PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

Floorplans of Annual Meeting Facilities (PDF)

Exhibit Hall Listing and Map (PDF)

Program Book Ads (PDF)

Annual Meeting At-A-Glance (PDF)

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Online Program Book

Sessions
A24-136
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Development
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: CANCELLED: Promises and Procrastination: How to Find Balance When Everyone and Everything Need You Now!

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A22-201
Graduate Student Committee
Theme: Graduate Student Committee Meeting
Rachel Toombs, Baylor University, Presiding
Friday - 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

Graduate Student Committee Meeting

A23-207
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Development
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Love Thy Neighbour and Thyself: Recognising and Cultivating Mental and Emotional Health for Students and Self
Saturday - 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

The stigma of mental health struggles doesn’t stop at the threshold of the classroom—for students or for staff. Faced with a tightrope of when and what to disclose about one’s condition, students often suffer and fail to thrive due to a fear that their medical diagnoses or extenuating emotional situations (which include the ever-increasing stress of simply being in the world, let along the Academy) will either not be taken seriously, or will come with a degree of prejudice that may follow into marking or recommendation-writing. Similarly, staff and faculty can find themselves in a similar situation on the flip-side of that relationship, struggling with their own diagnoses or situations and when/where/how to divulge them (if at all), and/or trying to support students who may or may not feel comfortable being forthcoming with their own struggling. In this conversational workshop, I aim to discuss and brainstorm a) signs to watch for in students and colleagues who may be struggling with mental/emotional pressures, b) compassionate and respectful ways to respond without overstepping boundaries, and c) ways to cultivate better mental and emotional health inside and beyond the classroom for one’s students, one’s peers, one’s colleagues, and oneself.

Panelists:
Katelynn Carver, University of Saint Andrews
A23-306
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Development
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Mastering Online Education: Effective and Engaging Teaching in a Digital Classroom
Saturday - 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

Many colleges and universities are turning their attention to online and hybrid education in order both to expand their student body and accommodate students who are interested in furthering their education but unable to attend as fulltime residential students. This workshop draws on years of experience in digital classrooms to highlight some of the basics of online education from the perspective of a practitioner. It emphasizes key considerations about course design, communication with students, classroom management in an online setting, best practices for student engagement, disability accommodations, and a few tips and tricks learned through years of experience. This workshop proposes a guided conversation during which each of the above topics is discussed briefly with encouragement for students to offer their own questions and insights. In addition to addressing student concerns, this discussion will also highlight current scholarship on best practices in online education and particular challenges associated with digital classrooms and online education.

Panelists:
Andrew Klumpp, Southern Methodist University
A24-100
  • Especially for Students
Graduate Student Committee
Theme: Graduate Student Committee Business Meeting
Rachel Toombs, Baylor University, Presiding
Sunday - 9:00 AM-9:30 AM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

Attention graduate students! We will be holding our annual business meeting in the Student Lounge. We encourage you to attend the meeting, connect with your regional AAR student directors, and share your requests, concerns and/or suggestions for AAR’s 2020 Annual Meeting with the Graduate Student Committee. If there are items you want to be sure are discussed, email Rachel Toombs, AAR Student Director, before the meeting: rstoombs@gmail.com

A24-203
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Development
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Surviving and Even Enjoying Comprehensive Exams
Sunday - 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

The first major hurdle through the PhD process, the qualifying or comprehensive exams, can be an extremely daunting experience. However, with enough preparation and guidance, they can be approached and conquered with a relative amount of calm and determination. Based in personal experience, countless conversations with faculty and other graduate students, and research on preparation strategies, this roundtable will discuss effective tactics for approaching the exams from the first stages of envisioning the exams all the way through the defense. Participants will come away with proven effective strategies concerning how to use coursework to their advantage, how to cultivate a reading list, how to study without going overboard, and how to make the actual process of sitting the exams and the defense as painless as possible. Time will be reserved at the end for the creation of personal timelines to plan for the exams.

Panelists:
Gwendolyn Gillson, Oberlin College
A24-306
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Development
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Teaching the ABCs While Earning Your PhD: How To Live Well While Navigating the Pressures of Parenting and Doctoral Work
Sunday - 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

This workshop offers strategies for navigating the pressures of doctoral work combined with the demands and pleasures of family life. It also seeks to create an environment for creative sharing and brainstorming about ways to both succeed academically while still thriving personally. Attendees can expect to leave with tangible suggestions for scheduling their time, re-imagining where and how work happens, and how to match goals with priorities in order to meet the demands of PhD life while also making space to care for one’s self, nurture important relationships, and raise children. This workshop will provide a one-sheet handout with suggestions for creating support networks, making schedules that work for you, channeling your built-in resources, learning to multi-task efficiently and identify when to focus on a single task, take breaks and be present to enjoy life. These tips will come from a wide swath of resources, from Brigid Schulte’s book Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time, to high performance coaches like Brendon Burchard, to mindfulness teachers like Thich Nhat Hanh. Additionally, I will draw upon my own experiences as a PhD candidate, mom and wife who successfully navigated coursework, comprehensive exams, the beginnings of dissertation research, and even potty training with twin preschoolers.

