PAPERS Resources

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

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North American Religions Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Purpose, Practices & Procedures:

Purpose of an AAR Program unit:
The purpose of program units is twofold: to provide a forum for dialogue and exchange among differing approaches and projects in the field and to provide opportunities for the discussion of work that does not fall within the agendas that find other expressions in the Annual Meeting program. Program units should provide significant time for presenting research in the major subfields of religion.

Purpose of the North American Religions Program unit:
The North American Religions Program unit exists to sponsor conversations about the field at thematic, theoretical, definitional, experimental or historiographical levels, in order to ask where the study of North American religions is going or should be going. Such conversations embrace the diversity of scholars, disciplines, methods and traditions that make up the field.

Routine functions:
The Steering Committee composes the Call for Papers for NAR sessions for the AAR Annual Meeting; reviews, shapes and accepts proposals for those sessions; reviews and reports on sessions; and communicates with the NAR constituency.

Composition: The Steering Committee is made up of ten members, two of whom are elected by the members to serve as co-chairs. A Steering Committee term is three years, renewable for a second three years if everyone is amenable. The terms are staggered, so that there are continuity and change on the committee. During a total of six possible years, a member might serve a co-chair term, which is three years. A member elected to serve as co-chair has at least one full year’s experience on the Steering Committee. The co-chair elections are staggered as well, so that each new co-chair serves with an experienced co-chair.

The co-chairs take care of the business of NAR and moderate communication of the Steering Committee. All members of the Steering Committee make decisions on substantive matters. All attend the Annual Meeting and reserve Friday dinner for Steering Committee socializing, envisioning and business. All attend the NAR Business Meeting.

Members of the Steering Committee are replaced by the following procedure: when there is a vacancy, after the Annual Meeting the co-chairs ask the NAR constituency (via email) for nominations. From among the nominees, the Steering Committee votes to elect a new member.

The co-chairs maintain this “NAR Purpose, Practices & Procedures” document, make it available to the Steering Committee and the NAR constituency, and revise it as needed by vote of the Steering Committee.

Call for Papers: 

This Unit advances the study of religions in North America, broadly conceived (Mexico, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, etc.), as well as the study of historical, social, and structural links between North American religions and those beyond North American boundaries. We are especially interested in sponsoring sessions that explore the fundamental questions that have shaped the field in the past or should shape it in the future.

The Unit sponsors roundtables, debates, workshops, performances, pre-circulated papers, and other creative formats. As always, this program unit also welcomes proposals for keyword panels based on important concepts in the field. We encourage the submission of both individual contributions and complete panels, though we may reconfigure proposed panels in order to place them on the conference program. For panel proposals, diversity of rank/seniority (including graduate student, post-doctorate, junior and senior participants) and gender, race, and ethnicity is strongly encouraged. Presenters in any format should expect to give short presentations that maximize time for audience questions and comments. All presenters should explicitly relate research to ongoing discussions in the field and the wider academy.

In addition to the above, we also encourage proposals on the following topics for our 2018 meeting in Denver, Colorado:

• Sovereignties, Religion, and the Invention of American “Wests”

• Religion, Land, and Water
Activism and histories of resource extraction

• Religion and Law
E.g. recent high court legal decisions concerning religion across North American jurisdictions as well as legal pluralism and indigenous nations

• Sessions themed around “Religion and 1968” in North America

• Religion and the Regulation of Drugs

• Secrecy and Transparency

• Religion and Taxation

• Topics in Religion and Race in North American and Transnational Perspectives
Religion, racialization/racism, religion and anti-racist organizing in historical and contemporary perspectives. Co-sponsorship with the Mormon Studies Unit and the North American Religions Unit

• Religion and the Materiality of AI

• North American Religions and the Bible

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
Proposer names are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members for the first round of steering committee review. For the next rounds and until final acceptance or rejection, proposer names are visible to both chairs and steering committee members.
ChairSteering Committee