PAPERS Resources

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

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Native Traditions in the Americas Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit sees its mission as the promotion of the study of Native American religious traditions and thereby the enrichment of the academic study of religion generally, by engaging in discourse about culturally-centered theories and encouraging multiple dialogues at the margins of Western and non-Western cultures and scholarship. The Unit is committed to fostering dialogue involving Native and non-Native voices in the study of North, Central, and South American Native religious traditions and to engaging religious studies scholarship in robust conversation with scholarship on other facets of Native cultures and societies.

Call for Papers: 

We invite individual paper and group proposals on any aspect of Native Traditions in the Americas (North, Central and South). In particular, in light of AAR’s theme of interrogating the civic responsibilities, opportunities and risks facing others affected by our research as well as ourselves as scholars of religion, we are seeking papers on the following topics:

• Indigenous community-centered research. Papers should consider methodological, ethical and theoretical issues involved with community-based participatory or applied fieldwork, including issues of reciprocity, authority-sharing, and solidarity.
• Indigenous religious traditions and politics within the greater Denver area. Papers may consider the impact of the events themselves, or of our research on the events or other publics (e.g. media, corporate sector, government agencies, general public, etc.) as well as indigenous peoples. Topics may include but are not limited to events such as the Indigenous People’s Day movement, memorialization of the Sand Creek Massacre and the Sand Creek Run, issues pertaining to Native American veterans or elders. Topics may also include the intersection of indigenous religious traditions and national organizations in the Denver region such as the Native American Rights Fund.

In addition, we are also seeking papers on:

• The work of George Tinker, as theologian, philosopher, historian and activist.
• 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.
• Papers or panel proposals on the impact of current North American administrations' environmental and economic policies on indigenous religious freedom, protection of sacred places, plants and animals. For a joint session with the Native Traditions in the Americas Unit and the Religion and Ecology Unit.

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