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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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 committed to sponsoring sessions that explore 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 to place them on the conference program. For panel proposals, diversity of rank (including graduate student, post-doctorate, contingent faculty, and junior and senior participants), and gender, race, and ethnicity is strongly encouraged. While our selection process is anonymous, we especially seek proposals from junior and contingent scholars. 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. Please ensure that all submissions are anonymous.

In addition to the above, we seek proposals on the following topics for our 2019 meeting in San Diego, California:

● The Burning Environment -
Papers and panels that consider climate change, its effects on plant and animal life, and human responses to it, in relation to religion. Coastal and island religion (including but not limited to California and the Pacific Islands) in a time of rising waters. The interplay of science and “facts” with religion. Explorations of apocalyptic and dystopic modes. Considerations of religion and race/colonialism amid extractive economies and rising temperatures. Religion as it happens during displacements and migrations, in the space and time of caravans, and in response to those migrations (i.e. borders and checkpoints, but also sanctuary and forms of solidarity).

● Papers and panels that commemorate while turning toward the future. We are interested in recognizing 2019 as the fiftieth anniversary of student strikes demanding disciplinary inclusion of ethnic studies within the academy, and the establishment of the nation’s first ethnic studies department in 1969. We note too the first women’s studies course appeared at a U.S. university the same year. We seek papers and panels that consider the ongoing and two-way impact between ethnic studies and the study of religion in the North American context, or between women’s studies (and its descendants gender and sexuality studies) and the study of North American religions.

● Together with the Religions in the Latin Americas Unit the Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit, we invite papers for a co-sponsored session that reflects on and engage with the work of the recently departed scholar Luis León for a commemorative co-sponsored panel.

● Papers and panels that take up questions of politics with attention to precarity, circulation, and scale. We seek to develop sessions that move beyond and beneath the framework of the nation, both to critically unpack the rise and fall of “nationalisms” and to explore states and provinces (including within Canada and Mexico) as Units of analysis. We seek to form sessions that interrogate the intersections of religions in North America with global political flows, especially related to the emergence and reemergence of fascism. We encourage submissions that center groups who, by virtue of religion, race, gender, sexuality, or other characteristics, such politics function to marginalize.

● For a possible co-sponsorship with the Religion, History, and Memory Unit and the Religions in the Latin Americas Unit, we seek a session on public representation and memories of immigration, borders, and trauma, especially but not limited to representations of immigration to the United States.

● In addition, for a possible co-sponsorship with the Religion, History, and Memory Unit and the Gay Men and Religion Unit we seek panel or paper proposals that consider religion in relation to queer memory, including narratives of coming out and transition, and memorialization of trauma such as the AIDS crisis.

● Finally, we seek informal nominations for sets of recently authored books, which the committee might use to develop one or more sessions. We aim to develop panels in which two or three authors discuss common challenges, questions, or themes raised across their works. Note that we will not consider fully formed proposals for book panels this year. Instead, please email nominations for books, or sets of books, we might use in such panels directly to the committee chairs.

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