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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Animals and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The purpose of this Unit is to advance scholarship by providing a forum for scholars whose work addresses relevant issues in the study of animals and religion, and to engage religious studies scholars with the emergent field of animal studies. The Unit emphasizes the theoretical implications of attention to animals for the study of religion and a diversity of approaches, including, but not limited to:

• Cultural and comparative history of religions
• Critical theory
• Ethnography and anthropology of religion
• Descriptions of the role(s) religious/theological traditions have played in mediating images of nonhuman animals
• Assessments of relationships between religious constructions of animals and those animals

Call for Papers: 

This Unit addresses issues in the study of animals and religion and seeks to engage religion scholars with the emergent field of animal studies. We welcome theoretically informed paper and panel proposals on all topics related to these themes. We particularly value papers that attend to real animals, alongside theoretical constructs, imagery, or representations pertaining to them, and to intersectionality with key issues such as race, gender and disability. We especially seek proposals on the following topics in 2019:

● The personhood of animals within Native American philosophies and religious traditions, and the impacts of the loss of keystone species for Native cultures. Papers will be considered for a possible co-sponsored session with the Native Traditions in the Americas Unit.

● The interface between Black and womanist theology and animals, for a possible panel following up on the successful session on race, theology, and animals held in 2018.

● The significance of borders, migration, and ethnicity for topics in the study of animals and religion, recognizing that the conference will take place close to the US-Mexico border.

● The contribution scholarship engaging animals and religion may make to creating, redefining, and expanding spheres of public discourse, in response to Laurie Patton's Presidential Theme for 2019. For example, how can animals & religion scholars/scholarship help inform conservation and climate change policy, institutional food and/or research practices?

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Papers are first reviewed anonymously by the entire steering committee, including co-chairs. The co-chairs then look at the names of submitters to consider factors such as the number of times the scholar has presented in our group and to support diversity. Papers are generally accepted solely on the basis of merit, fit, and the frequency with which an individual has presented (we give preference to scholars who have not presented in the group in the last five years). We strive for balance in gender representation when looking at sessions collectively but not necessarily at the level of an individual session. We especially encourage submissions from traditionally underrepresented minorities.
ChairSteering Committee