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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 the child, children, and childhood, broadly construed. We especially welcome papers from points of view other than a Euro-American Christian perspective, those that engage indigenous religious traditions, and those that arise from scholarship using anthropological and social scientific theories and methods.

For session proposals, please indicate the style of session you propose, e.g. panel, roundtable, or workshop. Innovative and interactive sessions are especially welcome. In keeping with our commitment to presenting diverse perspectives and voices, we also ask that you indicate the diversity represented by proposed participants.

Specifically, for the 2020 AAR meeting in Boston, we hope to organize sessions around one or more of the following topics, in conversation with religious studies:
• children’s roles and experiences in anti-oppression movements, including desegregation of public schools and labor rights
• immigrant, refugee, and migrant children’s experiences, including cultural and/or literary constructions of them
• children and politics, including political discourse
• the child, children, and childhood in civil religion and nationalist mythology

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 new line of scholarly inquiry.


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

Our proposal process strives to be as fair and equitable as possible. We make a concerted effort to include a diverse range of topics and methodologies, as part of our focus on presenting compelling sessions, and we continue to pursue partnerships with another units. This year, we have included a request for indications of the diversity of panelists with any session proposals.