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Secularism and Secularity Unit

Call for Proposals

  1. A possible co-sponsored session with Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Unit on religion, secularism, and the ontological turn. We encourage interdisciplinary proposals that bring together questions of difference and ontology as they’ve recently been theorized by scholars of affect studies, decolonial and postcolonial theory, and critical studies of religion and science.

  2. A possible author-meets-critics session on the work of Janet Jakobsen, particularly her recent monograph The Sex Obsession: Perversity and Possibility in American Politics (NYU, 2020)

  3. A roundtable on future directions for the study of secularism/secularity. This panel, originally scheduled for AAR 2020, is designed to bring together junior and established scholars for a conversation on the topic. While some of its participants will roll over from the previous year, we also invite emerging scholars making interventions in interdisciplinary secular studies to put forward proposals for inclusion on this panel.

Statement of Purpose

The Secularism and Secularity Unit explores a broad a set of questions associated with the secular, including its complex entanglements with religion and spirituality. This inquiry entails the study of political secularism and its role in the construction of religion, as well as the study of secular people, who can be described with a variety of labels including atheist, agnostic, humanist, and freethinker. It also includes an ongoing reappraisal of the historical transformations named by “secularization,” which signal the emergence of the modern and presuppose a break from the premodern. The group fosters new directions in secular studies by encouraging theoretically informed research that makes empirical contributions and engages with the subfield’s rapidly growing interdisciplinary literature.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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

Review Process Comments

Process: Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members Proposal submissions are closed but as a Chair you may continue to submit proposals.