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Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit

Call for Proposals

Diversity is a core value of the ANARCS unit. For this reason, we encourage organizers of pre-formed panels to invite participants that are diverse in regard to ethnicity, religion, gender, and professional status. In addition, we especially welcome proposals that focus on communities that have been historically underrepresented, including Southeast Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, and non-Christian communities.

• New publications in the study of Asian/Pacific Islander American religion. In particular, we invite proposals for sessions that bring multiple publications into conversation with one another and that initiate conversation about significant new thematic, theoretical, and methodological developments in the field of A/PIA religion.

• New religious developments in A/PIA religious life. Proposals for sessions addressing this aspect of the CFP may address the emergence of new religious communities, institutions, beliefs and theologies, practices, and more.

• A/PIA religious life and its connection to political engagement and community activism. Proposals for sessions might consider, for example, A/PIA religious involvement in electoral politics, the U.S. census, the protests at Mauna Kea, and other forms of protest and political activity.

Two more possibilities:
The unit is also exploring the possibility of a roundtable discussion among panelists invited by a diverse group of units to respond to the 2020 US election. [Persons interested in being considered for this panel should contact the unit's co-chairs.]

For a possible co-sponsored session with the Class, Religion, and Theology unit, the Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society unit, the Religions in the Latina/o Americas unit, the Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society unit, we welcome proposals on the topic of "the Labor of Black, Brown, Yellow, and Indigenous Racialized Bodies in/and U.S. Religious Traditions." Proposals may address the following or related questions:

• How does the concept of labor, with its multiple connotations of both economic production and social reproduction, offer a useful way to make sense of black, brown, yellow, and indigenous racialized bodies' participation in U.S. religious traditions?

• What distinct kinds of labor have brown, indigenous, yellow, or black racialized people been expected to perform in our own religious communities and/or in predominantly white religious communities?

• How has labor (productive and/or reproductive) been a site for religious expression and/or resistance to oppression by indigenous, yellow, black, or brown racialized bodies?

• How have labor hierarchies and the labor of subordinated racial groups been sacralized?

• How is the religious labor of yellow, black, indigenous or brown racialized people further unequalized by hierarchies of gender and sexuality?

Historical, ethnographic, sociological, theological, and critical theory methods are all welcome.

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.


  • Melissa Borja, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
  • SueJeanne Koh, University of California, Irvine
    1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024

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

Review Process Comments

No further comments at this time.