This Unit focuses on theoretical, methodological, and conceptual issues in the study of indigenous religious traditions the world over. Though particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of indigenous religions, we are primarily grounded in the “history of religions” approach as it concerns the analysis of indigenous traditions. This Unit also emphasizes Indigenous Methodologies among other Humanities and Social Sciences approaches. The Unit is also concerned with the interface of indigenous religious traditions and modernity, colonial and postcolonial conditions, and local and global forces that shape the practice of indigenous traditions and their categorizations.
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Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit
Call for Proposals
1) Faith in a Time of COVID-19: Religion & Public Health Measures
Co-sponsored session: Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit, the African Religions Unit, and the Religions, Medicines, and Healing Unit.
This panel considers religious communities’ responses to public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, including restrictions on religious gatherings, mask wearing, and vaccine compliance. With attention to the history of medical racism and religious persecution, papers may also explore various communities’ experience of health disparities and access to healthcare. We especially welcome proposals addressing these issues from Africana and other Indigenous religious perspectives.
2) Indigenous Religions, Rights, and Borders
Co-Sponsored Session: Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit, Native Traditions in the Americas Unit, and the Religion and Human Rights Unit.
We invite papers for a joint session concerning Indigenous rights across borders, land repatriation, religious freedom, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Any papers on these topics will be considered. Given the location of the Annual Meeting in San Antonio, we especially encourage papers that explore the southern border of the U.S., rights and critique of rights from Indigenous perspectives, and mythologies about colonial expansion in the Southwest and beyond.
3) Indigenous Breath, Breathing, and Embodiment
The Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit invites proposals that explore the spiritual practice and creativity surrounding breath, breathing, and embodiment from global and comparative indigenous perspectives. Topics might include indigenous breath as related to COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, air quality, contemplative practices, body work, healing, and creativity.
4) Indigenous Motherhood, Child-Rearing, and Justice
The Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit invites proposals that explore traditional Indigenous practices of birthing and childrearing, but also related contemporary issues of care giving and reproductive rights. We also welcome proposals addressing indigenous conceptions of gender, motherhood, and coming of age ceremonies.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Gregory D. Alles, McDaniel College1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Mary Churchill, Sonoma State University1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Elana Jefferson-Tatum, Tufts University1/1/2016 - 12/31/2021
Dana Lloyd, Washington University, St. Louis1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Danoye Oguntola-Laguda, Lagos State University1/1/2016 - 12/31/2021
Meaghan Weatherdon, University of Toronto1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025