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 and Disability Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The Religion and Disability Studies Unit is committed to maintaining the visibility, viability, and value of the experience and politics of disability as they relate to the study and practice of religion. We promote engagement between disability studies theory and the study of religion, examine the role of disability in lived religious experience and theology, and consider the historical and contemporary role of disability in diverse religious traditions, texts, and cultures.

Call for Papers: 

The Religion and Disability Studies Group welcomes paper submissions on any aspect of the intersections between religion, theology, and disability studies. We have particular interests in the following topics and encourage your submission of:

● Papers that develop the 2019 Presidential Theme on "Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces" exploring, for example: mental health, abuse, and vulnerability of Persons with Disabilities in the academy and higher education; mental health challenges of students or faculty; emotional, physical, psychological, verbal, or sexual violence in the academy or religious analysis thereof in public spaces; or other concerns related to mental health.

● Papers that address congregational/denominational membership and leadership practices, especially passing versus coming out with disabilities or institutional barriers. Since the AAR is meeting at a US-Mexico border city, a contested site reflecting, enacting, and even resisting policies of exclusion, othering, and separation, papers that consider borders imagined as points of intersection, for example: as liberative, fluid, creative, and generative in-between spaces; or as restrictive and in need of challenge, including but not limited to bodily, mental, emotional, communal, political, religious, social, spiritual and territorial boundaries. This will be a co-sponsored session with the Religion, Sport, and Play Unit.

● Papers developed at the intersection of crip culture, visual culture, and diverse religious traditions on disability, for example: critical representations of disability in visual culture, especially in television and film; consideration of how visual culture represents interactions between religion and religious persons in a disability context; theoretical frameworks in religious studies that contribute substantially to a broader critical theory of disability in visual culture. This will be a co-sponsored session with Religion, Film, and Visual Culture.

Buddhism and Disability Studies, Contact: Justin Fifield (Trinity College): justin.fifield@trincoll.edu - 
Disability Studies was founded on a critical intervention into the biomedicalization of bodily impairment, setting forth a social model of disability that could overturn oppressive conditions for the disabled. A coalitional intersectionality with feminism, critical race theory, Queer Studies, and Animal Studies has pushed the field beyond the social model into exciting new areas, such as epistemology—what is now called cripistemology—postcolonial studies, critical culture studies, and a new historicism that looks beyond representation to chart how the disabled body has historically structured knowledge systems about all bodies. This panel aims to cultivate a needed and overdue engagement between Disability Studies and Buddhist Studies. It calls for papers on Buddhism and disability from a variety of historical, social, and cultural perspectives. Papers should explicitly engage with theory from Disability Studies and, ideally, a political program of overturning systems of oppression, in line with the AAR’s 2019 presidential theme of scholarly engagement in public spheres. This session will be co-sponsored with the Buddhism Unit.

● For a possible co-sponsored session including multiple Units and in solidarity with the Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Working Group, we solicit 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 these Units: Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Working Group; Women and Religion; Queer Studies in Religion; Religion, Affect, and Emotion; Religion and Sexuality; Religion and Disability Studies; Lesbian Feminisms and Religion; Feminist Theory and Religious Reflection; and Class, Religion, and Theology.

Method: 
PAPERS
E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail)
Other: 
none
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Comments: 
none
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee