AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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Our seminar aims to bring together scholars working on different traditions and regions to participate in a sustained conversation about the translation, transmission, and transformation of religious expressions between Asia and North America. We are interested in ideas and practices that exceed institutional, national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries, and use “transnational” to call attention to the boundaries crossed and recrossed—through mediated and contested spaces—between different cultural contexts as religious ideas, technologies, and actors move across the Pacific and around the globe. In this way, “transnational” is meant to be both a descriptor of the complex realities of religious transmission and a promising analytical space to address related processes such as transculturation, adaptation, exploitation, appropriation, (de)territorialization, and glocalization. Many of these processes erode the ground on which normative national and religious taxonomies depend, and we are interested on sharing theories and approaches less oriented toward reifying discrete traditions and more capable of analyzing the hybridity and fluidity of religious expression in the global age. Our initial set of themes, subject to change in discussion among participants as the seminar develops, are Theories & Methods: Studying Transnational Religions (2017), Immigration, Missionization, & Other Border Crossings (2018), Pilgrimage & Religious Tourism (2019), Markets, Science, and Other Secularizing Forces (2020), From the Counter-Culture to the Mainstream (2021).
The seminar on Transnational Religious Expression: Between Asia and North America invites papers on our theme for this year, Theories & Methods: Studying Transnational Religions.
Papers should focus on a specific case study while also theorizing issues in the study of transnational religion such as adaptation, translation, circulation, appropriation, and transculturation, and/or presenting innovative methodologies with which to study transnational religious expression. We especially encourage new models for theorizing the multidirectional processes in transnational religion, specifically the global flows of ideas and practices between Asia and North America. Papers will be posted to the AAR website in advance of the annual meeting, so that the seminar can focus on discussion among participants and observers.
Submissions by confirmed seminar participants will be given preference before final selection, but this is an open call, and we welcome all potential contributors. Please contact the seminar chairs with any questions.