• SCRIPT Session 1 at the AAR/SBL in Denver, Colorado, 2022: Material-Textual Approaches for the Study of U.S. Protestantism
    P19-434 November 19, 5:00-6:30 PM
    Sheraton Downtown-Governor's Square 16
    Michael Baysa, Princeton University, Presiding
    • "The Political Economy of Format: Books, Tracts, and the American Tract Society’s Complicity in Slavery," Sonia Hazard, Florida State University
    • "From Babylon to Lynchburg: Using Material Texts Approaches to Contextualize Sources," Seth Perry, Princeton University
    • "Giving Is Good for You: The Persuasive Power of Donation Envelopes," Daniel Vaca, Brown University
    • "Opening The Gates Ajar: The Politics of Circulation and Heavenly Access in the Long Reconstruction," Brook Wilensky-Lanford, University of North Carolina
  • SCRIPT Session 2 at the AAR/SBL in Denver, Colorado, 2022: Book Review Panel on Drawn to the Word: The Bible and Graphic Design (SBL Press, 2021) by Amanda Dillon
    November 21, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
    Hyatt Regency-Silver B (Third Level)
    Jonathan Homrighausen, Duke University, Presiding
    • Sonia Hazard, Florida State University
    • Jonathan Homrighausen, Duke University
    • Amanda Dillon, Dublin City University
  • SCRIPT Panels at the EASR in Cork, Ireland, June 27-July 1, 2022
    • Session 1: Contextualised Use and Interpretation of Sacred Texts
      A Mantra, a Goddess, and Billions of Repetitions: The Many Manifestations of a Vedic Verse -- Mr Dominik Haas
      The Freedom and Limitations of the Canon: The Reception of the Aqedah as Case Study -- Dr Brad Anderson
      Negotiation of text practice in the non-formal Qur’anic education in rural parts of Norway -- Ms Synnøve Markeng
      Spiritualizing Dalit Reclassification: Halis of Himachal Pradesh -- Dr Stephen Christopher

    • Session 2: Performative Texts
      Nineteenth-Century Protestant Missionary Education and the Performative Role of the Bible in India -- Dr Sam Antony Kocheri Clement
      "I Left My Bible At Home...": The 'New Martyr Narrative' in 1980s Women's Evangelical Periodicals -- Dr Rachel Schwaller
      Death in Delhi: Sikh Rituals in the Time of the Pandemic -- Ms Maria Puri

    • Session 3: Iconic Texts: Material and Iconic Dimensions of Sacred Texts
      Radiant Gospel Books: Medieval Codices Adorned with Gemstones and Their Multisensory Qualities in Ritual Performance -- Mrs Katharina Theil
      Iconic Scriptures in Colonial Punjab: Sikh Religion, Print Culture, and Politics -- Dr. Kristina Myrvold
      A study of Hindu religious magazines as a modern transmission medium for Sanskrit-shaped religious knowledge -- Ms Puja-arti Patel
  • SCRIPT Panel at the AAR/SBL in San Antonio, Texas, on November 22, 2021: Printing Iconic Texts
    • "The Sovereignty of Poor Sarah: A Christian Revival in Print During the Removal Crisis in Cherokee Nation," Sonia Hazard, Florida State University
    • "Visualizing Heterodoxy: A Portrait of Charles Chauncy's Mystery Hid From Ages and Generations," Michael Baysa, Princeton University
    • "Devotional Worship in the Middle Discourse: How White Christian Nationalism Performs Scripture," Rachel Schwaller, University of Kansas
  • SCRIPT panels at the virtual/online AAR/SBL, November 29 - December 10, 2020:                       Panel 1: Performing Iconic Texts                          December 3, 11 am - 1 pm EST
    Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding U., presiding
    • "Reenacting ritual contract: a Tibetan text between Buddhist enlightenment and local cosmology," Maria Turek, University of Toronto
    • "Mobile Applications and Religious Subjectivities in the Swaminarayan Sampraday," Bhakti Mamtora, The College of Wooster
    • "A Magical Book That Nobody Reads: Expanding Discussions of Iconic Scripture to Include the Dimension of ‘Charismatic Technology’ ," David Dault, Loyola Chicago
  • Panel 2: Seeing Iconic Texts                               December 9, 5-7 pm EST 
    S. Brent Plate, Hamilton College, presiding
    • "Scribing an Iconic Text: An Experiential, Performative Approach to Writing Mezuzot," Jonathan Homrighausen, Duke University
    • "Talismanic Significance of the Qur'an in the Mansions of Ottoman Cairo," Juan E. Campo, UCSB
    • "The Bible as my Witness: Digital Bibles, Visual Anonymity, and Performative Iconicity," Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University
    • "A Knot in the Rosary: Rilke's *Letters on Cézanne* as Liturgical Text," Dan Siedell, Drew University
  • SCRIPT panels at the EIR regional meeting of the AAR in Montreal, QC, April 14, 2019:

