Presiding
    12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
    Lunch | Members Meeting
    Boxed lunches will be provided for those who ordered a box lunch add-on with registration.
    1:15 pm - 2:45 pm
    Session 3, Panel A -- Ritual, Commemoration, and Sacred Landscapes

    Session A

    Ritual, Commemoration, and Sacred Landscapes

    • Kristina Tiedje
    • Jone Salomonsen
    • Jens Kreinath
    • Adrian Ivakhiv
    • Morny Joy
    • Sarah Pike, Presiding
    1:15 pm - 2:45 pm
    Session 3, Panel B -- Ecofeminism and Beyond: Revisiting the Intersection between Gender, Religion, and Nature

    Session B

    Ecofeminism and Beyond: Revisiting the Intersection between Gender, Religion, and Nature

    • Elaine Nogueira-Godsey
    • Emma Tomalin
    • Amanda Nichols, Presiding
    1:15 pm - 2:45 pm
    Session 3, Panel C -- Critical Theories for a Changing Planet: A Panel Discussion

    Session C

    Critical Theories for a Changing Planet: A Panel Discussion

    • Whitney Bauman
    • Amanda Baugh
    • Carol Wayne White
    • Anna Gade
    • James Miller
    • Kocku von Stuckrad
    • Çagdas Dedeoglu, Presiding
    1:15 pm - 2:45 pm
    Session 3, Panel D -- Reimagining Mountains and Sacred Landscapes: The Place of Myth, Art, and Narrative in Contemporary Ecological Issues

    Session D

    Reimagining Mountains and Sacred Landscapes: The Place of Myth, Art, and Narrative in Contemporary Ecological Issues

    • Kip Redick, “Transfigured Mountains, Mythic/Sacred Telling, and Constituting the Wild”
    • Joe Balay, “Merleau-Ponty, Cézanne, and the Sacred Aesthetics of Mont Sainte-Victoire”
    • Matthew Humphrey, “The land doesn’t belong to us – we belong to this land!” Conflicting Sacred Narratives, Indigenous Resistance, and the fight for Burnaby Mountain”
    Photo credit: Nick Paget-Clark, In Motion Magazine
    1:15 pm - 2:45 pm
    Session 3, Panel E -- Teaching Through Tipping Points: Education, Extinction, and Eudaimonia

    Session E

    Teaching Through Tipping Points: Education, Extinction, and Eudaimonia

    • Todd LeVassuer
    • Luke Shirley
    • Lisa Sideris
    • Richard Carp
    • Greg Cajete, Discussant
    2:45 pm - 3:00 pm
    This is a short break before between sessions.
    3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    ICI Plenary -- Fieldwork Reflections on the Sacred Landscapes of Kailash/Gang Rinpoche/Tise
    Fieldwork Reflections on the Sacred Landscapes of Kailash/Gang Rinpoche/Tise Shekhar Pathak Gengga Yixi & Gesangqimee Mark Larrimore Emily Yeh Sreshta Rit Premnath Pasang Y. Sherpa Rajan Kotru Ashok Gurung & Chris Crews, Presiding
    Ed Bernbaum
    5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
    Keynote -- Sacred Mountains: The Heights of Inspiration

    This is the keynote talk by Edwin Bernbaum. The talk will take place in [add location here].

    Using a blend of striking images, research, and personal experiences, Edwin Bernbaum explores the rich and varied symbolism of sacred mountains — from Mount Sinai in the Middle East to Mount Kailas in Tibet — showing how they express the highest values and aspirations of cultures throughout the world. Focusing on two projects he helped initiate, the presentation explores how these and other evocative mountains can enrich people’s lives and inspire efforts to conserve nature and culture. One project developed interpretive materials for US National Parks based on the spiritual and cultural associations of mountainous natural features in cultures around the world. The other is a project to nominate Mount Kailas and the pilgrimage routes leading to it as an UNESCO transboundary World Heritage Site. The presentation includes the dramatic account of an avalanche Bernbaum was caught in on Annapurna, one of the highest and most sacred peaks in the Himalaya.

    6:45 pm - 7:00 pm
    This is a short break before the evening reception.
    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    Banquet & Awards

    Banquet attendance is limited to those who requested an add-on banquet meal with registration and invited guests.

    Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognizes outstanding contributions to the study of religion, nature and culture. The award goes to those whose work has a relevance and eloquence that speaks, not just to scholars, but more broadly to the public and to multiple disciplines as well.

    • Bron Taylor, Recipient
    • Mark Peterson, Presiding

    Graduate Student Paper Award: Students who submitted their ISSRNC conference paper to be recognized for the Best Student Conference Paper.

  • April 22nd
    Saturday Schedule
    8:00 am - 8:30 am
    Coffe+Tea
    Morning coffee and tea.
    Steve Paulson
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 4 - Panel A -- Literary Landscapes of Pilgrimage and Power

    Session A

    Literary Landscapes of Pilgrimage and Power

    • Michael Northcott, “The Romantics, the English Lake District, and the Sacredness of High Land: Mountains as Hierophanic Places in the Emergence of the First Environmental Protest Organisations in History”
    • David Pike, “Haunted Mountains, Bunkers, and the Afterlives of Cold-War Infrastructure”
    • Devin Zuber, “The Trouble with (Indian) Wilderness: Mountains, Religion, and Law in Native American Literature”
    • Steve Paulson, Discussant
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 4, Panel B -- Ritualization and Nature

    Session B

    Ritualization and Nature

    • Rune Flikke, “Mountains and Atmosphere in Zulu Zionist Ritual Practice”
    • Rajani Maharjan, “The Decline of Ritual Practices in Response to Pollution in the Vishnumati River, Kathmandu, Nepal”
    • Akiti Glory Alamu, “As the Cloud Gets Thicker: An Appraisal of Mountain Prayer Spirituality in Contemporary Nigerian Christian Milieu”
    • Marlene Erschbame, “Sacred Landscape and the Creation of a Pilgrimage Site: The Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim, India”
    • John Calderazzo, “Qoylluur Riti in a Time of Climate Change”
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 4, Panel C -- Extracting, Profaning, and Renegotiating the Meaning of Sacredness

    Session C

    Extracting, Profaning, and Renegotiating the Meaning of Sacredness

    • Amanda Nichols, “Homegrown Resistance: Commodity Fetishism, Eco-Terrorism, and Mountaintop Removal in West Virginia”
    • Austin Hagwood, “Spirit of the Sepik: Logging and Ethnobotany in Papua New Guinea”
    • Depesh Subba, “Socio Economic and Environmental Implications of Pharmaceutical Companies in Sikkim”
    • Joseph Witt, “Sacred Mountains and the ‘Vocabulary of Protest’ of 21st Century Appalachian Environmental Movements”
    • Evan Berry, Presiding
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 4, Panel D -- Himalayas and Representations of the Sacred

    Session D

    Himalayas and Representations of the Sacred

    • Kishor Dere, “Hindu Religious Conceptualizations of the Himalayas”
    • Chiron Olivier, “Diverse Landscapes and Manifestations of the Sacred in the Beyül Demojong of Sikkim”
    • Sangmu Thendup, “Mountains and Sacred Landscapes in Sikkimese Buddhism: A Discourse on Religious Environmentalism”
    • Rashmi Attri, “The Mighty, Mythical, and Sacred Himalayas in Kalidas’ Poetry”
    • Emily Yeh, Presiding
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 4, Panel E -- We Now Speak for Ourselves: Religious Aesthetics for Creating Ceremonial Space, Chanting, Singing, and Dancing in Defense of Our Sacred Landscapes

    Session E

    We Now Speak for Ourselves: Religious Aesthetics for Creating Ceremonial Space, Chanting, Singing, and Dancing in Defense of Our Sacred Landscapes

    • Inés Talamantez
    • Alesha Claveria
    • Margaret McMurtrey
    • Delores Mondragón
    • Felicia Lopez
    10:00 am - 10:30 am
    Coffee+Tea
    A short break for coffee and tea.
    Photo credit: Nick Paget-Clark, In Motion Magazine
    10:30 am - 11:45 am
    Keynote -- Look to the Mountain-Thinking the Highest Thought

    This is a keynote talk by Gregory Cajete. The keynote will take place in the [add location here].

