AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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This Unit focuses on theoretical, methodological, and conceptual issues in the study of indigenous religious traditions the world over. Though particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of indigenous religions, we are primarily grounded in the “history of religions” approach as it concerns the analysis of indigenous traditions. The Unit is also concerned with the interface of indigenous religious traditions and modernity, colonial and postcolonial conditions, and local and global forces that shape the practice of indigenous traditions and their categorizations.
We welcome paper and panel proposals particularly relating to any of the following four different panels:
• For a joint session with the African Diaspora Religions Unit: For many indigenous peoples of Africa and America the Atlantic basin has been pivotal to the circulation of religious ideas, technologies, bodies, ritual objects, and sacred knowledges. Our session will, therefore, explore the Atlantic as a central site for the proliferation and even re-imagination of indigenous religious identities, communities, material cultures, and knowledge systems. We encourage papers that examine the relationship between Black and Red Atlantic religious communities and/or that probe the significance of the Atlantic to the formation of particular indigenous communities and their respective religious traditions, practices, and philosophies.
• For a joint session with Native Traditions in the Americas Unit: While indigenous communities are often seen as necessarily connected to rural spaces and places, urban centers have also historically been central locales for the development and persistence of indigenous religious traditions. We invite proposals that examine the role of religion in urban indigenous communities both past and present. Moreover, while our discussion will not be limited to indigenous communities in the New England area, we welcome papers that engage religious indigeneity in Boston and the surrounding region. We also encourage papers that examine how the practice of these religious traditions in urban spaces and places challenge constructions of indigeneity.
• For a joint session between Religions, Medicines, and Healing Unit and the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit, we invite proposals that address issues related to the Most Vulnerable in our global society in the context of indigenous medicine(s) and healing, We ask that proposals address the socio-political context of the topic, as well as theoretical and analytical framework(s). We plan to co-sponsor the session with pre-distribute full papers (full papers due online Nov 1, 2017), brief presentation of each paper, and facilitated discussion.
• For a special session with the Law, Religion, and Culture Unit, the Religion and Ecology Unit, and the Native Traditions in the Americas Unit: When the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Army Corps of Engineers in July 2016, they argued that the Dakota Access Pipeline "threatens the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the Tribe." We seek paper or panel proposals for a co-sponsored session on the intersections of law, ecology, and Native American traditions.