PAPERS Resources

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

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Body and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit aims to draw together scholars working with different methodologies who address body as a fundamental category of analysis in the study of religion. The Unit provides a forum for sustained discussion and critique of diverse approaches to body and religion that can encompass scholars working on a wide range of traditions, regions, and eras.

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Call for Papers: 

The Body and Religion Unit aims to provide a forum for multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary conversations on issues of body and religion. We are especially interested in the overall question of “What is body?” We invite proposals or panels presenting diverse methodologies and understandings of the body, as well as traditional and alternative presentation styles. When reviewing your paper proposals, we particularly appreciate proposals that clearly articulate their methodological and theoretical frameworks, and its contribution to the field.
This year we are particularly interested in several topics:

• Mediating Bodies

• Body, Religion, and Film

• Judith Butler, Body, and Religion
We are interested in papers that discuss Judith Butler's contribution to body and religion studies.

• Bodies as Blueprint for Structures

• Embodied Pedagogy Teaching Tactics in Large Introductory Courses
We are interested in papers discussing teaching tactics that focus on ritual and embodied pedagogy in undergraduate courses (e.g. World Religions, Introduction to Religion, etc.). Co-sponsored with the Body and Religion Unit, the Ritual Studies Unit, and the Teaching Religion Unit. Proposals should:

o State succinctly the context within which you used the strategy including: characteristics of your students, the institution and the course, when in the semester you use this tactic, and how long it takes;
o State the pedagogical purpose of the strategy;
o Describe the strategy itself in brief, clear language -- demonstrating a quick version of the tactic is encouraged;
o State why and how the strategy was effective (or not effective) – i.e., how it supported (or failed to support in some way) student learning; and
o Address potential challenges or obstacles -- i.e., avoiding cultural appropriation, avoiding the appearance of 'practicing' religion in public institutions, and potential ethical issues.

• 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.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee