CALLS FOR PAPERS: WECSOR 2010
Western Commission for the Study of Religion
AAR/WR is a member of WECSOR
Arizona State University
March 13-15, 2010
DEADLINE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS: SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
Program Participant Form
(Required for ALL participants)
This year’s theme, La Frontera, calls for analyses of the various borders that exist in our world and in our lives: geographical, chronological, theological, and transformational. While La Frontera can be translated as border or boundary, it can also indicate a frontier, and in that sense the conference theme invites participants to pursue undeveloped fields of study and other topics needing research and investigation. The borderlands — social, cultural, spiritual, as well as geographical — that exist between multiple social identities can be examined. Stepping across theoretical and disciplinary boundaries is encouraged. Identifying limits and limitations, transgressing boundaries of all kinds, and exploring new frontiers — that is, what La Frontera is intended to evoke and provoke.
Proposals are due to Section Chairs by September 30, 2009. You must be a member of the national American Academy of Religion to present a paper at the Western Regional AAR meeting.
A good proposal includes the following:
1) A cover sheet that includes your name, address, email address, title of paper, and 100-word abstract.
2) A second sheet that includes the title of your paper and a 200- to 250-word proposal, typed, double-spaced. Do not include your name on this sheet.
3) Remember to submit your Program Participant Form (available on WECSOR site at www.aarweb.org/About_AAR/Regions/Western/Website/call.asp) along with your proposal.
4) The AAR/Western Region may be able to use the national OP3 online submission form. Check back for details.
Queer Caucus Preconference Session on “Queering the Syllabus”
The Queer Caucus is soliciting contributions for a preconference panel on “Queering the Syllabus.” We seek contributions from queer and straight members of the academy. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, using queer theory in the academic study of religion, considering where interdisciplinary studies (specifically those addressing gender, race, and ethics) intersect with queer religious theory, incorporating homoerotic narratives and imagery in the teaching of canonical scriptures, and uncovering the contributions of past scholars who can be shown to have had homoerotic orientations or behaviors. A further area of exploration includes the relation of the queered syllabus to “being out.” What kinds of dynamics does a queered syllabus open between queer and straight students? Does a queered syllabus automatically “out” the professor? We hope for contributions from a wide spectrum of subdisciplines in the field. Please send submissions to Dirk von der Horst at email@example.com.
Buddhist Studies Section
We invite papers relevant to Buddhist Studies and the 2010 conference theme, La Frontera. We hope to hold two sessions on any topic of interest within Buddhist Studies but are very interested in proposals dealing with Buddhism in America. We also hope the proposals will reflect on responses to modernity; in particular, intersections and divergences between the categories of “traditional” and “modern” Buddhism. Proposals for this session should be sent via e-mail to Buddhist Studies Chair Dr. Kenneth Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org and Cochair Brooke Schedneck at email@example.com.
Education and Workshops Section
Submissions for papers and panels are welcome on all topics in teaching religious studies or theology. Please send all proposals to Karen Crozier at Karen.Crozier@fresno.edu or Karencr80@hotmail.com and to Bret Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ethics Section invites proposals from a wide range of religious and academic disciplines providing ethical analysis related to the 2010 conference theme, La Frontera. This year, we will host two sessions. One session is open to papers related to ethics in general, but preferably engaging the issue of boundaries/borders and the ways in which these are constructed, maintained, and removed. The second session will focus exclusively on the ethics of belief, which includes topics concerned with missions, proselytization, apologetics, pluralism, tolerance, and violence. These sessions aim to facilitate interaction between traditional approaches to ethics and novel ways of presenting and understanding the topic. All participants must send a Participant Form (available on the website) along with their proposal (200–300 words). Submissions may be sent via e-mail to Brandon M. Crowe at Brandon.Crowe@asu.edu.
Goddess Studies Section
The Goddess Studies Section invites papers on the themes of cosmogony, music, nature, ruling, and/or largely misunderstood or underrepresented goddesses/female divines within the established religious traditions. Documentation and (re-)interpretation of renowned or hidden goddesses from around the world are also welcome. Papers that substantiate feminist and/or interdisciplinary methodologies will be given priority for consideration. Please send an abstract of your paper (about 500 words) along with the Participant Form to Helen Hye-Sook Hwang at email@example.com, Annette Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Laura Truxler at Laura.Truxler@gmail.com.
History of Christianity Section
We invite papers relevant to the history of Christianity and the 2010 conference theme, La Frontera. We will hold two sessions. The first session will address immigration’s impact on the study of the history of Christianity: crossing borders, changing demographics, and reverse missions. The second session will rethink epochal boundaries in the history of Christianity: early, Medieval, Modern, and Postmodern. Do these even make sense anymore? Are they laden with Western conceptions? Proposals for these sessions should be sent via e-mail to History of Christianity cochairs Marianne Delaporte at email@example.com and Dyron Daughrity at Dyron.Daughrity@pepperdine.edu. All participants must send a Participant Form along with their proposal.
Indigenous Religions Section
This year’s theme, La Frontera, calls for analyses of the various borders that exist in our world and in our lives: geographical, chronological, theological, and transformational. While La Frontera can be translated as border or boundary, it can also indicate a frontier, and in that sense the Indigenous Religions Section invites participants to pursue undeveloped fields of study and other topics needing research and investigation in relation to the religious world and/or the religious practices of indigenous peoples around the world. The area of indigenous religions has frequently debated the nature of the borderlands — social, cultural, spiritual, as well as geographical — which exist between multiple social identities, seeking to understand ways in which the boundaries of religious experience are at times sharply defined and at times exceedingly porous. Stepping across theoretical and disciplinary boundaries is encouraged. Identifying limits and limitations, transgressing boundaries of all kinds, and exploring new frontiers — that is what La Frontera is intended to evoke and provoke. Please send your proposal to Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Islamic Studies Section
The Islamic Studies Section encourages the submission of proposals that are related to the academic study of Islam. We are particularly interested in papers that touch directly or indirectly on the 2010 theme of La Frontera (border, boundary, or frontier). This theme calls for analyses of the many types of boundaries, including geographical, spiritual, cultural, chronological, theological, transformational, and theoretical, that are found in our societies and in our lives. You are also welcome to submit papers having to do with Islamic studies that are unrelated to the topic of the conference. Proposals, no more than two pages in length, and Participant Forms should be sent by email to Cochair Souad Ali at Souad.Ali@asu.edu and Cochair Sophia Pandya at email@example.com.
Jewish Studies Section
The Jewish Studies Section seeks any papers related to the session topic of La Frontera. We are looking for contributions on the question of hybrid religious Jewish identities and Crypto Jewish identities. A modern day example of blending borders is the phenomenon of the Bu-Jew or Jew-Bu, Hindu Jew, Jews for Jesus, and Jewish Cowboys. We have an interest in papers that might explore Hannah Arendt’s concept of Jews as pariah and parvenu. We welcome papers that examine the differences in experience of Jewish identities in colonized culture (Europe, Africa, Middle East, India etc.). Does having a colonized identity impact border crossing? We are also interested in papers that take into consideration the impact of dominant culture on the social and physical identities of border crossing, such as the alteration of the physical, racial, and gender bodies of interest. We welcome any paper on Jewish studies. See also the Call for Papers for the jointly sponsored Queer Studies and Jewish Studies session. Proposals and Participant Forms should be sent by e-mail to Emily Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org and Saba Soomekh at email@example.com.
Latina/o and Latin American Religions Section
The Latina/o and Latin American Religions Section is currently seeking a Section chair. Please see the Religion in America Section for submitting paper proposals.
Nineteenth Century Section
This Section is intended to provide a forum for the study of various religions around the world in the nineteenth century. We especially encourage topics on particular religious people, religious objects, or religious places that are related to events or issues unique to the nineteenth century. We also invite papers or panels that reflect the 2010 conference theme, La Frontera. The Nineteenth Century Section will plan two sessions. For the first, in the spirit of frontiers, we welcome papers that focus on religion in the American West. For the second, we invite all papers having to do with nineteenth century religion and especially, those that focus on religion and identity boundaries, including themes of class, gender, race, or sexuality. A variety of disciplinary methods are welcome, particularly historical and comparative approaches. Please send your proposal and Participant Form via e-mail attachment to cochairs Natalie Fawcett at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kristy Slominski at email@example.com. If you are proposing a panel of three to four papers, please include short abstracts for each paper on the panel and a short description of your panel theme.
Philosophy of Religion Section
We invite papers relevant to this year’s theme, La Frontera. What are the philosophical implications of the borderlands or the new frontier? We invite papers more specifically to theorize on the relationship of the secular to the religious. What distinguishes the two? Are the borders between them hard and fast? Is the religious secular, or secularizing, in some sense? Is the secular religious? Or what are new conceptions of the philosophy of religion and its task(s) in light of postmodern critiques of modern philosophy, the return of religion, fundamentalisms, etc. The Philosophy of Religion Section invites such presentations and, as always, presentations from other subjects related to the conference theme or philosophy of religion. We also encourage proposals for thematic panels or for joint sessions with other AAR units. Send proposals (100–200 words) and Participant Form to both Hester Oberman at firstname.lastname@example.org and Jason Smick at email@example.com.
