Proposing a New Program Unit
The Program Committee welcomes proposals for new program units, especially proposals that address: 1) Areas of pent-up demand; and 2) New and emerging fields.
All proposals for new Program Units must begin as exploratory sessions. An exploratory session is a complete prearranged session that provides a platform for a group of members to announce a line of inquiry new to the AAR program and to seek out others interested in pursuing it further. The proposal can be for a paper, panel, or other creative type of session format. Exploratory sessions are submitted through the Program Administration Proposal, Evaluation, and Review System (PAPERS), and must be submitted before March 1, 2013. Notification of program acceptance will be announced by April 1, 2013. Exploratory sessions that are accepted onto the program are then invited to submit an application for new unit status by November 30, 2013. The Program Committee meets each December to review and approve any proposals. Samples of successful proposals are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Propose a New Program Unit
The proposal is your opportunity to make the case for the new program unit by presenting a clear rationale, analytical focus, approaches, and objectives of the unit. In three-to-five typewritten pages, include:
- The title of the new unit.
- Identify and define/describe the scholarly field the unit addresses, making an intellectual argument for the new unit.
- State the need and the unit’s purpose.
- Note the scope, directions, and approaches the unit might take.
- Distinguish the unit from other existing program units. If there is overlap with an existing unit, we would like a letter of support from that unit’s chair(s).
Additional information required:
- List the AAR members who will chair the unit (1–2) and serve on the steering committee (3–5).
- A short annotated bibliography of published works on the topic, with an introductory paragraph explaining the status of publications in the subfield.
- Letters of support from AAR members who are interested in, and support the work of, the proposed unit.
- A description of the exploratory session, including an attendance count.
Which Type of Program Unit to Propose?
Groups are established to encourage the exploration of an emergent area of study or methodology, to cultivate the relation between the study of religion and a cognate discipline, or to pursue a long-range and broad research project. More focused than Sections and less restricted in participation than Seminars, Groups are expected to experiment with the format of sessions at the Annual Meeting.
Seminars are for an already-identified group of up to twenty members who want to work together on a defined research project with a view to publication. In preparing all petitions, members should be aware of the following policy: The American Academy of Religion is committed to the policy and practice of including women, minority, and younger members in the activities of the Academy. In Annual Meeting programming, this commitment will be carried out to the degree that each unit works to accomplish it. Thus, unit chairpersons, steering committees, and participants in sessions provide the testing arenas for evaluating our success in adhering to this commitment. The Program Committee will include attention to this policy and practice in evaluating proposals for starting or continuing program units.