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, Media, and Culture Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit provides a multidisciplinary forum for exploring the intersections between media and religion. Areas of interest include the participation of religion in digital culture, mediation of religion, the interplay between religious and media communities and between religious and media practices, and the significance of both media and religion in the transformation of religious structures and practices.

Call for Papers: 

The Religion, Media, and Culture Unit invites individual presentations, paper/multimedia research presentation sessions, and roundtable proposals on the following themes:

● Digital Borderlands

● The Body as Media/Medium

● In keeping with the location of the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego: proposals that engage Silicon Valley, technology, and industry

● Moving Religion, Media and Culture beyond Binaries: Intersectionality as Theory and Method in Media, Religion, and Culture

● Intermediality and Transmediality: The In-Betweenness of Media, Religion, and Culture

Curating Religion (Co-sponsored session with the Cultural History of the Study of Religion Unit) -
Museums have long been endowed with the authority to curate public understanding and consumption of religion. This role has entailed their intervention in a number of pressing debates as to the relationship of religion and science, race and racism in the US, nationalism and immigration, and the politics of religious and cultural “heritage.” How have conventional museum spaces responded to critiques of their role as well as to the rise of alternative venues including digital platforms, performance art, etc.? How do various aspects of museum work, including preservation, collections management, and digitization, shape what gets read or counted as religion? We welcome papers that interrogate any aspect of this changing nexus of museums, mediatization and the material history of the study of religion in any historical context.

● For a possible co-sponsored session with the Critical Approaches to Hip-Hop and Religion Unit:
○ We invite proposals that address the “digital borderlands” and “the body as media/medium” in the expressive work of Hip-Hop cultures;
○ "Reframing the Identity Game: Intersections of Religion, Media, and Hip-Hop": proposals that consider how the intersecting categories of religion, gender, sexuality, class, disability, race/ethnicity, and nationality interact to shape media representations and/or mediated presentations of the self in Hip-Hop culture;
○ and "Stories Across Worlds: Transmedia Storytelling in
Religion and Hip-Hop," where the focus is primarily on music videos, films, video games, and multimodal live performances but can also include graphic novels, webisodes, mobile apps, or documentaries on Hip-Hop.
○ Hip-Hop artists as scholarly workers in public spaces

● For a possible co-sponsored session with the Middle Eastern Christianities Unit: Text, Texting, and Context for Contemporary Middle Eastern Christians - We invite proposals that analyze the changing approaches to texts that are emerging in Middle Eastern Christian communities. Proposals should address the way textual production, dissemination, and reading is changing for Middle Eastern Christians in the contemporary context of new social media and global mobility. Proposals could give attention to the ways Middle Eastern Christian communities interact with each other and the rest of the world in their diaspora communities, or they could focus on topics related to heritage preservation through the reissuance, translation, dissemination, and preservation of texts in a digital age. Successful proposals must present a clear thesis, explain the theoretical and methodological approaches of the research, and identify a specific body of evidence that the research will interpret.

Representations of Buddhism in Contemporary Japanese Literature and Media

Papers would discuss various aspects of Buddhism (or Japanese religions) as characterized in particular books, movies, anime, manga, online environments, etc. These might include, for example, any of Genyū Sokyū's novels, Zazen Girl by Taguchi Randy, Yumemakura Baku's series on Kūkai or the 2017 movie based on it, Legend of the Demon Cat, anime series (and manga) such as Saints Young Men, manga depicting founders of religious traditions and other Buddhists (e.g., the 2018 manga Zen: Shaku Sōen), etc. Papers could also focus on Buddhism in the writings of Ishimure Michiko, who passed in February 2018. Ronald Green:

RMC is committed to diversity and inclusivity. Pre-arranged panels should reflect gender and racial/ethnic diversity as well as diversity of field, method, and scholarly rank as appropriate. We strongly prefer papers that include audio/visual media and ask that proposals make use of media clear. We are also particularly interested in session proposals and presentations that break from traditional paper-reading formats. We encourage panels that propose innovative ways to develop collaborative conversation, especially those that allow for timely analysis of current events.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Proposals are anonymous to the steering committee throughout review, but names are visible to one designated co-chair solely for communication purposes so that panel and session organizers can be contacted with questions or clarifications that may arise during the review process.
ChairSteering Committee