PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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Preliminary Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

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Religion, Affect, and Emotion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit provides space for theoretically-informed discussion of the relationship between religion, affect, and emotion. The Unit serves as a meeting point for conversations on the affective, noncognitive, and passional dimensions of religion coming from diverse fields, including anthropology, comparative religion, psychology, decolonial theory, gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and theology. Proposals drawing on these theoretical resources to examine specific religious traditions, shifting historical understandings of religion and affect/emotion, comparative work that looks at affective forms across traditions, and broader theoretical reflections are all welcome.

Call for Papers: 

● Practices in Non-Dualist Pedagogy -
How does consideration of affect/emotion reframe the modern scene of education devised by the Enlightenment? How are pedagogical techniques developed in the humanities (and especially in theology and religious studies) attentive to affect/emotion? How is affect/emotion taught?

● Feeling True and False -
Under what circumstances do we consider felt experiences “true” or “false”? How do feelings coalesce around questions of authenticity and deceit? How is “authenticity” as a feeling of trust or faith made or performed? How does “sincerity” operate in religious discourses?

● The Affective Life of Borders -
How do borders, boundaries, and geography figure in the social life of emotion? How does feeling muddle or produce borders, boundaries, and geographic landscapes? What are the felt reverberations of borders composed through surveillance, militarization, and enclosure?

● Fascist Affect -
Is there an affective signature of fascist movements? In what ways are religious affects generated and deployed in militarism, personality cults, and collective gatherings? How do religion scholars navigate the affects/emotions entailed by studying and confronting fascism?

● Affect and Literary Form -
How does the study of affect open onto questions of form, genre, and technique in writing? How can experiments in literary form (e.g., in Black study, queer performance, or affect theory itself, as with Lauren Berlant and Katie Stewart's The Hundreds) be understood with reference to affect?

● For a possible co-sponsored session with the Science, Technology, and Religion Unit, we invite proposals for work considering the relevance of emotion science for studying belief and cognition in both religious studies and theology. We’re especially interested in work that brings religious studies and theology into conversation around these issues. This may include approaches that connect emotion science, cognitive science, and trauma theory.

● For a possible co-sponsored session with papers on religion and reproductive labor, care work, and/or affective/emotional labor (in the broadest senses of each of these). One way to conceptualize these generically is as physical and/or interactive labor, whether paid or unpaid, that keeps bodies and communities alive from one day, and one generation, to the next. Proposals could address, for example, a particular religious practice interpreted as a form of this kind of labor (or vice-versa), religious meanings of this kind of labor, the role of family, kinship, and community in structuring working relationships, or other relevant topics. We are particularly interested in how white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, disability oppression, and other apparatuses of inequality impose disparate burdens on intersectionally targeted bodies — e.g., women of color, lesbian-feminists, immigrants, continent faculty members, people with disabilities — who are involved with this kind of labor.

The session will be co-sponsored by the Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Committee; Class, Religion, and Theology Unit; Feminist Theory and Religious Reflection Unit; Lesbian Feminisms and Religion Unit; Queer Studies in Religion Unit; Religion, Affect, and Emotion Unit; Religion and Disability Studies Unit; Religion and Sexuality Unit; and Women and Religion Unit.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Comments: 
This method has helped us to ensure our group's excellence in diversity throughout our panels.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee