AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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The seminar insists on broad definitions of religion and pulls from as diverse a range of families as possible, in order to create generative conversations. To that end, we will think critically about how the concepts of religion and family are co-constituting terms, asking how religious rhetoric shapes understandings of the family and how families provide a primary context for religious experiences, identities, and rituals.
Family, as naturalized term that is anything but natural, is a very generative theme for scholars across the range of theoretical and methodological approaches in the AAR. Geographically, the Seminar is regionally focused on North America to provide a limited scope but intentionally includes Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, which is to say that we do not see North America as simple a stand in for the United States and intend a transnational and comparative conversation. Methodologically, the Seminar focuses on historical, ethnographic, and cultural studies explorations of family. Theoretically, the Seminar brings together scholars of religion working on questions of kinship, reproduction, gender, race, class, colonialism, ritual and practice, the nation-state, and sexuality in a richly comparative, yet helpfully bounded, conversation. The seminar allows for plenty of opportunity for scholars with very different theoretical orientations toward both the terms “religion” and “family” to find fruitful avenues for dialog between them.
This Group provides an opportunity for scholars of North American Religions to think critically about how the concepts of religion and family are co-constituting terms, asking how religious rhetoric shapes understandings of the family and how families provide a primary context for religious experiences, identities, and rituals. We are seeking scholars to engage in a five-yearlong seminar at the annual meeting of the AAR where we will workshop papers, and dig deeper into the issues surrounding religion and family with the ultimate goal of producing an edited volume. Participants are expected to commit to being present for the subsequent five AARs and to comment on pre-circulated papers.
We are seeking scholars who are researching topics across broad range of family configurations, religious traditions, and historical eras. We are particularly interested in ensuring that we include papers from all of North America: Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Topics might include, but are not limited to the following:
*Religion’s role in the (re)production of families
*Rituals that create and sustain families
*How families work with and against religious prescriptions for childrearing
*The role of families in religious and political rhetoric