PAPERS Resources

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

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Preliminary Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

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Contextualizing the Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis Seminar

Statement of Purpose: 

Contextualizing the Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis is a five-year seminar working towards greater understanding about clergy sexual abuse and the range of questions that it raises. Attention to clergy abuse must become normative for any treatment of modern Catholicism to not itself be complicit in the abuse and its concealment.

The seminar seeks collaborative and multidisciplinary research, including through historical, ethnographic, theological, legal, political, psychological, and ethical frameworks. We are especially interested in proposals that press consideration into new anti-racist, anti-colonial, feminist, or queer directions. We encourage methodologies that uplift the voices of survivors, especially victims from African American, indigenous, and non-Anglo parishes. Over the full five years of sessions, the seminar will also examine sexual abuse in contexts beyond the Catholic church, both in other religious communities and secular institutions.

The seminar also encourages conversation across a number of existing program units, including Roman Catholic Studies, Religion and Sexuality, Childhood Studies, Religion and Violence, North American Religions, Religion in Europe, and Ethics. We are committed to supporting research from scholars at all career stages, including doctoral candidates and independent scholars.

Participants are required to submit full papers well in advance of the annual meeting, to be pre-circulated to all attendees. This allows for more conversation and deeper reflection during each session. Proposals should be made with an eye towards publishable work. At the conclusion of the seminar, the Steering Committee will decide which presentations merit development for an edited collection or special journal issue(s).

Call for Papers: 

For the inaugural session of a seminar devoted to studying the Catholic sex abuse crisis, we seek brief “instigation” essays that will help the seminar determine the questions, topics, and frames of analysis that will guide our work for the next several years. Successful proposals will contain a crisp, provocative, generative statement of an analytical problem related to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that can be presented in 10-15 minutes and will be of interest to a range of scholars in the field. Proposals may be oriented around historical, ethical, political, legal, ethnographic, theoretical, or theological issues.

We are particularly interested in proposals that gesture toward lacuna in what we know about the crisis historically and ethnographically as well as proposals that press consideration into new anti-racist, anti-colonialist, feminist, or queer directions. We also welcome proposals that sketch comparative modes of analysis, moving our consideration of sex abuse into other religious traditions or institutional sites. The initial meeting of the seminar at the 2019 annual meeting will be devoted to presentation and discussion of these instigations as well as a tentative establishment of topic clusters for the remaining years of the seminar. At the close of the seminar’s term in 2023, the organizers will work to organize an edited collection, so proposals should be made with an eye toward publishable work.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee