PAPERS Resources

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

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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:

Since the AAR is meeting in Denver, the home town of ADAPT (Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today, an organization known for its successful social political activism), we encourage papers that address Disability Justice and Disability Activism (see the July 5, 2017 Danika Worthington, Denver Post article on 40 years of ADAPT actions:, and papers that address building coalitions of collaboration between scholars in Religion and Disability Studies and secular and religious communities at local, state, national, and international levels.

We invite as well:

Papers that may develop as a panel of interlocutors that would engage in (confirmed) conversations between Monica A. Coleman on Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman's Journey with Depression and Faith (Fortress Press, 2016) and Michelle Mary Lelwica on Shameful Bodies: Religion and the Culture of Physical Improvement (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017).

Papers that address all-too-common disabling experiences: trauma and its aftereffects (witnessing or suffering: a. war violence on combatants and non-combatants, b. domestic/internecine acts of violence, and/or c. cyber/digital, emotional, physical, psychological, or sexual violence).

Papers for a possible co-sponsorship with the "Teaching Religion Unit" that expose barriers for people with disabilities to accessibility in liturgical, community, and educational spaces and/or that consider the theological and ethical implications for both continued exclusion and genuine change.

Papers for a possible co-sponsorship with the "Religion, Memory, History Unit" that address the impact of current US political/legislative environment on people with disabilities in light of studies in religion and regarding those who are most vulnerable (e.g., children, elderly, imprisoned, immigrants, migrants, LGBTIQA, homeless).

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