PAPERS Resources

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

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Religions in the Latina/o Americas Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit fosters interdisciplinary and theoretically innovative analyses of Latina/o and Latin American religiosities and spiritualities in the Americas. We explore the richness and diversity of religious traditions in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, highlighting the complex and often explosive relations between religion and politics in the region, the centrality of religion in the Americas since pre-Conquest times, and the global significance of religious events and lived religion in the region. Our goal is to advance knowledge and ways of knowing that expand traditional areas of religious studies throughout the Americas, mindful of transnational and global realities. Thus, we encourage studies that explore non-Western beliefs and practices, including the indigenous, the African diasporic, Buddhist, and Islamic, as well as those that advance more complex understanding of culturally hybrid Christianities. We encourage feminist- and queer-centered perspectives as well as thought rooted in community experience. Diverse disciplinary and methodological perspectives are highlighted in presentation of this scholarship.

Call for Papers: 

The Religions in the Latina/o Americas Unit seeks to foster interdisciplinary and theoretically innovative analyses of Latina/o and Latin American religiosities and spiritualities in the Americas. We explore the richness and diversity of religious traditions in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, highlighting the complex and often explosive relations between religion and politics in the region, the centrality of religion in the Americas since pre-Conquest times, and the global significance of religious events and lived religion in the region. Our goal is to advance knowledge and ways of knowing that expand traditional areas of religious studies throughout the Americas, mindful of transnational and global realities. Thus, we encourage studies that explore non-Western beliefs and practices, including indigenous, African diasporic, Buddhist, and Islamic, as well as those that advance more complex understanding of culturally hybrid Christianities. We encourage feminist- and queer-centered perspectives as well as thought rooted in community experience. Diverse disciplinary and methodological perspectives are highlighted in the presentation of this scholarship.

As always, we are interested in papers that advance interdisciplinary and theoretically innovative analyses of Latina/o and Latin American religiosities and spiritualities in the Americas.
This year, we are also especially interested in papers that address topics such as the following:

• Religion, Trauma, and History in the Americas

• The Politics of Memory and/or Memorialization

• Altered States and the State: Hallucinogens, Spiritual Practices, and Power

• Indigenous Religion and Spirituality before the Arrival of Europeans

• The Survival of Indigenous Practices in the Present

• Shamanic and/or Spiritual Tourism in the Americas

• Ghosts, Ancestors, Spirits, and/or Necropolitics in the Latina/o Americas

• The Spirituality of Latin American, Latina, Eco-, and/or Third World Feminisms

• Philosophy and Critical Theory of Religion from the Latina/o Americas

• What's in a Name? Latinx, Latino/a, Latin@, Latine…: Insights from and/or Implications for Religious Studies

• 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.

Prearranged Panel Sessions:
In addition to accepting INDIVIDUAL paper proposals, our unit will also consider PANEL proposals, which usually consist of 3-4 presenters, along with a moderator and a respondent. When submitting your proposal, please identify the proposal as either an INDIVIDUAL or PANEL proposal.

Book Panel Sessions:
These sessions work best when 2-3 authors work together to propose a panel with a single, overarching theme. Each panelist should submit an individual proposal that refers to the larger theme, and the panel as a whole should determine ahead of time who the respondent(s) will be. These "New Book" sessions are meant not merely to highlight the merits of each book, but, more substantially, to serve as springboards for a larger group discussion (i.e,. What broader issues are raised by placing the books in conversation with one another?).

Emerging Scholarship Session:
We encourage 1) doctoral students and recent Ph.D. graduates working in the area of the Latina/o Americas who 2) have never presented at the national AAR meeting to submit papers. To apply, upload your individual paper proposal in the AAR’s PAPERS system, explicitly labeling it as an "Emerging Scholarship” submission.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee