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Religion, Affect, and Emotion Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

The Religion, Affect, and Emotion program unit is primarily interested in proposals on two topics for the 2024 Annual Meeting, though we are also open to proposals outside of these themes that do work relevant to Religion, Affect, and Emotion.

Emotion and Affect in Black Theology

In A Black Theology of Liberation, James Cone declares that "Theological language is passionate language, the language of commitment,

because it is language which seeks to vindicate the afflicted and condemn the enforcers of evil" (pp. 17-18, 20th anniversary ed.). Taking seriously the ongoing need for such passionate language, we are interested in proposals that explore emotion and affect as they are:

  • discussed in Black theological texts
  • experienced in reading Black theological texts
  • experienced in engaging in the broader political or ecclesial work of Black theology


Shadow Conference 2024

Our "shadow conference" sessions at the 2023 annual meeting brought theory and personal narrative together to consider the affective dimensions of academic labor. Importantly, these sessions pressed toward the need for practical responses to those aspects of our labor that challenge us. In hopes of continuing our shared exploration of what lies under, lurks behind, and bursts through our academic institutional lives, we invite proposals that explore, in an affective vein:

  • individual-structural tensions of academic labor
  • politically empowering affects amidst the Higher Ed Industrial Complex
  • living and feeling "past the collapse" of academia as we had come to know it/believe it to be

In our "shadow conference," we once again welcome the playful bending of usual presentation norms and forms. Given this past year's lively conversation, we are once again particularly interested in constructing a "lightning session" of 8-10 minute presentations. Please indicate in your proposal if you are open to being included for consideration in this format.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit provides space for theoretically-informed discussion of the relationship between religion, affect, and emotion. The Unit serves as a meeting point for conversations on the affective, noncognitive, and passional dimensions of religion coming from diverse fields, including anthropology, comparative religion, psychology, decolonial theory, gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and theology. Proposals drawing on these theoretical resources to examine specific religious traditions, shifting historical understandings of religion and affect/emotion, comparative work that looks at affective forms across traditions, and broader theoretical reflections are all welcome.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members