PAPERS Resources

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

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Study of Islam Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit is the home for the academic study of Islam within the AAR. This Unit encompasses various approaches and subjects, from Qur’anic studies to modern reform movements and from textual research to sociology. The Unit also has an enduring interest in pedagogical issues associated with the teaching of Islam. The purpose of the Unit is both to provide a forum for dialogue among differing approaches and projects within Islamic studies and also to provide opportunities for the discussion of work that affects the overall field of the study of religion. We normally meet for five to seven sessions at each Annual Meeting. We coordinate our work with other Islam-related AAR Program Units, including the Contemporary Islam Unit, the Islam, Gender, Women Unit, the Islamic Mysticism Unit, the Qur’an Unit, and the Material Islam Seminar.

Call for Papers: 

This Unit encourages individual paper, paper session, and roundtable proposals in all areas of Islamic studies. Successful proposals will reflect theoretical and methodological sophistication and engagement with existing scholarship along with innovative examination of Muslim practices, texts, and material culture in diverse contexts and geographies. We encourage the submission of coherent pre-arranged sessions involving multiple scholars, including roundtables or other creative presentation formats.

As a new explicit requirement of our unit, a successful pre-arranged paper session or roundtable proposal must incorporate gender diversity. Diversity of race and ethnicity, theoretical method, and rank are also highly encouraged.

If your proposal is accepted and you agree to be on the program, we expect you to show up to participate in your session at the annual meeting, barring unforeseeable exceptional circumstances.

Please note that the Islamic studies program units have a policy according to which no-shows may be barred from the program for the following year.

After great success last year, we will again have a session centered on graduate student research in Islamic Studies. This session will offer graduate students the opportunity to present for 5 minutes on their dissertation research, followed by short responses from other panelists and open discussion. If you are an advanced graduate student and interested in talking succinctly about your research in this session, please submit a paper proposal through the PAPERS system with the abstract and proposal the same text and length (maximum 150 words) and indicate that your submission is for this special session format at the top of the proposal.

As always, we welcome submissions dealing with the Qur’an and the Sunna, law, philosophy, theology, mysticism, ritual, gender and sexuality, modernity and globalization, teaching, religious pluralism, and other areas of general interest. Furthermore, we encourage proposals dealing with Shi’ism within and across these areas.

For the 2018 meeting in Denver, we are also especially interested in paper and/or panel proposals on:

• Martyrdom and Resistance
• Disability
• Education and Institutions of Learning
• Digital Polemics
• Family and Kinship
• Lived Qur’an
• Bodies, Corporeality, and Ritual
• Emotions

All proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria: a descriptive title; a clearly formulated argument; engagement with secondary literature; articulation of a contribution to the field; and clearly identified methodology and sources.

Further suggestions for AAR proposal writers can be found in Kecia Ali’s “Writing a Successful Annual Meeting Proposal”:

Selected presenters will be notified of their acceptance approximately a month after the PAPERS deadline. Our unit requires that the full text of each presentation be submitted for pre-circulation among session participants by November 2, 2018.

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