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Calls for Papers

JRFM 2026, 12/1 (May 2026); Deadline submissions: 1 June 2025

Death, Loss and Mourning in Film and Media

Today, death is both something very absent and very present. When people die, they often do so hidden away in care homes and hospitals. Death is dealt with by professionals, making it something absent in most people’s lives. At the same time, death is all around us via media images and popular cultural narratives. Whether in media reports from sites of war, televised royal funerals, gruesome murders in true crime podcasts or fictional stories in films, death would seem to be everywhere. The pandemic also influenced our thinking about death. While the dead and dying were often even more separated from the living – with care homes being closed and funerals limited to only a few people – death was very present in news reports and online spaces provided new ways of mourning and remembering those we had lost.

When death and mourning move online or become the topic of media, different modes of production, representation, and distribution are applied. Death and mourning become commercialized and marketized. Still, media can offer different narratives about death and mourning, and online spaces allow for alternative ways to relate to loss and grief. However, media and digital spaces can also uphold norms and strengthen traditional views on death. As with research on religion and media in general, the connection between the online and the offline when exploring grief must not be ignored. Death and mourning online are connected on diverse levels to offline practices. These processes can be subsumed under the term of mediatisation that scrutinizes changes in the field of media and religion.

What are then the narratives the media and popular culture offer us about death? How can media, online spaces, influencers, and popular culture be a part of loss and mourning? What notions of an afterlife do films and the online world provide? How are religious imaginaries about death reinvented in media representations? These are some of the questions we encourage authors to explore in this upcoming issue of the Journal for Religion, Film and Media. Though focusing on death, this issue is also very much about life. It aims to highlight how death, loss, and mourning is also a part of what it means to be human, a notion not always acknowledged in today’s culture.

Suggested topics:

  • Notions of an afterlife in popular culture
  • The ritualization of death in media
  • Online sites as places of mourning and memory
  • Experiences of online funerals
  • Online pastoral care
  • Theological perspectives on online death rituals and practices
  • Theorizing religion and death online
  • Online deaths and afterlives
  • Grief practices online and offline
  • Mourning processes in media and popular culture
  • Death/grief/mourning influencers
  • Ethnographic explorations of online and offline grief
  • Media and online death ritual innovations
  • The visualization of loss and the aesthetics of grief in media
  • Beyond language – capturing grief in alternative ways online
  • The digital revitalization of old grief norms/rituals
  • The commercialisation and marketization of death in media
  • The use of media in death rituals

We invite scholars from a range of relevant fields, such as literature, film and media studies, theology, and the study of religion, as well as of sociology or political sciences, to contribute to this issue. The issue also includes an open section for articles on other topics in keeping with the profile of JRFM. The deadline for all submissions is 1 June 2025. The publication is scheduled for May 2026. Contributions of 5,000 to 6,000 words (including notes) should be submitted for double-blind peer review through the journal website at We kindly ask authors to register and to follow the instructions for submitting contributions, especially the style guide.

For questions regarding this call for papers or the submission and publication process, please contact the editors of the issue, Sofia Sjö ( and Marie-Therese Mäder (


JRFM 2025, 11/2 (November 2025); Deadline submissions: 15 February 2025

Exploring the Diversity of Representations of Islam in Film and TV Series

This issue of JRFM examines the diversity of media representations of the rich and varied world of Islamic traditions and practices. We recognize that Islam and film interact on many levels, in particular as this medium provides a space for exploring contentious themes, for challenging stereotypes, and for experimenting with imagination. A fresh and unjudgmental approach to this topic is all the more necessary because of the one-sided depiction of Islam and Muslims evident in many film productions – we think here in particular of the stereotypical portrayal of Muslims in relation to national or international security and even terrorism following the events of 9/11. This one-sided representation has had a profoundly negative impact on the perception of Islamic traditions and practices in the West. This issue of JRFM will counter this propensity by specifically exploring the breadth and depth of the relationship between varied practices and traditions of Islam and audiovisual media, particularly films and TV series.

Contributions might include, but are not limited to, topics such as:

- the representation of the diverse and multifaceted traditions and practices of Islam in films and TV series;

- how religious patterns associated with Islamic traditions determine film characters and plots;

- how critical debates on Islam shape and are shaped by media production;

- the tension between modernity and tradition, particularly in filmic representations of migration, gender relations, expectations for women, and intergenerational interactions;

- the analysis of elements of Islamic traditions that so far have found little attention in media representations, such as Sufi mysticism or minority traditions.

We invite contributions from scholars from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including – but not limited to – religious studies, Islamic studies, diverse theologies, media studies, sociology, digital anthropology, film studies and cultural studies.

The issue also includes an open section for articles on other topics related to the profile of the JRFM. The deadline for all submissions is 15 February 2025. Contributions should be between 5,000 and 6,000 words (including notes and references) in length. They are to be submitted for double-blind peer-review through the journal homepage, We ask authors to register and follow the instructions for submitting contributions, including taking note of the style guide ( Publication of this issue is scheduled for 15 November 2025. For any questions about the issue or possible contributions, please contact the issue editors: Prof. DDr. Franz Winter ( and Prof. Dr. Martina Bär (