Psychology and Religion Section
The Section invites proposals addressing the connection between art/literature and healing exploring therapeutic mechanisms of various forms of expression. Proposals may also address intrapsychic/interpersonal narratives that drive creative expressions through art or literature within a broader context of religion, or any connection between mental illness and literature. All participants must send a Participant Form along with their proposal. Submissions may be sent via e-mail to Siroj Sorajjakool at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psychology, Culture, and Religion Section
This Section is an informal association of scholars and practitioners in the fields of religion and psychology. Our members share common interests in the relationships between religions, individuals, and the contemporary cultures which mediate and construct them. To learn more about us, see www.pcr-aar.org. The Psychology, Culture, and Religion Section has always lived on the frontier of individuals, cultures, religions, and disciplines. So we are very pleased that this year’s theme calls us to explore La Frontera. We particularly invite presentations on religion as a new frontier in American society, especially politics. Religion’s reintegration into American politics and policy has been opportunistic, not accurate. How shall we, as Americans and as scholars, conceive and shape the (re)integration of religion and politics? And how does this new (and eternal) frontier shape “us,” our spiritual lives, and our psychological development? As always, we strongly encourage creative proposals that challenge preconceived notions of what an academic “paper” or “panel” should or could be. Send proposals (100–200 words) and Participant Form to Franz Metcalf at email@example.com. Participant Forms may also be mailed to Franz Metcalf, 2001 Morgan Hill Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068.
Queer Studies in Religion Section
The Queer Studies in Religion Section is looking for papers and or panels that deal with any aspect of Proposition 8 for a session exploring the aftermath and ramifications of Proposition 8; any aspect of queer studies in film for a queer studies in film and religion session; and any aspect of queer studies in religion for a possible general session. Please send proposals to Marie Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org and Raedorah Stewart at email@example.com.
Queer Studies Section and Jewish Studies Section Joint Session: On the Borders: Being Queer and Being a Jew
This joint session of the Queer Studies Section and Jewish Studies Section is seeking papers that address the theme of the borders of queer theory and queer practice. One of the founders of queer theory, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, who broke ground with Epistemology of the Closet, was a straight Jew whose work sprang from literary theory. Judith Butler, famous for Gender Troubles, is a practicing Queer Jew whose work originates from her training in philosophy. David Halperin’s work, Saint Foucault, is by another Queer Jew. Butler and Sedgewick are two different sexually-oriented Jews who have founded this field. Why have a number of Jews been on the forefront of queer theory? Is there a relationship between being a Jew and developing queer theory? We also seek any paper related to themes of queer and Jewish studies and any papers on queer Jewish weddings. Please send a proposal to Section Cochairs Emily Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Saba Soomekh at email@example.com, Marie Cartier at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Raedorah Stewart at Revsisraedorah@gmail.com.
Religion and The Arts Section
The Religion and the Arts Section seeks papers and panels that address the conference theme, La Frontera, specifically looking at the religious arts of borderlands. We also seek papers on the following topics: religious themes in popular music, religious content, and its esthetic presentation in virtual reality sites (Second Life, etc.), implicit and explicit theologies of art, and theologies of performance art. Any other topics that involve religion and the arts, broadly conceived, will be considered. Scholars wanting to suggest a panel should contact the section chair Jennifer Rycenga at email@example.com.
Religion in America Section
The Section encourages the use of diverse sources and multiple approaches to the study of religions in America. We seek to stimulate comparative discussion across a range of traditions around particular themes. The Religion in America Section seeks papers that address the conference theme, La Frontera, from a variety of perspectives: religions and the margins, religions and geographical borders, religions to the margins, and so on. We are looking for proposals on popular piety/religion and immigrant/ethnic communities, religion and public square border issues, borderlands theology, and anything off the beaten path. We also welcome investigations of religions meeting each other at their respective borders. We are open to other papers on religion in America as well. In addition, in cooperation with the Latina/o and Latin American Religions Section, this section welcomes proposals that include participants from institutions in the northern Baja California and Sonora region for comparative discussions about religious life and culture that straddle the border in historical or contemporary periods. Please send a proposal to Philip Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org and Rebecca Moore at email@example.com. Be sure to submit a Program Participant Form as well.
