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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Religion and Cities Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit is focused on scholarship that explores the dynamics of religion in urban contexts. We draw largely, though not exclusively, from social research in looking at the ways in which the cultures, economies, space, and politics both shape and are shaped by the presence of an increasing diversity of faith traditions in cities.

Call for Papers: 

The Religion and Cities Unit seeks papers that analyze the interactive relationship between religion and urban environments. Thematically, papers may address the spatial characteristics of urban religion, urban policy and its relation to religion or religious communities, or contested issues about religious presence in cities. However, all submissions should adopt an ecological approach, considering the ways cities shape religion while also religion shapes cities.

Possible topics include: the impact or significance of immigration in urban religious communities, race or cultural identity in urban religion, religious buildings and sacred objects in cities, religious interpretations of city life, gentrification, religious pluralism, religious and political power in cities, religious responses to urban violence, and faith-based initiatives and social service provisions concerning homelessness, hunger, education, health care. Proposals with a regional focus on San Diego, Southern California, or the US/Mexico border will be given special attention.

Papers should focus on current trends or the recent past and may be considered from various disciplinary approaches: historical, ethical, sociological, ethnographic, etc. Individual paper proposals will be given priority, but we will consider panel proposals that present a multi-faceted approach to a unified topic. The Religion and Cities Unit often adopts a regional focus for the Annual Meetings. The San Diego region offers multiple opportunities to explore topics related to conflict, urban transformation, and religious response. These topics are highlighted in our potential co-sponsored sessions:

● Building on the AAR’s theme focused on “creating, redefining, and expanding spheres of public discourse," we invite papers on San Diego’s Chicano Park and its mural paintings. This multi-unit co-sponsored session will likely be supplemented by a separate tour to the site. In 1970 Chicano Park emerged through the efforts of community activists responding to the fracture and displacement of Chicanx communities caused by the construction of the Interstate 5 freeway in the barrio of Logan Heights. On this freeway’s pillars, Chicano Park displays one of the largest assemblages of public murals in North America, inspired by Chicanx history. In 2018, the San Diego Tribune described the space as a “battleground” for cultural identity between right wing groups waving American flags and Chicanx groups waving flags of Aztlan. We welcome papers from multiple disciplinary vantage points. We are particularly interested in proposals that take an ecological approach by engaging both the manner in which the contested space informs religious/spiritual identities and practices and the manner in which Chicanx spiritualities have influenced this built environment. Likely co-sponsors include the following Units: Religion and Cities; Religions in the Latin Americas; Native Traditions in the Americas; Latina/o Religion, Culture and Society; Anthropology of Religion; Religion, Memory, History; Ecclesial Practices; and Latina/o and Latin American Biblical Interpretation (SBL).

● For possible co-sponsorship with Space, Place, and Religion Unit, we invite papers that explore the topic of “Borders, Boundaries and the Making of New Space(s).” Proposed papers should theorize the role of borders, boundary/border walls and other kinds of interstitial spaces in sites of conflict, especially in the creation and resolution of inclusions, exclusions, and conflicts around the border.

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