AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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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.
Our emphasis this year is “interdisciplinary and trans-hemispheric approaches to the study of religion in the Latina/o Americas.” We welcome any and all papers that address this broad theme.
Additionally, we are interested in papers (or proposals for panels) that might address any of the following sub-themes:
• In light of this year’s AAR theme, “Religion and the Most Vulnerable” in light of Trump’s anti-immigration platform. How does religion among U.S. Latina/os and/or Latin Americans address new levels of vulnerability?
• "Fe and Fidel." How should we approach and/or re-consider Cuban and Cuban-American religion in light of the death of Cuba's leader of six decades?
• “Lived religion" in Latina America and Latina/o communities in the U.S.
• Religion, Resistance, and Health. How do U.S. Latino/as and Latin Americans mobilize religious practices and worldviews so as to regain forms of health -- whether physical, mental, spiritual, or ecological?
• New Books. Our units often dedicate a session to a discussion of "New Books" in the field. 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 makes reference 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 issue(s) are raised by placing the books in conversation with one another?)
Along with the Theology and Religious Reflection Unit, are also organizing an invited panel that considers the legacy of Virgilio Elizondo.