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Religion, Affect, and Emotion Unit

Call for Proposals

Future Loss, Future Hope
Futures loom or beckon, and pulse with affective charge in the now. How do the oncoming collapses of planetary ecosystems, climate stability, and the privilege of comfort and safety reverberate affectively in religious lives, ideas and communities? What are the affects that attend and bear the future and its approach(es)? What are the affects of the future or the affects of a future as always already present?
Dystopia/ utopia/ apocalypse/Afro-pessimism/capitalism/ecology/death/ and the affects of religious climate activism

The Affects of Knowledge Production
How and where do religion, feeling, and knowledge production fuse? What is the felt (including erotic) life of scholarship, especially scholarship on religion? What does critique feel like, including capturing knowledge, the thrill of the kill, and intellectual lure? Where does power live in these feelings? What are the affective contours of "living speech" versus "deadening lecture," for instance? Also seeking histories of negotiations between "the passions" and cognitive endeavors as they are construed relative to religion/the gods and/or secularity.
cognitive science/reason/sexuality/ancient philosophy

The Affective Life of Sense-making, Truth, and Persuasion in an Age of Alternative Facts
rhetoric/negotiation/critical theory/social conflict/outrage/adamancy

Affect and Devices
What are the religious affects of absorption, addiction, obsession, and social mobilization in our pockets?
social media/technology/visual and virtual culture/practices of attention

The Affects of Knowledge Production
How and where do religion, feeling, and knowledge production fuse? What is the felt (including erotic) life of scholarship, especially scholarship on religion? What does critique feel like, including capturing knowledge, the thrill of the kill, and intellectual lure? Where does power live in these feelings? What are the affective contours of "living speech" versus "deadening lecture," for instance? Also seeking histories of negotiations between "the passions" and cognitive endeavors as they are construed relative to religion/the gods and/or secularity.
cognitive science/reason/sexuality/ancient philosophy

There will also be a book session (co-sponsored with Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative) on Maia Kotrosits’ The Lives of Objects: Material Culture, Experience, and the Real in the History of Early Christianity (Chicago, 2029). Panelists will be invited.

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.

Chairs

Steering Committee Members

Method

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

Review Process

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

Review Process Comments

This method has helped us to ensure our group's excellence in diversity throughout our panels.