    Native Science is, at its core, a process for learning about life and the nature of the “spirit that moves us,” with ultimate goal of becoming fully knowledgeable about this spirit. Spirituality comes from the process of exploring and coming to know the nature of the living energy that moves in each of us, through us, and around us. This knowledge is considered completeness in its most profound form. This knowledge was gained in various places and various ways. One of the most important places to gain such knowledge was in the presence of Mountains. This presentation will explore the various ways American Indians related to the Mountains to gain knowledge of the “spirit that moves us.”

    11:45 am - 1:00 pm
    Lunch & JSRNC Meeting

    Boxed lunches will be provided for those who ordered a box lunch add-on with registration.

    A closed meeting will also take place for members of the JSRNC.

    1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
    Session 5, Panel A -- Consecrating and Conserving Landscapes

    Session A

    Consecrating and Conserving Landscapes

    • Lily Zeng, “The Restoration of Sacred Groves in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China”
    • Heather Hyealim Lim, “Landscapes of the Visible and the Invisible: Discussion of Two Case Studies in Cultural Landscape and Indigenous Metaphysics”
    • Chandrakant Salunkhe, “Sacred Groves from the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, India: Repositories of Nature, Culture, and Religion for Sustainable Future in Anthropocene”
    • Mary Evelyn Tucker, Discussant
    2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
    This is a short break.
    Beth CitronElena PakhoutovaJorrit BritschgiKarl Debreczeny
    3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Special Session - Himalayan Sacred Landscapes – Rubin Museum of Art Roundtable and Gallery Tour

    Attendees must RSVP prior to April 20th to attend this event, as seating is limited. To RSVP click here.

    Rubin Museum of Art Roundtable presentation with five Rubin Museum curators on sacred landscapes in the Himalaya. After this roundtable, participants have free access to the Rubin Museum art galleries until the museum closes. RSVP is free, but required to attend.

    5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Book Launch
    Book Release Event: James Miller, Georgina Drew, and ICI Fellows
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Reception & Music w. David Rothenberg
    Special Musical Performance by David Rothenberg
    Photo credit: Nick Paget-Clark, In Motion MagazineSteve Paulson
    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    Plenary Session -- Ways of Knowing

    "Ways of Knowing" / In Conversation with:

    • Greg Cajete
    • David Rothenberg
    • Georgina Drew
    • James Miller
    • Sarah Pike, Presiding

    This engaging roundtable session will feature noted WPR radio personality and To The Best of Our Knowledge host Steve Paulson in conversation with world-renown musician David Rothenberg, whose work explores the relationship between humanity and nature, indigenous scholar and professor Gregory Cajete, best known for his important work on native science, and two of our book-launch authors, Georgina Drew and James Miller. Miller’s new book is China’s Green Religion: Daoism and the Quest for a Sustainable Future (Columbia University Press, 2017). Drew’s new book is River Dialogues: Hindu Faith and the Political Ecology of Dams on the Sacred Ganga (University of Arizona Press, 2017).

  • April 23rd
    Sunday Schedule
    8:00 am - 8:30 am
    coffee/tea
    This is morning coffee and tea.
    8:30 am - 10:00 am
    Session 1
    Information for session 1 goes here.
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Session 2
    This is a description for Session 2.
    12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
    Banquet
    This is a description of the closing banquet for the conference. This will include food and updates and other ISSRNC business.