PAPERS Resources

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

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Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit presents an opportunity for scholars in various subfields of religious studies to explore a topic whose relevance cuts across specializations. We bring together scholars treating different time periods, geographical regions, and traditions in working to strengthen our field’s role in the study of empire, colonialism, and postcolonialism.

Call for Papers: 

We invite papers on the following topic:

• Migration and Visuality
We invite papers that explore visuality and the margins of Empire, including considerations of migrants and migrations from zones that are traditionally neglected in academic and public conversations, such as the Caribbean, Africa and East Asia. We encourage papers that deal with the ways in which migrants and colonized religious "others" are depicted in film and other forms of visual culture (television, photography, graphic art, graffiti, clothing, etc.). How do visual media affect the ways in which we understand these people and events? Any papers related to these themes as well as broader issues of colonialism and postcolonialism in relation to visual culture are invited. Co-sponsored with the Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Unit and the Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Unit.

We are also interested in papers for the following co-sponsored sessions:

• Hindu-German Conspiracy Trial
2018 marks the centenary anniversary of the conclusion of the Hindu–German Conspiracy Trial. The trial was, at the time, the most expensive in American legal history in which eight members of the Ghadar Party were indicted on charges of conspiring to violate US neutrality with England (before US entry into WWI) by conspiring with Germany to initiate revolt against the British in India. We invite papers that speak to both directly to the Hindu-German Conspiracy Trial and its aftermath, as well as papers that address the many matters that the trial touches upon, including but not limited to: the Ghadar Party and other anti-colonial movements in the early-twentieth century, state surveillance, and religious sites and universities as places of anti-colonial resistance and organization. Co-sponsored with the Sikh Studies Unit and the Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Unit.

• Decolonization as Healing
With a wide range of other units, we plan to co-sponsor a session on the theme of decolonization as healing, recognizing that colonization in Africa and in other parts of our world has resulted in both historical and ongoing threats to health and wellbeing. We are looking for papers that address facets of this theme, including but not limited to: “Place, Land, and Environmental Degradation,” “Decolonization/Restoration of Identities,” “Vocabularies and Pragmatic Applications of Rituals and Ceremonies,” "Reclaiming the Past, Imagining the Future," and “Tradition as Healer”. Co-sponsored with the Religions, Medicines and Healing; African Diaspora Religions, African Religions; Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society; Body and Religion; Indigenous Religious Traditions; Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society; Native Traditions in the Americas; Religions in the Latina/o Americas; Religion in South Asia, Religion in Southeast Asia; and Religion, Colonialism and Postcolonialism; and World Christianity Units. Successful proposals will clearly identify where the project fits within the Call for Papers, and will speak to its broader implications for African American religious history. This session is a panel. Please submit a proposal for a paper or presentation. If your proposal is chosen, your paper will be circulated ahead of the conference and you’ll be asked to give a brief (5-7 minute) summary of the paper during the conference session.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in Colorado.

Please note that the Religion, Colonialism and Postcolonialism Unit is deeply committed to inclusion and diversity. Please ensure that any full panel proposals are sensitive in their consideration of a plurality of gendered and racialized voices.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
We are considering making the selection process more transparent.
ChairSteering Committee