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Energy, Extraction, and Religion Seminar

Call for Proposals

The Energy, Extraction, and Religion Seminar invites paper proposals that broadly align with the Seminar’s efforts to center coloniality and racial capitalism in the study of religion. We especially welcome proposals for brief (five-to-seven minute) presentations that:

  • dialogue with the 2023 presidential theme, “La Labor de Nuestras Manos,” to critique forms of academic knowledge production that rely on extraction and extractive methods, and/or advance counterhegemonic ways of knowing and collaborating in the study of religion;
  • commemorate the 50th anniversary of Charles Long’s AAR presidency, by thinking with Long’s generative ideas about the nexus of matter, modernity, and religion as well as his enduring work on the roots of religion in colonization and racialization;
  • assume a spirit of transdisciplinary collaboration to discuss the significance of “energy” in the study of religion, theorize about the relationship between matter and energy, and develop conversations that connect religion and theology with the energy humanities and environmental humanities.

To facilitate a collective model of knowledge production, these brief provocations will be pre-circulated among panelists and presented at the Annual Meeting with prepared and impromptu responses.

Statement of Purpose

This seminar provides an intellectual space to foreground relations, dynamics, and critiques among religion, energy, and extraction. For scholars in a variety of humanistic and social scientific disciplines, extractivism provides a conceptual rubric through which to re-conjoin analyses of racialization and exploitation with concerns about ecology and sustainability. This is particularly the case in the environmental and energy humanities. In light of multidisciplinary scholarly discourses on extractivism, this seminar aims to conscientiously link social and ecological justice questions as a matter of theoretical and methodological rigor; to explicitly and directly attend to racial capitalism and coloniality as constitutive of environmental crises; to facilitate and improve dialogue between religion scholars and the environmental humanities, focusing attention on the religious dimensions of energy intensive and extractive cultures; and engage in reflexive analyses of the study and constructions of religion in, with, and through cultures of energy and extractivism.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs and steering committee members at all times