    PANEL 1, Room 111, presiding: James Watts, Syracuse University
    • “Buddhist Scriptures in an Age of Reproduction,” Michael Como, Columbia University
    • “Performing Readers: The Authority of Iconic Books in Hamlet, ”Joseph R. Chaney, Indiana University South Bend
    • “Writing to Rule: Performative Textuality in the Daoist Rituals of the Lanten Yao of Laos,” David A. Palmer, University of Hong Kong
PANEL 2, Room 111, presiding: Michael Como, Columbia University
    • “A Revolutionary Experiment in 1932 Calcutta, and the Dangerous Delights of Performed Texts,” Rachel Fell McDermott, Barnard College
    • “Performing Initiation, Asking for Protection: Byzantine Prayers for Churching the Newborn,” Eirini Afentoulidou, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Austria
    • “Aniconic Language and Immaterial Texts,” James W. Watts, Syracuse University

  • SCRIPT panels at AAR/SBL in Denver, Colorado, on November 17-20, 2018:
PANEL 1: Performing and Printing Scriptures Saturday, November 17: 9:00 AM-11:30 AM Sheraton Downtown: Denver (I.M. Pei Tower 3rd Level)
    • Presiding: Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University
    • “Performing Scriptures: Ritualizing Written Texts in Seolwi-seolgyeong, the Korean Shamanistic Recitation of Scriptures” Yohan Yoo, Seoul National University
    • “The Normative and Ceremonial Performances of the Diocesan Ritual in Early Modern France” Joy Palacios, University of Calgary
    • “Theorizing Scripture: Orality and Textuality in 19th-century Northwestern India,” Bhakti Mamtora, University of Florida
    • “Queering the Sacred: The Case of the Rainbow Qur’an” Duygu Yeni Cenebasi, Syracuse University
PANEL 2: Reading Ancient Texts in Light of Iconic and Performative Ritualization, Saturday, November 17: 1:00 PM-3:30 PM,Sheraton Downtown: Colorado (I.M. Pei Tower 3rd Level)
    • Presiding: Bradford A. Anderson, Dublin City University
    • “Textual Iconicity in Deuteronomy” Mark Lester, Yale University
    • “Ezekiel: Signing Presence” Katherine E. Brown, The Catholic University of America
    • “Ancient Books as Living Legal Entities: The Gospel of Truth (NHC I,3) and Roman Law Tablets” Eduard Iricinschi, Ruhr University Bochum
    • SCRIPT Business Meeting: Presiding, S. Brent Plate, SCRIPT President
  • SCRIPT panels at the EIR regional meeting of the AAR in Syracuse, NY, April 14, 2018: Presiding: William Robert, Syracuse University
    • “Pink is for Girls: Gendering Sacred Books” by Duygu Yeni Cenebasi, Syracuse University
    • “Saints Lives as Performance Art” by Virginia Burrus, Syracuse University
    • “Translating the ‘Epicurean’ Omar Khayyam:  The Surprising Lives of the Iconic English Rendition by Edward Fitzgerald (1859)” by Rachel McDermott, Barnard College   

