The history of the ISMRC goes back to a series of meetings for research on Media, Religion, and Culture initiated by an invitational meeting held in Uppsala, Sweden in 1994. An international public meeting in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado, launched these as a regular series. That conference, attended by over 200 scholars and interested individuals from throughout the world, was directed by Stewart Hoover and Lynn Schofield Clark, and was the first major effort of what subsequently became the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture. The Center for Media, Religion and Culture serves as the global secretariat for the biennial international conferences. The first meetings were supported by a grant from the Porticus Global Foundation.
The International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture
At the 2008 meeting in Sao Paolo, Brazil, strong sentiments were expressed by participants concerning the value of an ongoing scholarly organization or association for the study of media, religion, and culture. The Steering Committee which then oversaw the conference series took this under advisement and began exploring options and taking input. A public forum on incorporation took place at the 2010 conference in Toronto, Canada. Following that, the Steering Committee proceeded to forming and formally incorporating an association. Following a strong sentiment expressed at Toronto, the association is being called The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC). The society was inaugurated at the 2012 meeting in Eskesehir, Turkey.
Books and publications
Literally hundreds of books, articles, essays, and other expressions have resulted from these conferences. In addition, several of the CMRC conferences have been represented in book form. These include, from the first conference, Rethinking Media, Religion, and Culture (edited by Stewart Hoover and Knut Lundby), Sage, 1997; from the second, Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media (edited by Stewart Hoover and Lynn Schofield Clark), Columbia University Press, 2002; and from the third conference, Mediating Media: Studies in Media, Religion, and Culture (edited by Jolyon Mitchell and Sophia Marriage), T&T Clark, 2003.
Board of Directors
New members as well as officers are elected each two years by majority vote of the Board. Terms are for four years (two conferences) and are staggered. There are nine voting members (including the President). Members may be re-elected to a second term. The Vice President serves for two years and acts as Conference Program Coordinator, assuming the Presidency for two years at its conclusion. The immediate past President serves on the board as an ex-Officio member and is in charge of nominations during that term. More information about the current board members here.