PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

Floorplans of Annual Meeting Facilities (PDF)

Exhibit Hall Listing and Map (PDF)

Program Book Ads (PDF)

Annual Meeting At-A-Glance (PDF)

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African Diaspora Religions Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Our unit explores broad geographies, histories, and cultures of people of African descent and the way they shape the religious landscape, not only in the Caribbean and the Americas, but also in Europe and Asia. We define “diaspora” as the spread and dispersal of people of African descent — both forced and voluntary — through the slave trade, imperial and colonial displacements, and postcolonial migrations. This Unit emphasizes the importance of an interdisciplinary approach which is central to its vision. The aim is to engage a wide range of disciplines and a variety of scholars who work on different aspects of African diaspora religions. It considers the linguistic and cultural complexities of the African diaspora, the importance of African traditional religions, Afro-Christianity, Afro-Islam, and Afro-Judaism, the way they have and continue to inform an understanding of Africa, and also the way they have and continue to shape the religious landscape of the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Call for Papers: 

This is a call for papers/presentations for FOUR separate sessions. All are roundtables. Please see the descriptions below and let us know clearly for which session you are submitting a proposal.

● The Encounter of Digital Media and Ritual in African Diaspora Religions: The Redux -
In 2018, our most popular session was the one examining the many ways people in diasporic traditions are increasingly using Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Instagram and other digital media sources to discuss, represent and perform ritual work, thus engaging with people who are not in the same physical space. At the close of our session last year there was still a great deal of interest in exploring this theme more fully. So, we are again inviting presentations that address the use of social media among ritual practitioners of African Diaspora religions. We are especially soliciting contributions around the complexities of sacrifice/offerings/ebô in digital space. What are some of the potentials and limitations of such practices? What opportunities does digital media represent for African diaspora ritual communities? What are the ethical concerns? This session is a ROUNDTABLE and not a panel with formal papers. Please submit proposals for brief presentations (5-7 minutes); presentations will be followed by extended discussion among roundtable participants and the gathered audience.

Marking the the Maafa: Narratives, Experiences and Embodiments of Slavery and Incarceration in African Diaspora Religions -
With the 400th anniversary of 1619 upon us (the date of the first recorded landing of enslaved Africans in North America), we are considering presentations that examine slavery and incarceration in relationship to religion in the Afro-Atlantic Diaspora. We are co-sponsoring this session with the Afro-American Religious History Unit. This session is a ROUNDTABLE and not a panel with formal papers. Please submit proposals for brief presentations (5-7 minutes); presentations will be followed by extended discussion among roundtable participants and the gathered audience.

Sensing the Sacred: Africana and Hindu Religious Engagements with the Sensual World - Presentations for this session might include comparative approaches to African diaspora and Hindu ritual practices in North America and the Caribbean, especially vis-à-vis sensory experience – touch, taste, movement, visual aesthetics, and smell. Discussions of food as well as the ritual use of spit are appropriate, as are examinations of Hindu spiritualities in the African diaspora and challenges to anti-Black racism in Hindu spaces. We are co-sponsoring this session with the North American Hinduism Unit. This session is a ROUNDTABLE and not a panel with formal papers. Please submit proposals for brief presentations (5-7 minutes); presentations will be followed by extended discussion among roundtable participants and the gathered audience.

● North American Hinduism and African Diaspora Traditions: Interactions and Exchange (Co-sponsorship with the North American Hinduism Unit)
Sailaja Krishnamurti - Sailaja.Krishnamurti@smu.ca

Method: 
PAPERS
E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail)
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee