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, Film, and Visual Culture Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit offers a forum for theory and methodology of the visual for those interested in the interdisciplinary study of religion, film, and visual culture. There is no single way to study religion and the visual, and we expect scholars to provide new perspectives on the way we understand visual culture and to provide this understanding through traditional and emerging methodologies.

Call for Papers: 

The Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Unit invites proposals on the following topics. Please note we are committed to diversity and thus strongly encourage the use of world cinema and global visual culture products as well as the gender and ethnic diversity of participants. Additionally we expect presenters to incorporate visual media in presentations and ask that all proposals indicate how visuals will be used. We also ask that proposals be clear about their theoretical and methodological approaches and perspectives.

2019 Themes and Topics

● Game of Thrones: Faith and Fandom Screening & Panel -
In recognition of the final season of the popular television series Games of Thrones we invite papers which critically assess the role of religion within the series or reception issues including fan devotion and a critique of the portrayal of women, and violence (sexual and otherwise) in the series. We recognize that the final season screening in April 2019 might subtly alter theses. We envision a spirited, large session which will include a screening of an episode and cosplay is encouraged!

● Mexican Film Auteur Focus: Religion and Spirituality in the Films of the Tres Amigos - Alejandro G. Inárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Torro -
From Inárritu’s gritty Biutiful to Cuarón’s lyrical Gravity to del Toro’s unforgettable Pan’s Labyrinth themes related to religion and spirituality such as life/death, evil, redemption, transformation, sacrifice are explored. We invite auteur analyses that focus on any of these filmmakers and their exploration of these themes.

● Film Genres/Genre-Bending-Hybridity -
How do genre conventions and tropes uniquely influence the exploration and representation of religion? Conversely, how might recent genre-hybrid, genre-bending films like Aronofsky’s Mother! or Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer or The Lobster or Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night challenge us in new ways?

Borders -
We invite papers that critically examine border crossing and border politics in visual culture, from feature and documentary film to murals. In recognition of our location in San Diego, we especially encourage analyses of immigrant and US-Mexico Border crossing.

● Sex and Gender in World Cinema (outside US-Canadian cinema)

● Film and TV

Our group is especially interested in satirical comedy or how comedy can lead to healing.

Call for Co-Sponsored Sessions:

● Religion and Pop Culture Unit -
The Golden State: Utopias-Dystopias (Californian and Otherwise)

● Religion and Disability Studies Unit -
As a co-sponsored session with the Religion and Disability group, we are inviting proposals 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 substantively to a broader critical theory of disability in visual culture.

● SBL’s Bible and Film Unit -
We welcome proposals that explore Borders/Border Crossing, Immigration and filmic depictions of the Other or the theme of gender and sexuality related to the Bible and/or organized religion.

Call for Invited Panels and Roundtables:

● Best Books Round Table -
We invite pre-arranged roundtables of 3-4 authors representing significant new books in the field of Religion, Film, and Visual Culture. We envision that each author will critically respond to another author and a lively discussion with those in attendance.

● Film Critics -
We invite prearranged panels of 4-5 established film critics to reflect on their craft as they engage religion and film in the public sphere (2019 Presidential Theme).

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