Panelists:
Marie Purcell, Southern Methodist University
A24-403
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Development
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Surviving Theological Education without Losing Your Soul: Spiritual Practices for Students
Sunday - 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

Our outward quest for success in higher education often comes at a high cost to our interior life and we find ourselves exhausted, spread thin, and wondering why we began this quest in the first place. This roundtable session - appropriate for those of any worldview, will identify the deep needs at the core of your being, suggest practices that nourish the well of creativity and life within you (which ironically brought you to higher education in the first place), and clarify the unique-to-you rhythms that keep the inner and outer parts of your life in balance. As informative as it is formative, this session will leave you centered, refreshed, and inspired for the journey ahead. Come remember who you are and why you are here. Savoy Stevens is a certified spiritual director and member of Spiritual Directors International - an ecumenical and interfaith professional organization. She has also completed postgraduate coursework in interfaith studies. 

Panelists:
Savoy Stevens, Campbell, CA
A25-141
  • Especially for Students
  • Presidential Theme: Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Humanizing the PhD Process: Loving to Learn and Learning to Love
Monday - 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

For several years the AAR has asked its members what it means to be public scholars of religion in our current context. This question assumes that the academy itself sits outside of the violent and oppressive relational structures that it so diligently seeks to resist, yet many graduate student members of the AAR continue to experience dehumanizing pedagogical and relational structures of oppression throughout their PhD process. This often leaves students feeling isolated, full of despair, and stripped of their original passion for their subject matter. This Student Lounge Roundtable takes the cries of graduate students seriously and asks whether the academy can credibly talk about what it means to be effective public scholars of religion while transmitting dehumanizing relational structures from one generation of scholars to the next? We ask ourselves, why should the public even listen to us when we often reflect the exact same relational structures of harm? We need to address the internal root issues before we can talk about our external relationships to whatever people like to define as "the public." During this workshop participants will learn about, discuss, and reflect (as they are comfortable) on at least three initial steps that individuals and institutions might begin to take in order to re-humanize the PhD process so that the academy may start to do the difficult internal work necessary to cultivate scholars of hope rather than scholars of despair. Participants are encouraged to bring a journal or notebook in which to write personal reflections and will be invited to share in the process of envisioning how to humanize the pedagogical and relational structures of the PhD process.

Panelists:
Tekoa Robinson, Lancaster Theological Seminary
Anabel Proffitt, Lancaster Theological Seminary
A25-204
  • Especially for Students
  • Professional Development
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Right on the Money: Funding Your Research and Program of Study
Monday - 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

I currently work as the Scholarship Research Assistant for my school and assist students to find and apply for funds to support their work. In this workshop, I will share best practices for finding what you are eligible to apply for, creating a compelling application, and designing an overall strategy for supporting yourself and your work financially. I also have experience as a grant writer and will share best practices, tips, and techniques for grant-writing more generally. I will cover topics including how to balance your own interests with funders’ priorities and guidelines, communicating clearly and persuasively, and creating a budget that will work for you and speak to your funder.

Panelists:
Sheryl Johnson, Graduate Theological Union
A25-400
  • Especially for Students
  • Presidential Theme: Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces
Student Lounge Roundtable
Theme: Can I Tweet That? How to Engage Responsibly, Form Digital Networking Relationships, and Dispel Social Media Skepticism
Monday - 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

In a world of tweets, posts, likes, and comments, navigating social media can seem worthless. There are no boundaries or rules that govern the digital world leaving many confounded by the lack of ethical and moral ramifications. Your online image becomes an opportunity to express your personal brand and professional ideas. Students, adjunct faculty, and aspiring scholars are now expected to engage the public online—specifically, on social media. Critical conversations are happening on Twitter threads; Facebook memes become sites of affective cultural conversations; and Instagram’s unique thread of curated, live stories connect people to one another in ways that are real and intangible—a humanized digitization of the scholar behind the writing. For the Student Lounge Roundtable, Heidi and Madison will demonstrate effective usage of tags, hashtags, and locations to broaden conversational scopes, and discuss the pros and cons of social media platforms for active and critical engagement with published materials, scholars and faculty, and responsible self-advertising. We will examine Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn—but will reserve time for emerging social media platforms. Madison, a social media manager and religion and media scholar, and Heidi, a religion and media scholar, hope to facilitate an imperative discussion about the REACH of social media: Research, Engagement, Audience, Cleverness, High stakes.

Panelists:
Madison Tarleton, Iliff School of Theology, University of Denver
Heidi Ippolito, Iliff School of Theology, University of Denver