This Unit fosters interdisciplinary and theoretically innovative analyses of Latina/o and Latin American religiosities and spiritualities in the Americas. We explore the richness and diversity of religious traditions in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, highlighting the complex and often explosive relations between religion and politics in the region, the centrality of religion in the Americas since pre-Conquest times, and the global significance of religious events and lived religion in the region. Our goal is to advance knowledge and ways of knowing that expand traditional areas of religious studies throughout the Americas, mindful of transnational and global realities. Thus, we encourage studies that explore non-Western beliefs and practices, including the indigenous, the African diasporic, Buddhist, and Islamic, as well as those that advance more complex understanding of culturally hybrid Christianities. We encourage feminist- and queer-centered perspectives as well as thought rooted in community experience. Diverse disciplinary and methodological perspectives are highlighted in presentation of this scholarship.
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Religions in the Latina/o Americas Unit
Call for Proposals
The Religions in Latina/o Americas Unit is interested in individual paper and pre-arranged panel proposals that advance interdisciplinary and theoretically innovative analyses of Latina/o/x and Latin American religiosities and spiritualities in the Americas. Additionally, we are interested in paper and panel proposals related to the list of topics below, as well book panels, “new format sessions,” and emerging scholarship panels. We also seek individual paper proposals for our co-sponsored session.
Please note: When submitting your proposal, please identify the proposal as either an INDIVIDUAL or PANEL proposal, and please indicate whether you would like to be considered for our co-sponsored panel.
This year, we encourage submissions related to the presidential theme, Religion, Poverty and Inequality: Contemplating Our Collective Futures and how this intersects with religion in the Latina/o Americas and Latinx communities everywhere.
In addition, we are especially interested in papers and panels that address the following topics:
The impact of COVID-19 on Latinx communities
Themes from the 2020 Presidential election, especially related to the AAR 2021 theme of Religion, Poverty, and Inequality.
Borders, migration, and Texas
Religion and Authoritarianism in the U.S. and Latin America
Religion and religiosity in Brazil and Brazilian communities throughout the Americas.
African diasporic religion in Latin America and Latino/a/x communities in the U.S.
Islam in Latinx and Latin American communities
Religion and spirituality in Indigenous communities, including transnational communities and connections
Latinx and Latin American queer studies
Religion in the Spanish speaking Caribbean and Latinx Caribbean communities in the US
For a co-sponsored session with the Liberation Theologies Unit, Black Theology Unit, Class, Religion, and Theology Unit, Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit, Religion and Economy Unit, we invite proposals for a panel provisionally titled, “Fifty years of Teología de la Liberación – Examining Gustavo Gutiérrez’s influence and the task of the liberation of theology.” In 1971 Gustavo Gutiérrez published the article “Hacia Una Teología de la Liberación”, followed by one of the most influential books of the 20th century, Teología de la Liberación: Perspectivas. To mark this year of celebrations, reflections, and conversations on this important anniversary we invite proposals that creatively engage Gutiérrez’s work from a variety of interdisciplinary lenses and contexts. We especially invite proposals that bring Gutiérrez’s contributions in contact with current challenges and future visions of the liberation of theology and theologies that seek to liberate, including problematizing the meaning(s) and praxis of liberation across the theological disciplines.
Prearranged Panel Sessions
In addition to accepting INDIVIDUAL paper proposals, our unit will also consider PANEL proposals, which usually consist of 3-4 presenters, along with a moderator and a respondent. In addition to prearranged panel proposals related to our general call and areas of particular interest this year, we also encourage proposals for book panel sessions and emerging scholarship sessions.
Book Panel Sessions
These sessions work best when 2-3 authors work together to propose a panel with a single, overarching theme. Each panelist should submit an individual proposal that makes reference to the larger theme, and the panel as a whole should determine ahead of time who the respondent(s) will be. These "New Book" sessions are meant not merely to highlight the merits of each book, but, more substantially, to serve as springboards for a larger group discussion (i.e,. What broader issues are raised by placing the books in conversation with one another?)
Emerging Scholarship Session
We encourage 1) doctoral students and recent Ph.D. graduates working in the area of the Latina/o Americas who 2) have never presented at the national AAR meeting to submit papers. To apply, upload your individual paper proposal in the AAR’s PAPERS system, explicitly labeling it as an "Emerging Scholarship” submission.
Membership is not required to submit a proposal in response to the Call for Papers. However, all participants accepted to the program must be current AAR members and registered for the Annual Meeting by June 15, 2018. Membership waivers are available to participants working outside the field of the study of religion or participants from developing nations. Contact the program Unit chair for more details on how to arrange a waiver.
Questions may be directed to the group's co-chairs.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Matthew Casey-Pariseault, Arizona State University1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Justin Doran, Middlebury College1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Alejandro Escalante, University of North Carolina1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Jennifer Scheper Hughes, University of California, Riverside1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Harold Morales, Morgan State University1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Chris Tirres, DePaul University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Cecilia Titizano, Graduate Theological Union1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024