PAPERS Resources

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

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Yoga in Theory and Practice Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit seeks to elucidate the religious and sectarian representations of yoga in South Asian history and the profoundly fascinating contemporary yoga culture that has emerged in the past century. Among other topics that are addressed in our Unit is the emergence of modern yoga out of the encounter between Indian and European cultures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In connection with this, it examines the relative pervasiveness of spiritual and religious ideologies in manifest or latent forms within the contemporary yoga scene, and the overarching sociological relevance of yoga within global culture. We also examine changing paradigms with respect to the nature and function of yoga in the larger South Asian religious context. Our goal is to provide a venue in which the body of scholars working in this area can collectively evaluate this extremely timely material. We actively pursue scholars from Europe, Asia, and other areas that have worked at length on these issues, so as to bring an important international component to the Unit.

Call for Papers: 

The Yoga in Theory and Practice unit seeks individual paper, papers session, or roundtable proposals on the topic of yoga in theory and practice using a variety of methodological approaches, including sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and social and cultural studies. We prefer complete session submissions rather than individual paper proposals whenever possible. You are encouraged to contact the individuals listed next to each suggested topic for more information about that topic or to contact the co-chairs to suggest other potential topics.

Suggested topics include:

• Yoga and Bodily Disciplines in India and China
(Andrea Jain,; and Sravana Borkataky-Varma,

• Yoga Church: Yoga Communities with Religious Identities
(Christa Schwind,

• New Directions in Yoga Studies
(Seth Powell,

• Proto Yoga in the Vedas
(Stuart Ray Sarbacker,

• Yoga and Ritual
(Seth Powell,

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee