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Childhood Studies and Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

The Childhood Studies and Religion Unit welcomes proposals for individual papers and sessions that engage the intersection of religion and childhood or children, broadly construed. We are especially interested in proposals from non-Euro-American and non-Christian perspectives, and we welcome a range of methodologies from across the humanities and the social sciences.

For the 2023 AAR Annual Meeting, we hope to organize sessions around one or more of the following topics:

  • children in the archives: the challenges of finding and representing children and their experiences, across different methodologies and different types of archives.
  • childhood and place/region: How is the experience of childhood affected by region and place? How does the concept of childhood shift between different regions? What happens to children in (geographical or conceptual) borderlands? (Proposals engaging with the Annual Meeting theme, La Labor de Nuestras Manos, are welcome everywhere, but especially here.)
  • Black girlhood studies: new directions and intersections with religion and religious studies (please email if you are interested in a roundtable)
  • children, childhood, and disability: how are disabled children represented across different times, places, and traditions? How do they appear (or disappear) in religious spaces? Is it possible to separate the study of children and disability from the long history of infantilizing people with disabilities?

For session proposals, please indicate the type of session you are proposing (panel or roundtable); innovative and interactive sessions are especially welcome, and our co-chairs are happy to discuss what category might best fit any given proposal. In keeping with our commitment to presenting diverse perspectives and voices in each of our sessions, we also urge you to indicate what types of diversity your proposal or participants might represent.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit’s overall aim is to investigate the complex and multifaceted relation between religion and childhood. The specific goals of the Unit are as follows: • Provide a forum for focused interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue about the diverse relations of children and religion • Heighten academic interest in this topic in all fields represented in the AAR • Prepare scholars in religious studies to contribute to wider academic discussions about children and childhoods • Lend the voice of the academy to current questions of public policy and child advocacy The focus of the Unit is both timely and significant given the present concern for children across the globe and the rising interdisciplinary academic interest in childhood studies. The Unit functions as a forum at the AAR for advancing childhood studies as a line of scholarly inquiry; we also welcome collaborations with other AAR program units for which childhood studies represents a "new" intervention.


  • Wendy Love Anderson, Washington University, Saint Louis
    1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
  • Kishundra King, Vanderbilt University
    1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028

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