PAPERS Resources

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

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Daoist Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The Daoist Studies Unit organizes the most consistent venue for sharing research on Daoist materials anywhere in the Western world. The DSU is guided by a vision with three main goals: to reach into the vast recesses of the largely unstudied Daoist tradition; to reach out in conversation with the wider American Academy of Religion; and to promote the Annual Meeting of the AAR as an international venue for sharing and vetting research by all levels of Daoism scholars.

Call for Papers: 

The Daoist Studies Unit of the AAR invites proposals for individual papers and paper sessions concerning all aspects of Daoism from any period, geographical area, or methodological and theoretical approaches. We especially welcome proposals for 90-minute paper sessions (3-4 papers, presider, and respondent). We also encourage applicants to explore alternative formats.

The following topics were proposed at the 2017 DSU business meeting in Boston. However, please feel free to propose panels on other topics as well:

  1. A continuing conversation between scholars of Daoist and Ritual Studies on ritual theories. Please contact Tobias Zuern (

  2. Studies of Daoist epigraphy. Please contact Gil Raz (

  3. The theory and practice of Yoga in India and China: The term “yoga” is broadly defined to include bodily disciplines, hygienic regimens, inner alchemy, breathing techniques, body maps, pursuit of physical immortality, etc. Approaches can be historical, descriptive, theoretical, etc. The goal is to begin an informed exchanged of information between scholars working on Indian yoga traditions and those working on comparable practices in China. Comparative proposals are welcome, as are proposals focusing on a single work, lineage, set of techniques, etc. from either India or China. Please contact Dan Lusthaus ( and Michael Allen (

  4. Excavated manuscripts and Daoism in early China. Contact Adrien Stoloff (

Questions about various formats and innovative possibilities, as well as help in building traditional paper or panel sessions, may be directed to the co-chairs.

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