Sacred Landscapes and Conflict Transformation. History, Space, Place and Power in Shamanism

October 9th – 13th 2015, Delphi (Greece)


Call for Papers

ISARS – International Society for Academic Research on Shamanism

Under the patronage of the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO.

With the support of the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (ECCD).

On behalf of the International Society for Academic Research on Shamanism (ISARS), the organizers Diana Riboli (Panteio University, Athens, Greece) and Pavlos Kavouras (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) invite you to attend the international conference of ISARS which will be held at the prestigious European Cultural Centre of Delphi (ECCD), in Greece ( from October 9th through October 13th, 2015.

Undoubtedly Delphi, the navel of Mother Earth (Gaea or Gaia) and the most important oracle of the ancient world, will offer the perfect frame for this important meeting.


The official theme of the conference will be:

Sacred Landscapes and Conflict Transformation. History, Space, Place and Power in Shamanism

In many parts of the world the wide array of religious-healing complexes defined as shamanism are mainly linked to ancient oral cultures and societies. Of course, the role of shamanism and shamans is not limited to addressing illnesses and misfortunes. Shamans are the main actors in shaping and preserving sacred landscapes both on the human and other-than-human levels. At the same time, they often deal with historical and mythical events. Therefore, shamans become powerful political figures. In the last decades, their voices have assumed new vigor, empowering the struggle of many indigenous peoples for human and land rights as well as taking part in environmental campaigns on a global level.

Over the years, in their often conflicting encounter with colonial and post-colonial economic and political interests, dominant cultures and established religions shamans were called to deal with structural, physical and cultural violence which undermined and continues to undermine the preservation and the very existence of sacred landscapes and, therefore, the wellbeing and survival of many cultures.

As proved by historical evidence and in particular by the survival of shamanic complexes even in regions where these were brutally repressed, shamans are masters in conflict transformation (and at times resolution) techniques and strategies.

The main goal of the ISARS conference is to discuss the responses of shamanistic complexes to exploitation, environmental, political, economic, social and religious threats in the past, as well as in present. This discussion also aims to reframe shamanism in a more ‘fair’ and realistic perspective, in comparison with the highly idealized icon widespread in many non-shamanic and mostly industrial cultures.


Call for Papers/Session Proposal

Please send you paper title and abstract (max. 250 words) and/or your session proposal (max. 300 words) on the main theme of the conference in a WORD document by October 31st 2014 to:

Session organizer(s) are requested to indicate the general title of the session, a brief description of the main topic (max. 300 words), number, names and affiliation of participants. Sessions should include a minimum of 4 participants and a maximum of 6.

Please note that the Scientific Committee will review and select the papers and session proposals. The selected papers and sessions will be announced in early 2015.


Visa and Letter of Invitation:

Please inform us if you need a formal letter of invitation for visa or for other purposes, such as travel grant applications.  Please send your request to:


Registration Information

After papers and sessions have been selected, all information for registration and accommodation as well as a preliminary program for the conference will be available on our website:


International Organizing Committee

1. Marjorie Mandelastam Balzer, Georgetown University, USA   (more…)

2. Naran Bilik, Center for National Minorities Studies, Fudan University, Shangai (more…)

3. Zeljko Jokic, School of Archaelogy and Anthropology, Australian National University (ANU), Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) (more…)

4. Pavlos Kavouras, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (more…)

5. Laurel Kendall, American Museum of Natural History, Columbia University (more…)

6. Diana Riboli, Panteio University

7. Dimitra Mari Varvarezou, Arizona State University (more…)

8. Alban von Stockhausen, University of Vienna (more…)


Conference Administrator

Kleopatra Yousef

Under the patronage of the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO

natcom_hellenic_en  natcom_hellenic_gr


with the support of


European Cultural Centre of Delphi_logo




Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
Department of Social Anthropology
National and Kapodistrian Un of Athens_logo