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Arts, Literature, and Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

This year the Arts, Literature and Religion Unit solicits proposals for the following topics, but also welcomes proposals for any papers or preferably pre-formed panels related to any aspect of Arts, Literature and Religion. We are hoping for a rich slate of panels that display a wide range of religious expression, using varied media (including the performing arts) that span geographical locales and the premodern, modern, and contemporary periods. The ALR is also committed to diversity, and we want to encourage potential presenters and panel organizers to propose topics that will attract a wide audience and that are explicitly and deliberately inclusive of racial and ethnic identities, gender identities and sexual orientations, socio-economic / class status, varied types of academic appointments (e.g. graduate students, contingent faculty, early, mid-, late-career professors, international colleagues, and independent scholars) at a variety of institutional types. The presidential theme this year is "Religion, Poverty and Inequality: Contemplating Our Collective Futures” and we welcome proposals on this topic in addition to any and all proposals.

Deferred from 2020:
1) Whose Rooster: A Roundtable on Thoreau, Melville, and Transcendentalist Environmental Politics
2) Performing Race, Religion and the Secular
3) Visions of the End: Wastelands, Doomsdays, and Ecological Collapse in Art and Literature
Call For Papers:
1) The Literature of Ted Chiang – for a potential co-sponsored panel with the Science Fiction and Religion Unit and Religion and Popular Culture. We solicit proposals that engage the work of Ted Chiang in tandem with theories or tropes of religion and/or science fiction. We are receptive to a wide range of critical approaches that engage any of Chiang’s novels, short stories or collections
2) Theology, Literature, and the Arts: Proposals may include but are not limited to: Literary and artistic approaches to theological works, theological analysis of literary texts and art, rituals and art, music and theology. Contact: Gloria Maité Hernández
3) Indigenous women’s literature as ceremony / as medicine. Contact: Ken Derry
4) Religious Exile in Arts and Literature (accepting new and re-submission of 2020 proposals)
5) Religious Art and Literature in post-Communist countries (accepting new and re-submission of 2020 proposals)
6) Religion in the literature of plague and pandemic
7) Religious representations of poverty in art and literature (to fit the 2021 theme)
8) Open Call: Contact Pamela Winfield

Statement of Purpose

This Unit seeks to engage the critical issues at the intersection of religion, literature, and the arts. We are concerned with both the aesthetic dimensions of religion and the religious dimensions of literature and the arts, including the visual, performative, written, and verbal arts. Approaches to these two avenues of concern are interdisciplinary and varied, including both traditional methodologies — theological, hermeneutical, and comparative approaches associated with the history of religions — and emerging methodologies, those that emerge from poststructuralism, studies in material culture, and cultural studies.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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

Review Process Comments

I would like to change this next year so that "proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members at all times.". Thanks.