Religion, Literature, and Film Section
The Religion, Literature, and Film Section welcomes proposals directly related to the 2010 conference theme: La Frontera, the examination of borders. We welcome papers that focus on fictional literature and/or films that examine borders, create borders, cross borders, break down borders, or challenge boundedness‚ (race, gender, class, and kinship) as related to religious ideas, groups, or identity. We also welcome proposals that extend the ongoing discussion in this Section as it relates to literary and film criticism and the academic study of religion. Interested persons should send a one-page proposal and Participant Form via e-mail to Jon R. Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Religions of Asia Section
This year, the Religions of Asia Section seeks to explore various ways in which religious frontiers are constructed, encountered, and transgressed. These frontiers may be local, and cross-cultural as we look to include studies of traditions both in Asia and those which have spread around the world. We also hope to consider transhistorical frontiers as past traditions encounter modern life. Papers selected for the panel should reflect various approaches utilized in the discipline of religious studies as we seek to engage the boundaries of our own field of studies. Proposals and Participant Forms should be e-mailed to Toby Johnson at email@example.com.
Women and Religion Section
The Women and Religion Section encompasses contemporary and historical, and theoretical and practical work on gender, women’s studies, feminism, and feminist activism in relation to the study of religion. This Section particularly welcomes papers relevant to the 2010 conference theme, La Frontera, addressing geographical, chronological, theological, transformational, as well as cultural, social, political, and religious borders, borderlands, changing borders, and border crossings. How does the construction of categorical borders limit discourse in women and religion, and how do categories serve to orient and assist in understanding? How can categories, such as “second-wave feminism” or “religious women,” assist or inhibit the theoretical and practical projects of women and religion? Which distinctions remain relevant as contemporary women’s studies encompasses “unsettled and unsettling” identities and categories? How can pedagogical, epistemological, and otherwise theoretical borders realign to encompass the territory of women and religion? We would be glad to host a panel highlighting the work of Gloria Anzaldua, author of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, and those who interpret her work, if we receive enough papers on this theme. Also, we request papers more broadly relevant to women and religion, including studies on women’s roles in various religious traditions, religions and feminisms, women’s spiritualities, and the dynamics of masculinity/femininity in religious settings. We invite papers that address contemporary challenges in the study of religion and/or in religious communities with regard to gender-race-class-sexuality-age-disability (and the “–isms”) and roles, status, authority, insider/outsider dynamics, and new, relevant discursive spaces. We welcome papers addressing gender/women and religion/spirituality in conversation with intersectionality, transnational feminism, postcolonial thinking, womanism, borderlands and border crossings (as elaborated above), solidarity and justice, gender performance and religious identity in a globalized context, and individual and collective agency within specific social conditions. We encourage work in multiple and diverse religious contexts. Proposals should be sent by e-mail to cochairs Ann Wertman at firstname.lastname@example.org and Sarah Robinson at MsSarahRobinson@gmail.com. All participants must send a Participant Form along with their proposal.
Womanist/Pan-African Section and Women and
Religion Section Joint Session
The academy has only begun to find space/s (concrete, geographical, metaphorical, and literal) for the academic study of women and religion. People, issues, and subjects that intersect or cross race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation boundaries represent La Frontera. The Womanist/Pan-African Section and Women and Religion Section welcome papers that address these challenges. We especially appreciate papers that define the pedagogies, methodologies, language/s, and/or practices that demonstrate intersections and collaborations. Current political issues such as California Proposition 8, Arizona Proposition 102, and other subjects that directly speak to the intersections of gender, race, and/or sexual orientation are encouraged. For submitting proposals to this cosponsored session, please use all four email addresses of the four section chairs, and please include the subject heading “Cosponsored Session Proposal”. The four chair’s e-mail addresses are email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Womanist/Pan African Section
The Womanist/Pan-African Section seeks papers that explore the many borders and boundaries of La Frontera as they exist in Womanist/Pan-African studies and scholarship. This includes geographical boundaries of the African diaspora, multiple and intersecting diasporan identities, and academic and disciplinary boundaries. We are especially interested in papers that show the historical mapping of old and new boundaries/borders in theology, spirituality, and religion/religious studies (interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multicultural) and their implications. We also invite papers that examine pedagogies, strategies, and applications for the classroom, research, and publishing. What does the future look like and how do we successfully cross these many boundaries/borders, and maintain allegiances to the communities and issues that birthed the need to move into La Frontera in the first place? Please send your proposal to Paula McGee at email@example.com and Arisika Raza at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include a Participant Form.