One-day colloquium to address politics of difference 

On Nov. 6, Concordia will host the one-day colloquium Heritage, Authenticity, and the Politics of Religious Difference in H-767.

The seminar will welcome 12 experts to discuss the politics of cultural heritage, authenticity and religious difference in the context of multi-cultural and religiously plural societies, such as Canada (especially Quebec), the Netherlands, Ghana, Poland and Brazil.

“To my knowledge, there has not been enough analysis of events going on in Quebec in comparison with other contexts,” says Department of Communication Studies Professor Jeremy Stolow, the colloquium’s convenor. “This will be a great opportunity for Concordia researchers, students and other interested parties to meet and discuss issues of common concern, in dialogue with both well–established and emerging international scholars.”

Stolow, who conceived and organized the event, will be among six other Concordians presenting. Others include sociology and anthropology professor David Howes, history professor Erica Lehrer, and communication studies Professors Joseph Rosen, Yasmin Jiwani and Monika Kin Gagnon.

While tackling such a topic has the potential to provoke passionate and deep-rooted reactions from individuals from any number of backgrounds, Stolow remains committed to creating a productive arena for new ideas.

“We are all experienced teachers and public speakers, and I am sure we will handle any possible heated moments with an appropriate amount of respect and decorum,” he says. “I hope our discussion will provoke new ways of thinking […] and in particular to set the agenda for new questions.”

Currently teaching COMS 498D: Special Topics (a class focusing on media, religion, and culture), Stolow has asked his entire class to attend the colloquium and to write reports on what they learn.

The timing of the Nov. 6 event coincides with the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting, taking place here in Montreal the same weekend. (See related story).

Funding for the event was secured from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC), and also through the competition for Aid to Research Related Events from the office of the Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies.

In January, Stolow was appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Center for Religion and Media at New York University, a research hub where he served as a post-doctoral fellow in its inaugural year 2003-04.


Concordia University