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Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

Roundtable on New Books: Transpacific Asian American Religions

What is a transpacific approach to Asian American religions in particular and American religions in general? How does it shape historical and social scientific approaches to studying religion? How does a transpacific turn help us rethink the religious and secular as well as categories such as race, empire and the state? We engage these questions at the intersection of Melissa Borja’s Follow the New Way, Helen Jin Kim’s Race for Revival and Justin Tse’s The Secular in a Sheet of Scattered Sand.


Paper Session on the History and Future of Asian American Religious Studies

In 2024, we celebrate ANARCS’ 30th anniversary and APARRI’s 25th anniversary. We reflect on the history of these foundational organizations and developments within the field of Asian American religious studies. In discussing the state of the field, we also engage the 2023 Pew report, “Religion among Asian Americans”, to anticipate future trajectories and trends. In this paper session, we especially invite reflection upon the study of underrepresented communities and traditions in Asian American religious studies, including Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh communities as well as those who identify as atheist, agnostic, “spiritual but not religious,” and with multiple traditions.


Paper Session on Asian American Religions and Secularisms

The Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit and the Secularism and Secularity Unit seek paper and panel proposals that address APIA religions and religious communities in relationship to secularism. For example, how have APIA communities navigated competing systems of secular discourse and state power between Asia and North America? How have disparate cultural dynamics or state institutions across the Pacific shaped APIA religions? Are there ways that APIA religions shift our understanding of secularism(s)? We welcome analyses that explore how trans-Pacific religious communities encounter, contest, or conform to competing definitions of religion, race, science, nation, or liberty.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit (hereafter referred to as ANARCS) is one of the primary vehicles for the advancement of the study of the religions and practices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States and Canada. As an integral player in the development of the emerging field of Asian American religious studies, ANARCS has cultivated the work of junior and senior scholars from an impressive array of disciplines, including the history of religion, sociology, theology, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, psychology, education, and American and ethnic studies. ANARCS encourages new perspectives on Asian North American religious practices and faith communities, as well as innovative theoretical work that extends the concepts of empires, diaspora, transnationalism, globalization, im/migration, orientalism, adaptation, acculturation, race, ethnicity, marginalization, oppression, and resistance. In addition to this list of concepts, ANARCS will explore theoretical, philosophical, and theological concepts, such as aesthetics, beauty, and love. ANARCS seeks to foster and mentor scholars (junior, senior, and nontraditional) through preconference sessions, gathering for meals, and maintaining a robust listserv.


Steering Committee Members


Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection