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Graduate Student Committee - Special Topics Forum

Call for Proposals

Special Topics Forum: The Work of Our Hands - Reflexivity and Public Scholarship

Call For Papers

Directly inspired by this year’s Presidential Theme - La Labor de Nuestras Manos or “The Work of Our Hands” - the Graduate Student Committee invites papers that reflect on the topics of reflexivity, scholarship, and the public for our Special Topics Forum. We intend for this forum to be an accessible space for all current graduate students, regardless of their present stage in their academic journeys. Masters and PhD students are encouraged to submit!

We welcome papers that consider one or many of the following themes: public scholarship, the scholar’s relationship to their own work, alternate streams of work beyond the traditional tenure-track pipeline, and understudied communities and focuses. We welcome submissions that reflect on these concepts from different angles. We also welcome papers that explore these topics as they appear in the contexts that scholars study. Reflexivity is in the title, after all.

What is the public understanding of religion? How do communities, individuals, and collectives understanding, or lack of understanding, of religion influence our scholarship’s creation, impact, and method? Whose hands are involved in our work? Who helps us? Who hinders us? Who is underrepresented in our work when it is published and circulated?

What is the work of our hands? Our minds? What methods do you use, what do you study? Why do you study the particular interests that you study?

Additionally, we wish to highlight not only communities rarely studied, but graduate student scholars who are exploring different career tracks. Whether they may be “alt-ac” or outside of academia, what are alternatives to traditional tenure-line roles in the academy that utilize the work of our hands? Why is the work of our hands important to explore in different streams outside of the academy, and how can we do so in this current time?

Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for papers that could be presented in 10-15 minutes. This forum will be in-person at AAR '23 in San Antonio.

Please email your proposal (~250 words) and a CV to Maxine Katz ( and Sabina Ali ( by March 14, 2023.

Method of Submission: E-mail with Attachment (proposal is in attachment, not in body of e-mail), PDF or DOCX preferred.


Steering Committee Members


E-mail with Attachment (proposal is in attachment, not in body of e-mail)

Review Process

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