PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit (hereafter referred to as ANARCS) is one of the primary vehicles for the advancement of the study of the religions and practices of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States and Canada. As an integral player in the development of the emerging field of Asian-American religious studies, ANARCS has cultivated the work of junior and senior scholars from an impressive array of disciplines, including the history of religion, sociology, theology, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, psychology, education, and American and ethnic studies. ANARCS encourages new perspectives on Asian North American religious practices and faith communities, as well as innovative theoretical work that extends the concepts of empires, diaspora, transnationalism, globalization, im/migration, orientalism, adaptation, acculturation, race, ethnicity, marginalization, oppression, and resistance. In addition to this list of concepts, ANARCS will explore theoretical, philosophical, and theological concepts, such as aesthetics, beauty, and love. ANARCS seeks to foster and mentor scholars (junior, senior, and nontraditional) through preconference sessions, gathering for meals, and maintaining a robust listserv.

Call for Papers: 

We invite individual submissions with multidisciplinary engagement and reflection, as well as pre-organized sessions and panel proposals, on the following topics:

• Asian American Responses to the Muslim Ban
With varying possibilities for alignment and solidarity between Asian Americans and Muslim Americans in light of the Muslim Ban and increasing Islamophobia, what lessons and insights from Asian American theory, praxis, and historical experience may be relevant and productive to such engagements? We are especially interested in papers that address ideas of religious pluralism and interreligious solidarities.

• Asian Americans and DACA
Given the relation between Asian American communities and recent moves by the US administration to undo DACA protections, whether as members of targeted communities or as allies supporting protections for alternatively documented immigrants and their families, what lessons and insights from Asian American theory, praxis, and historical experience may be relevant and productive to such engagements? We are especially interested in papers addressing the specific challenges faced by women, trans, and other gender and sexual minorities who are targets of both government action and internal communal exclusions.

• Asian Americans and Black Lives Matter
From Asian American and Black solidarity movements historically, to theoretical, religious, and political reflection on the alignments and disjunctures between BLM and Asian American struggles for recognition and justice, what lessons and insights from Asian American theory, praxis, and historical experience may be relevant and productive to such engagements?

• Asian Americans and Settler Colonialism, Frontiers, and Home Missions
Given next year’s Denver context, we invite papers highlighting historical and theoretical engagements around how the various currents of westward expansion, manifest destiny, and “settlerism” combined with religious thought and practice, with attention to impact upon and reflection from Asian American communities. We are especially interested in geographically attuned studies taking the western US into account.

• War Making and Peacemaking in the US and Asia
We invite papers considering Asian American positionality in light of US wars of aggression and persistent militarization in Asia, and in relation to forms of intra-Asian colonialism and imperialism. What lessons and insights from Asian American theory, praxis, and historical experience may be relevant and productive to these broader geopolitical realities?

• Asian American Religious Studies and Its Futures
We invite papers addressing the current challenges and promises of Asian American reflection in religious studies and theology. What is the state of the field and what possibilities present themselves as futures?

• Decolonization as Healing
With a wide range of other units, we plan to co-sponsor a session on the theme of decolonization as healing, recognizing that colonization in Africa and in other parts of our world has resulted in both historical and ongoing threats to health and wellbeing. We are looking for papers that address facets of this theme, including but not limited to: “Place, Land, and Environmental Degradation,” “Decolonization/Restoration of Identities,” “Vocabularies and Pragmatic Applications of Rituals and Ceremonies,” "Reclaiming the Past, Imagining the Future," and “Tradition as Healer”. Co-sponsored with the Religions, Medicines and Healing; African Diaspora Religions, African Religions; Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society; Body and Religion; Indigenous Religious Traditions; Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society; Native Traditions in the Americas; Religions in the Latina/o Americas; Religion in South Asia, Religion in Southeast Asia; and Religion, Colonialism and Postcolonialism; and World Christianity Units. Successful proposals will clearly identify where the project fits within the Call for Papers, and will speak to its broader implications for African American religious history.
This session is a panel. Please submit a proposal for a paper or presentation. If your proposal is chosen, your paper will be circulated ahead of the conference and you’ll be asked to give a brief (5-7 minute) summary of the paper during the conference session.

• Other issues pertaining to the study of Asian North American religion as outlined in our statement of purpose. We are especially interested in proposals that highlight non-Christian Asian American religions as well as proposals engaged in interreligious and comparative conversations.

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
ChairSteering Committee