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Animals and Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

This Unit addresses issues in the study of animals and religion and seeks to engage religion scholars with the emergent field of animal studies. We welcome theoretically informed paper and panel proposals on all topics related to these themes. We particularly value papers that attend to real animals, alongside theoretical constructs, imagery, or representations pertaining to them, and to intersectionality with key issues such as race, gender and disability. We especially seek proposals on the following topics in 2020:

• Animals, religion, and incarceration
• Queer/trans theory, religion, and animals
• Animals, religion, and the construction of whiteness
• The connections between animalization/dehumanization, genocide, and animal extinction

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this Unit is to advance scholarship by providing a forum for scholars whose work addresses relevant issues in the study of animals and religion, and to engage religious studies scholars with the emergent field of animal studies. The Unit emphasizes the theoretical implications of attention to animals for the study of religion and a diversity of approaches, including, but not limited to:

• Cultural and comparative history of religions
• Critical theory
• Ethnography and anthropology of religion
• Descriptions of the role(s) religious/theological traditions have played in mediating images of nonhuman animals
• Assessments of relationships between religious constructions of animals and those animals


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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

Review Process Comments

The Animals and Religion Unit is committed to diversity and inclusivity. Pre-arranged panels should reflect gender and racial/ethnic diversity as well as diversity of field, method, and scholarly rank. Papers and pre-arranged sessions are first reviewed anonymously by the entire steering committee, including co-chairs, and rated on the basis of merit and fit. The co-chairs then look at the names of submitters to support diversity and to consider factors such as the number of times the scholar has presented in our group (we give preference to scholars who have not presented in the group in the last five years).