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Religion in Premodern Europe and the Mediterranean Unit

Call for Proposals

We welcome proposals on all topics related to the Unit's subject matter, broadly conceived. Proposals that are themselves comparative in nature or that present novel approaches to the study of premodern religion are particularly welcome. We encourage the submission of preformed panel proposals suitable for 90-minute time slots. We also encourage the submission of individual paper proposals for panels on the following subjects:


Teach this Image (Co-sponsored with the Arts, Literature and Religion Unit )

This session will be oriented towards how we use images and material objects in pedagogy. Contributors would pick an image (or crafted piece of any kind - liturgical implement, garment, mask, sculpture, relief, amulet, architectural site or feature), that has been useful in teaching and examine or describe its pedagogical use and what the object has been fruitful to illuminate. The images should be selected from things easily available since the session is envisioned as a way of sharing resources. To include more papers we request shorter talks (8-12 minutes).


Intersecting Narratives: Religious, Political, and Personal Stories

This session will explore how Christian, Muslim, and Jewish stories intersect and influence each other. It starts with the assumption that narratives are useful to think with because they allow study of the way the social and the self are contiguous; they establish the grounds for thinking of the present in relation to the past, and religions in relation to one another. When stories move between religious traditions, how do they change? In what ways might such translation re-present public or private perceptions of a situation, or articulate different conceptions of the self and the social?


Author Meets Critics: Leah DeVun The Shape of Sex

We plan an Author-meets-Critics session to discuss Leah DeVun’s new important book, The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance(Columbia, 2021)  While we may invite some panelists, we are also interested in soliciting abstracts from potential respondents interested in issues of gender and sexuality in the different religious traditions of pre-modern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit aims to bring together scholars working on premodern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in order to create a venue in which religious phenomena can be considered comparatively. Individual papers may be embedded in a single tradition, but presenters should be interested in engaging this material comparatively during the discussion period.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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

Review Process Comments