Frequently Asked Questions
Does AAR have reduced student rates for membership and conference attendance?
What types of funding does AAR offer students?
How do I submit a paper for a national/regional conference?
What are some tips for presenting papers?
How do I know what region I’m in?
How do I contact the Regional Director or find more info on regional conferences?
I'm not yet ABD, can I still present my paper?
What are AAR committees and task forces, and how do they relate to student members?
How can I contact the National Student Director and the Graduate Student Committee?
How can the AAR help me find a job?
Where can I find a list of undergraduate/graduate programs in Religious Studies?
Yes on both counts.
Student membership, open to all those enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, is $50/year. First-time student members will be asked to submit a photocopy of their student ID card to the AAR office. You may join or renew online; print and send in a membership form; or call the AAR office at 404-727-3049 to join using a major credit card. Membership is for one calendar year, from January 1 to December 31. Student memberships may be renewed for up to 10 years. See the membership page for more information.
Student registration for the annual meeting is sizably discounted, more so the earlier you register. Online registration, snail mail and faxable registration forms, as well as annual meeting housing information, are available on the registration page.
The International Dissertation Research Grants Program is designed to support AAR student members whose dissertation research requires travel outside of the country in which their school or university is located. Grants of $5,000 each are awarded after review of applications by a jury of senior scholars appointed by the AAR President.
To submit a paper proposal to the national annual meeting:
- Peruse the Call for Papers, divided by program unit name. (You can also browse by program unit name and type, download the call as a PDF, and review any updates to the published Call for Papers).
- Decide into which program unit(s) your paper(s) will most appropriately fit.
- Follow the given program unit’s instructions to submit a proposal. Most units require submission online, through the OP3 system. Others may state that they also allow alternate submission routes, such as via e-mail. (If a program unit allows submission via email, be careful to note whether they ask that the proposal be sent in the body of the email, or as an attachment.)
- You may submit the same proposal to two different program units.
To submit a paper proposal to a regional conference:
- Consult the AAR Regions page to choose the geographically appropriate region. (Select particular regions for details, such as the contact information for the given regional director.)
- Visit the Regional Group Meetings page, scroll to your region, and view the appropriate Call for Papers link on the right. Follow the instructions for proposal submission.
See Julie J. Kilmer’s thoughts on How to Present a Professional Paper at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting.
The AAR is divided by region, and each region holds a regional annual conference that is distinct from the national annual conference. Regional conferences are excellent opportunities for graduate students to present research, particularly for new presenters just beginning to explore the profession. The AAR Regions page lists the various regions (click on a particular region for information about its geographical outlay, its annual conference, and contact information for its regional director).
Certainly. There is no requirement that presenters have reached the “all but dissertation” stage.
Task forces and committees play an integral role in the governance and functioning of the AAR. Each group meets regularly to work on a given topic or project, and reports back to the Board of Directors. Committees and task forces differ in terms of number of members and term lengths; see details on each individual committee or task force page. Students are often welcome to apply or be nominated to open spots on committees or task forces.
The Graduate Student Committee is charged with addressing the needs and concerned of graduate student members, and promoting their professional development and participation in the AAR and the academy as a whole.
For more information, come to the Town Hall Meeting at the upcoming Annual Meeting in Atlanta, where the chairs of several committees and task forces will be discussing their work in relationship to student concerns, and taking student questions. Members of the Graduate Student Committee will also be speaking and available for questions and conversation.
The National Student Director, Elonda Clay, can be contacted at email@example.com. Contact information for members of the Graduate Student Committee can be found here. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with questions, feedback, and concerns.
The AAR has several invaluable resources for members seeking jobs: Job Postings is the most comprehensive public record of job listings for credentialed scholars in religion. The Annual Meeting Job Center, held each year at the Annual Meeting, facilitates communication between hiring institutions and job candidates. It includes job listings, candidate credentials for a review, a message center, and an interview facility. The AAR surveys hiring and Employment Trends in the field of religion, and publishes the results annually. Finally, AAR Career Services periodically compiles Additional Resources which may be helpful to job seekers.
For undergraduate departments and programs of religion at accredited colleges and universities in North America, see here.
For academic doctoral programs of religion and theology at accredited universities, seminaries, and theological schools in North America, see here.
This data is several years old, but is a good starting point.