  • SCRIPT panels at the AAR/SBL in Boston, MA, November 18-19, 2017:
    Thematic Panel on
    "Miniature Scriptures"
    Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University, Presiding
    • "Ritualizing the Size of Books," James W. Watts, Syracuse University,
    • "Sutras Working in Buddha’s Belly and Buddhists’ Pockets: Iconic and Performative Miniature Sutras in Korean Buddhism," Yohan Yoo and Woncheol Yun, Seoul National University
    • "Wars and Weddings: The Ideologies of Miniature Bhagavad Gitas with a Focus on Gender," Jon Skarpeid, University of Stavanger
    • "Small Things of Greatest Consequence: Miniature Bibles in America," Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University
    • Responding: Kim Haines-Eitzen, Cornell University
Open Panel
James W. Watts, Syracuse University, Presiding
  • "How Not to Read: The Trace of Evangelical Readers and the Powers of the Religious Book in the United States, c. 1825-1861," Sonia Hazard, Duke University
  • "Sensory uses of scriptures in Israelite-Jewish religion," Marianne Schleicher, University of Aarhus
  • "Texts Unseen: Invisible Writings and Performance in the Ancient Levant," Alice Mandell, University of Madison-Wisconsin
  • "A Script in Hand? Small-Format Ecclesiastical Texts and Priestly Performance in Early Modern France,"  Joy Palacios, Simon Fraser University
    International Conference hosted by the Center for Religious Studies, Seoul National University, October 13-14, 2017
    • Keynote: Books as Sacred Beings -- James W. Watts (Syracuse University)
    • Sacred Texts and the Digital Turn: Reflections on Scriptures as Material Objects in a Liminal Age -- Brad Anderson (Dublin City University)
    • Aspiring Narratives of Previous Births: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Written and Visual Media in Ancient Gandhara -- Jason Neelis (Wilfrid Laurier University)
    • Embodying the Qu’ran -- Katharina Wilkens (LMU Munich)
    • Discussant: Dorina Miller Parmenter (Spalding University)
    • Body Building in the Hindu Tantric Tradition: The Advantages and Confusions of Scriptural  Entextualization in the Worship of the Goddess Kali  -- Rachel McDermott (Bernard College/Columbia University)
    • Performing Scriptures: Ritualizing Written Texts in Seolwi-seolgyeong, the Korean Shamanistic Recitation of Scriptures -- Yohan Yoo (Seoul National University)
    • Sages, Vows and the Material Production of a Legendary Buddhist Scripture -- Michael Como (Columbia University)
    • Discussant: James W. Watts (Syracuse University)
    • Artificial Bodies, Sewn and Wrapped: On Gospel Books and Their Distributed Agency in the Medieval West -- David Ganz (University of Zurich)
    • The Bible in Korea: Korean Ways of Reading, Writing, and Painting the Bible -- Sung Uk Lim (Yonsei University)
    • Discussant: S. Brent Plate (Hamilton College)
    • Daoist Writs and Scriptures as Sacred Beings: With a Focus on Cosmological Meaning -- Jihyun Kim (Seoul National University)
    • Divine Scripture, Human Provenance: Śāstra and Revelation in the Kāmasūtra -- Travis Smith (Seoul National University)
    • Discussant: S. Brent Plate (Hamilton College)
  • SCRIPT Panel at  the AAR/SBL in San Antonio, Texas, on "The Bicentennial of the American Bible Society: John Fea's The Bible Clause and Currents in US History," November 19, 2016:
    • Presiding: S. Brent Plate (Hamilton College)
    • David Morgan (Duke U)
    • Laurie Maffly-Kipp (Washington U)
    • Julius Bailey (Redlands U)
    • Respondant: John Fea (Messiah College)
  • Workshop: “Miniature Books: Production, Print, and Practice” at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden, October 5, 2016.
    • "Ritualizing the Size of Books," by Prof. James W. Watts, Syracuse University
    • "Small Books for Little Minds: Missionaries, Education, and the Pocket-sized Book in 19th century India," by Prof. Ulrike Stark, University of Chicago
    • "Diminutive Divination: An "Extra-Qur’anic” Use of a Miniature Qur’an in the Safavid Period," by Dr. Heather Coffey, OCAD University
    • "Small Things of Greatest Consequence: An Introduction to Miniature Bibles in America," by Dr. Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University
    • "Miniature Books in Jewish Religion: On the Function of Compressing Religious Texts," by Dr. Marianne Schleicher, Aarhus University
    • "Religion in the Trenches: Miniature Scriptures for Muslim and Sikh Soldiers in WWI," by Dr. Kristina Myrvold & Dr. Andreas Johansson, Linnaeus University
  • Symposium on Seeing, Touching, Holding and Tasting Sacred Texts at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg on Dynamics in the History of Religions at the Center for Religious Studies at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, April 7-8, 2016:

    • “Scripture’s Iconic Touch” by James W. Watts (Syracuse University/Ruhr University Bochum)
    • “Physiological Engagements with a Scriptural Guru: Ritualized Transactions between the Sikhs and Guru Granth Sahib” by Kristina Myrvold (Lineaus University)
    • “Infusions and Fumigations: Therapeutic Aspects of the Quran” by Katharina Wilkens (Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich)
    • “On Instant Scripture, Swallowing Scrolls and Proximal Texts: Some Insights into the Sensual Materiality of Texts and their Rituality in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond” by Christian Frevel (Ruhr University Bochum)
    • “Engaging all the Senses: On the Function of Multi-sensory Uses of Scripture in Jewish Religion”
      Marianne Schleicher (Aarhus University)
    • “Seeing, Touching, Holding, and Swallowing Tibetan Buddhist Texts” by Cathy Cantwell (Oxford University/Ruhr University Bochum)
    • “Affect Theory and Iconic Books” by Dorina Miller Parmenter (Spalding University)
    • “The Veneration of the Script and the Cult of the Book: Reflections on what Happened between the Scholarly Realms of Early China and Early Medieval China” by Licia di Giacinto (Ruhr University Bochum)
    • “Neo-Confucian Sensory Readings of Scriptures” by Yohan Yoo (Seoul National University)
    • “‘My living books, my wisdom, my knowledge’: Mani’s Revelation and Manichaean Religious Literacy” by
      Eduard Iricinschi (Ruhr University Bochum/ Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen)
    • Noli me tangere? The Evidence of Physical Contact on Western Gospel Books” by David Ganz (University of Zürich)
    • “Sensing Scripture: What Artists’ Books Can Teach Us About Sacred Texts, and Vice Versa” by S. Brent Plate (Hamilton College)
  • SCRIPT panel on "Sensing Books, Sensing Scriptures" at the AAR/SBL Annual Meetings in Atlanta,November 23, 2015:

    • Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University, Presiding
    • Natalia Suit, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, "How Printing Created Manuscripts: Aesthetic and Historical Approaches to Quranic Manuscripts"
    • Anne Clark, University of Vermont, "Sensing Scripture in a Medieval Illustrated Prayer Book"
    • Yohan Yoo, Seoul National University, "Sensory Readings of Classics: A Neo-Confucian Form of Spiritual Cultivation"
    • Richard Newton, Elizabethtown College, "Sculpting “Source-Places:” Alex Haley “Wroughts” a Scripture"
    • Steve A. Wiggins, Independent Scholar, "Sensing the Bible in the TV Series, Sleepy Hollow"
  • “Devotion to and with Books”: SCRIPT panels at the EIR regional meeting of the AAR in Montreal, May 1-2, 2015:

    • Rachel Fell McDermott (Barnard/Columbia) “What Happens When Love is Transposed: The Story of a South Asian Devotional Poetry Genre that was Birthed, Once”
    • Dai Newman (Syracuse) “The Family: A Proclamation in Three Dimensions: Contemporary LDS Scripturalization”
    • James Watts (Syracuse) “Book Aniconism in Christian Tradition and Ritual Practice”
    • Michael Como (Columbia) “Buddhist Sutras: Desires and Devotions”
    • Urmila Mohan (London) “Preformed or Performed? Embroidery as Devotion in ISKCON”
    • Discussion: “Devotion to and with Books”
  • SCRIPT's concurrent panel and annual meeting at the AAR/SBL in San Diego, CA, November 22-25, 2014:
    Theme: Manipulating Bibles Ritually and Mythically
    • Dorina Miller Parmenter (Spalding University), "Saved by the Book: Exploring the Christian Bible as Effective and Affective Object"
    • Edwin K. Broadhead (Berea College), "An Abolitionist's Cut Bible: Icon, Myth, and Metaphor"
    • David Dault (Chicago) "Even Better Than the Real Thing: The KJV as Icon for British Israelism"
    • SCRIPT Annual Business Meeting
  • Nine papers on three SCRIPT panels at the SHARP annual meeting in Antwerp, Belgium, September 18-20, 2014. 

  • SCRIPT's concurrent panel with the EIR of the AAR in Syracuse, May 3, 2014:
    • James W. Watts, Syracuse University, "Iconic Scriptures from Decalogue to Bible"
    • Song-Chong Lee, The University of Findlay, "Turning the Dharma Wheel for the Soul"
    • Deirdre C. Stam, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, "Print and Togetherness in the 19th-century Utopian Oneida Community in Upstate New York"

  • SCRIPT's concurrent panel with the AAR-SBL in Baltimore, November 23, 2013, on “Teaching Texts: Engaging Iconic and Performative Dimensions of Scripture in the Classroom”:
    • James Watts, Syracuse University, "Introduction"
    • Yohan Yoo, Seoul National University, "Heuristic Scripture: Grasping the Significance of Scripture in the Life of Adherents"
    • Song-Chong Lee, University of Findlay, "Mapping the Gohonzon"
    • Jason Larson, Hotchkiss School, "Scripting Icons"
    • Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University, "Materiality and Orality of the Gospels"
    • Sarah Schwarz, McGraw Center, Princeton University, "Students as Scribes"
    • David Dault, Christian Brothers University, "Forensic Material Scriptural Analysis"
    • S. Brent Plate, Hamilton College, Respondent
  • Panel on "Belief, Disbelief and Conviction" at the Annual Conference of the Austrian Studies Association in Waterloo, ON, on May 3, 2013:
    • James W. Watts, "Ritualizing Books in Three Dimensions"
    • Peter Gilgen, "Writing the Folds of Time: Oswald Egger, Saint Augustine, Boethius"
    • Karl Solibakke, "Meta-Scripts: Texts, Textures and Contexts in the Works of Elfriede Jelinek"
  • Panel on "Publishing and Protection: The Material Reality of the Bible" in the Religion, Culture, and the Arts Section of the SECSOR in Greenville, SC on March 15-17, 2013:
    • Dorina Miller Parmenter, "Dangers, Toils, and Snares: The Materialization of the Saving Grace of the Bible"
    • David Dault, "’Battlezone’ Bibles and Bulletproof Covers: The Material Rhetoric of Armor Plating in Contemporary Bible Production"

For more summaries and links to exhibits and events, see

  • Inscriptions, the newsletter of the Institute for Signifying Scriptures

                Carta in US National Archives
Magna Carta in U.S. National Archives

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