PAPERS Resources

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

To return to the Welcome Page, please click here.

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)

For questions or support, email

To return to the AAR website, click here.

Arts, Literature, and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit seeks to engage the critical issues at the intersection of religion, literature, and the arts. We are concerned with both the aesthetic dimensions of religion and the religious dimensions of literature and the arts, including the visual, performative, written, and verbal arts. Approaches to these two avenues of concern are interdisciplinary and varied, including both traditional methodologies — theological, hermeneutical, and comparative approaches associated with the history of religions — and emerging methodologies, those that emerge from poststructuralism, studies in material culture, and cultural studies.

Call for Papers: 

2020 CFP: This year the Arts, Literature and Religion Unit solicits proposals for the following topics, but also welcomes proposals for any papers or preferably pre-formed panels related to any aspect of Arts, Literature and Religion:
1. Performing Religion: Theater and Dance. Contact
2. U2 / Irish spirituality & popular music (co-sponsored with Religion and Music Unit). Contact
3. Displaying Religion in Public: Boston Case Studies. Contact
4. A) Transcendentalists, B) Pedagogy session, C) The Art, Literature and Religion of Videogames (cosponsored with Videogame seminar). Contact
5. The relationships between art, literature, and religion in India and China. Contact
6. The Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts four hundred years ago, in 1620. We welcome proposals that explore the artistic, literary, and religious dimensions of that arrival, with particular interest in papers that focus on the experience of indigenous peoples during and after this encounter. Contact
7. “The (After)lives of Religion and Literature”—Despite its declared demise, interest in the intersections of the literary and the study of religion is having a renaissance. What accounts for this recent development and what are its key thematics? How has the relationship between religious and literary studies been configured in different historical and cultural/religious contexts? What does it herald for notions of truth, credibility, critique, secularity, and fiction? For various practices of reading, the circulation of texts, and the shuffling of authoritative and vernacular genres? For possible co-sponsorship with the Cultural History of the Study of Religion unit. Contact
8. Literary Representations of Exile: Keeping in mind Edward Said’s definition of exile as “the unhealable rift force between a human being and a native place,” this panel will explore literary and artistic works in which the experience of geographical displacement is rendered in religious terms. We welcome proposals dealing with all religious traditions and historical periods. Discussions may also involve, without being limited to, issues of race, politics, and identity. Contact
9. Expressions of religion in post-communist countries: Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, this panel will discuss the ways in which religion, coined by Karl Marx as “the opium of the people,” finds expression in twenty-first century artistic and literary works produced in post-communist or post-socialist countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Proposals may address all forms of art, literature, media, and performance. Contact
10. Bodies as Art. This call seeks papers that discuss bodies to be a medium for artistic expression in different religions and regions. In other words, bodies narrate and negotiate. Papers can employ any theoretical framework to discuss bodies as art. Contact
11. Religion, Literature and the City in South Asia (potential 3-way co-sponsorship with the Space, Place and Religion Unit and the Religion in South Asia Unit). Contact
12. Screening the End: Wastelands, Doomsdays, and Ecological Collapse in Film and Literature. In so far as the apocalyptic event is an unveiling or moment of revelation (ἀποκάλυψις), this panel seeks papers that consider moments of revelation, rupture, and obfuscation in apocalyptic media. What is screened; what remains veiled; and what is uncovered in literary and filmic depictions of the apocalypse? Contact
13. Meet the Artist. Contact
14. Meet the Author. Contact
15. Open Call

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
I would like to change this next year so that "proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members at all times.". Thanks.
ChairSteering Committee