PAPERS Resources

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

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Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit examines, through systematic study and reflection, the social locations, religious beliefs, and practices of the rich and diverse multicultural backgrounds of Latinas/os in the United States. The Unit recognizes that this is an interdisciplinary enterprise in view of the cultural and religious roots and sources of Latinos/as, including heritages from Europe, indigenous nations of the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The traditions emerging out of the mixture of these cultures throughout the Americas continue to undergo further development and innovation in the North American context, producing the distinct phenomena of Latino/a theologies and religions. It is this rich and deep religious/theological-cultural-social-political complex that is the focus of this Unit.

Call for Papers: 

1) The Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit and the Class, Religion, and Theology Unit invite papers for a session focusing on the intersections between religion, culture, economics, and class in the struggle for/against public education. 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of several important moments in the struggle over public education in the United States. These anniversaries include the Poor People’s Campaign (or Poor People’s March on Washington), the expansion and repression of the Black Panther Party, the founding of the Young Lords Organization in Chicago, and the student “blowouts” (walkouts) in Los Angeles public schools that catalyzed the Chicano movement. Though not an exhaustive list, we welcome papers on the following topics that address intersections of religion, culture, economics, and class in the struggle over U.S. public education:

• Privatization and racial re-segregation of schools
• Education governance
• School funding disparities
• Bilingualism
• Curricular conflicts
• Religious studies and practice in schools
• Undocumented youth education
• Community school models
• Causes/effects of achievement gaps
• Retention and graduation disparities
• The school-to-prison pipeline

2) The Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit invites papers for a session focusing on the intersections between religion and state violence. 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of several important moments in the struggle against war and police violence within the U.S.A. These anniversaries include the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; the Poor People’s Campaign, which resisted U.S. police violence and the war against Vietnam; the expansion and repression of the Black Panther Party, and the founding of the Young Lords Organization in Chicago. 2019 will also mark the 50th anniversary of the first Chicano youth conference, led by the Denver-based Crusade for Justice, which mobilized young people to resist police brutality and the war against Vietnam. Though not an exhaustive list, we welcome papers on the following topics that address intersections of religion and violence sanctioned by the U.S. or Canadian governments:

• Latinx religious engagements with policing or resistance to police brutality (such as the Movement for Black Lives)
• Religious engagements with penal institutions, prison reform movements, and prison abolitionism
• Conflict and collaboration in faith-based advocacy for prisoners and detained migrants
• Latinx religious engagements with the “war on terror”
• Effects of U.S. and Canadian military spending, military bases, and policies upon Latino/a religion in the Americas
• Religious engagements with the School of the Americas Watch
• Latinx religion and the "War on Drugs"

3) The Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society unit seeks papers on themes pertinent to Latinxs and indigeneity. 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of El Plan Espíritual de Aztlán, the pro-indigenous manifesto adopted at the First Chicano National Youth Conference in Denver, Colorado. The document’s emphasis on indigeneity and collective self-determination speak to powerful legacies of the Chicana/o movement, and continue to issue an urgent call for social and political change. Proposals that focus on Latinxs and indigenous realities as expressed within U.S. and Canadian context are strongly encouraged. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

• Indigenous wisdom and spiritual practices
• Land rights and political sovereignty of First Nations peoples
• Free trade and its impact on Latinx and Indigenous communities
• Latinx and Indigenous refugees in the U.S.A. and Canada
• Indigenous displacement, migration, citizenship, and borders
• Cultural preservation and spiritual capital
• Representations of indigeneity in Latinx media
o This session will be paired with an evening screening of the Guatemalan film Ixcanul (2015)

4) The Religion, Sport, and Play Unit and the Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit will co-sponsor a session on sport and play as sites of resistance, liberation, assimilation, and complicated spiritualities from explicitly Latinx and Latin@ perspectives. Successful proposals will address historical or contemporary cases and contribute to a range of disciplinary perspectives, diverse religious traditions, methodological approaches, and critiques. Proposals should clearly state the main argument of the paper and summarize evidence used to support the argument.
Anyone who wishes to organize a panel on a subject not listed above may also contact one or both of the co-chairs to propose the panel.

5) 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.

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