Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Call for Academic Papers

Release February 6th, 2012

Gaia Gathering: Canadian National Pagan Conference
Theme: Building the Mosaic


Gaia Gathering was founded in 2004 and had its first conference in 2005. Each year the conference is hosted over the Victoria Day long weekend in a different Canadian city through a bidding process similar to the Olympics. Past host cities include Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal. Legally, we are incorporated federally as a non-profit organization and operate with a national Board of Directors as well as a local host committee.

The conference is organized collaboratively by Canadian Pagans and includes four days of discussion and workshops about Canadian Paganisms. After seven years of traveling across the country, the conference this year will be held in Toronto, Ontario at the University of Toronto New College. The theme for 2012 will be "Building the Mosaic". Individuals make up the whole of a community. By bringing together pieces of respective Pagan communities and local groups during the conference, a representation of the larger Canadian Pagan Mosaic emerges.

In keeping with the theme "Mosaic", we have chosen to present a "Mosaic of Speakers” representing the rich diversity of Canadian Paganism:

  • Andy Biggers (Simcoe County, ON) has been deeply involved in the North American pagan and heathen community for over 25 years.
  • Michel & Pamela Daw (Gatineau, QC) are modern Stoics, reviving the ancient philosophical and spiritual path.
  • Tamara James (Toronto, ON) is a founding member of the Wiccan Church of Canada, which was established in 1979, and was one of the first Pagan clergy to serve in a Canadian prison system.
  • Sydney Lancaster (Edmonton, AB) is a visual artist, writer, musician, Artist in Residence at Harcourt House, and an OBOD ovate.
  • Brian Walsh (Toronto, ON) is a permanent part-time Spiritual Care Provider at a major Toronto hospital and a part-time Clinical Fellow in Spiritual Care at another major Toronto hospital.
  • Witchdoctor Utu (St. Catharines, ON) is the founder of the Niagara Voodoo Shrine, the world-renowned Dragon Ritual Drummers and is a member of the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple.
The complete bios for our invited guests can be found here on our website.

In addition to the speakers we will also feature workshops, panel discussions, academic presentations and evening entertainment throughout the weekend.

The conference will be held May 18 - 21, 2012 in Toronto, ON.

We invite papers and proposals for our academic stream from all faculties within the humanities who touch into the realm of alternate spirituality, Paganism, New Religious Movements and related subjects. Also, if you are a retired, solitary, armchair, or aspiring academic not affiliated with an institution then you may also submit by the same criteria and to the same locations. We hope to see everyone rise to the challenge and welcome them to this opportunity to present here in Montreal with like-minded individuals.

Submissions may be sent via mail or e-mail and are to be no more than one page. They must include a publication-ready, titled abstract of 150-200 words. The name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail address, college or university affiliation and level of study of the presenter(s) must also be included. Any special requests or needs for audio-visual equipment must also be indicated. We will be accepting submissions for peer and academic review between February 2nd and March 20th (Ostara 2012). Abstracts and proposals (and thus presentations) may be in English or in French. All received submissions will be acknowledged, with notification of acceptance, by early April 2012.

Email to: bmyers@cegep-heritage.qc.ca

Or mail to:
Dr. Brendan Myers
C/O Cegep Heritage College
325 boul. Cite-des-Jeunes,
Gatineau Quebec
J8Y 6T3

Monday, February 6, 2012

Call for Panels and Workshops

Panels and Roundtable Discussions

The focus of Gaia Gathering is knowledge-sharing through panel and roundtable discussions. These are determined collectively through discussions on our Yahoogroup, blog and Facebook page, as well as through discussion in the host city community. We invite you to join the discussion. To give you an idea of what we’ve done in previous conferences, some examples of past discussions can be found here, here and here.


In the last couple of years people have been asking for workshops to be included in the program in addition to panels and roundtables. We listened and we have included programming space for several workshops for Toronto in 2012.
Workshop topics should pertain to Paganism. The topic can be theoretical, practical, or a combination of both. We especially welcome topics pertaining to specialised knowledge or skills that may not be widely available in various Canadian Pagan Communities. Gaia Gathering offers a unique opportunity for people to hold these skills and knowledge to share them with peers from across the country, who can then bring them home to their communities.

Workshops proposals must be submitted by March 20th, 2012 to programming@gaiagathering.ca and should include the following information:
  1. Name of presenter(s)
  2. Geographic location of presenter(s)
  3. Contact information
  4. Title of presentation
  5. A 75-150 word summary of the workshop
  6. Bios for the presenter(s)
  7. Details of your experience presenting this workshop in the past and/or specifics about what makes you qualified to present the workshop.
  8. A brief explanation of why you want to present the workshop and who you expect to benefit from it.
  9. Any scheduling restrictions (ie, if you’re only arriving Saturday morning)

Please note that we have limited programming slots available for workshop. Workshops will be selected by a committee based on the uniqueness of the presentation and the broadness of its appeal.

Workshop proposals should be submitted by e-mail to programming@gaiagathering.ca.
Please feel free to direct questions and comments to programming@gaiagathering.ca.