PAPERS Resources

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

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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)

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Folklore and Religion Seminar

Statement of Purpose: 

Folklore Studies has led and leads the way in directing scholarship on the expressive culture of religious communities, the methodological challenges of ethnographic work within those communities, and research and analysis of the religion of ordinary people diachronically and synchronically. Uniquely representing the theoretical and methodological perspectives of folkloristics on the study of religion, as well as consistently spotlighting the contextual material that folklorists see as significant evidence of religious belief and practice, this AAR Seminar allows a more permanent place at the annual meeting for the study of religion as associated with such topics as food, costume, vernacular art, architecture, material culture, medical and healing beliefs, narrative and song, performance, etc., as well as topics relevant to applied folkloristics such as the “paranormal” and the “supernatural”.

Call for Papers: 

Everyday Otherworlds: Folklore and the Vernacular Supernatural

Prophecies, apparitions, hauntings, visions – the academic study of Religion often requires scholars to engage with the human experience of the Other than Ordinary, particularly insofar as it informs theologies, rituals, taboos, belief narratives, etc. Folklore Studies has also long been concerned with the human propensity to think about, talk about, and create expressive forms related to what might broadly be called “the Supernatural.” The particular contribution Folklore Studies makes to this conversation is rooted in the fundamentals of our discipline – a concern for and with everyday experience, and with the importance of the individual quotidian life.

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication (in the journal Western Folklore ) of “Vernacular Religion and the Search for Method in Religious Folklife” by Leonard Norman Primiano (1995). In this article Primiano calls upon Folklore scholars to abandon a “two-tiered” model juxtaposing “official” and “unofficial” categories of religious belief and behavior, and instead – like Orsi (1985), or Hall (1997) – to embrace the idea that the academic study of religion cannot ignore -indeed should focus on - the lived experience of religion. He argues that profound meaning lies in the individual negotiations, innovations, and creative compromises made by people trying to integrate their religious identities and praxes with the other aspects of their day to day experience.

This year, the Folklore and Religion Seminar invites paper proposals that specifically explore the category of the Supernatural through the lens of Vernacular Religion. How do people engage with the other-than-ordinary in the sphere of the ordinary experience? We look for presentations that examine the intersection of the otherworldly with the worldly – with the ways “ordinary” people creatively incorporate the “extraordinary” into the fabric of their everyday lives.

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