RENEW FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2013 TODAY!
Renew your 2013 AAR membership! Make sure your access remains uninterrupted to all your member benefits, including print and online access to JAAR, Religious Studies News, the online membership directory, and reduced registration rates at the Annual Meeting. Renew your membership for calendar year 2013 at www.aarweb.org/Members/Dues.
Keep an eye on your mailbox and inbox for important news about your 2013 membership.
ANNUAL MEETING NEWS
Check out these new or featured programs!
Templeton Lecture – His Holiness, the Dalai Lama (A18-406)
Theme: Spiritual Progress through Scientific Research on Compassion
Sunday, 8:00 pm-9:30 pm
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader whose long-standing engagement with multiple dimensions of science and with people far beyond his own religious traditions has made him an incomparable global voice for universal ethics, nonviolence, and harmony among world religions, is the 2012 Templeton Prize winner. The Dalai Lama will deliver an exclusive video presentation to the Annual Meetings in conjunction with a dialogue with Dr. John M. Templeton Jr., President and Chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, and Dr. Richard J. Davidson of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin. The presentation will be followed by a Science and Religion Reception (M18-438) from 9:30 pm-11:30 pm in the Hilton Chicago-Continental Ballroom B.
Envisioning Alternative Academic Careers Workshop (A16-205)
Friday - 2:00 PM-5:00 PM
How do we sustain ourselves as scholars when most academic jobs are casual and part-time? The shift away from tenure-track positions has only continued, creating new financial, social, and emotional challenges for those who entered academia hoping for professorships. This new academic job market demands a creative, entrepreneurial approach to making a living — as well as the willingness to collaborate in maintaining the academy's mission to serve the public.
This three-hour workshop is designed to help academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences to approach academic work as only one part of a wider picture that potentially integrates a variety of income streams. The cost for the workshop is $25. Registration is limited to the first 30 participants. Register through the Annual Meeting registration website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to add it to your completed registration.
Swiss Treasures Tour – From Biblical Papyrus and Parchment to Erasmus, Zwingli, Calvin, and Barth (A18-142)
Sunday - 11:30 AM-2:30 PM
The tour will include bus transportation to the Swiss Treasures Exhibition at the University of Chicago Library. The exhibition displays thematic-local particularities in form of manuscripts and prints from the fourth through the twentieth century, mostly shown for the first time abroad. These artifacts derive either from the aforementioned notables or document their philosophical, theological as well as political work. The cost for the tour is $25. Register through the Annual Meeting registration website or contact email@example.com to add it to your completed registration.
Register for the Leadership Workshop Now!
The topic for this year's Leadership Workshop is More Time, Less Budget: The Role of the Department Chair in a New Economic Context, scheduled for Friday, November 16, 12:00 PM–5:00 PM. There are few times in the history of the United States in which the study of religion has been more important than it is today. But this is also a time in which the study of religion faces much-discussed challenges. Increasingly, departmental leaders are pressured (for example) to rely more heavily on part-time faculty, to reduce their budgets, to become more efficient by increasing class sizes or numbers of majors, and to present purely utilitarian arguments on behalf of the importance of studying religion.
Designed for both novice and seasoned department leaders, the 2012 Leadership Workshop brings together experts who will highlight some of the most successful responses to the pressures faced by the leaders of Religious Studies (along with humanities and social science) departments. In plenaries, panels, and breakout sections, participants in this workshop will identify practical skills and learn more about the best ways for departments to create situations in which the study of religion can survive and flourish.
Registration is limited, so register now! If you wish to register for the workshop, contact Stephanie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women's Mentoring Luncheon - Registration Is Open!
The Status of Women in the Profession Committee, Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee, and the Women's Caucus invite women who are graduate students and new scholars to a luncheon on Sunday, November 18, at the Annual Meeting. An annual event, the luncheon invites women to meet with womanist, feminist, and LGBTIQ midcareer and senior scholars such as Judith Plaskow, Traci West, Namsoon Kang, and Grace Kim. Women will have the opportunity to mentor and be mentored in a context where every question is valued. The lunch costs $10 per person; sorry, no refunds. Registration is limited to 100. Click here to register.
Employment Center – Registration for Job Candidates and Employers Is Open!
The Employment Center, sponsored by the AAR and SBL, is open for candidates through the Annual Meetings registration system. Employers can register through the AAR and SBL job advertisement submission websites. The deadline to preregister for both candidates and employers is October 24, 2012. Register early to receive full benefits.
New Surveys on Nonacademic Career Alternatives – Please Participate!
The Scholarly Communication Institute is conducting a survey to analyze alternative academic employment data — a career category now commonly called "alt-ac" — and add to the scanty statistics available for nonprofessorial job placement in general. The data seeks to address the concerns of two main constituencies: professors and program administrators on one hand, and graduate students themselves on the other. The surveys are limited to the humanities and social sciences. The Institute is seeking data in three different ways:
Surveying former graduate students who have (or are building) careers outside the professoriate
Surveying employers who have hired a former graduate student into an alt-ac position
Seeking contributions to an alt-ac database called "Who We Are," in which people list their names, employers, and job titles
If you qualify, please take 15 minutes to fill out a survey. The link leads to all of the initiatives (employer and employee surveys, and the alt-ac database). The data and report will also be available on the same site. The surveys close on October 1, so please don't delay!
Call for Student Editor
AAR is seeking a new From the Student Desk Editor. From the Student Desk is the feature student column of the RSN and is published three times per year in the March, May, and October issues.
The From the Student Desk Editor will:
Solicit and deliver to the AAR Staff Liaison to Students, articles for the March, May, and October issues of RSN.
Submit articles (not to exceed 800 words), a photo of the writer, and a 30-word current institutional affiliation statement.
Abide by the RSN writing guidelines and distribute to all authors for compliance.
Submit a short yearly report to the Student Director.
Maintain regular contact with the AAR Staff Liaison to Students, the Student Director, the Graduate Student Committee, and RSN staff.
The From the Student Desk Editor is selected by the current AAR Student Director. All current AAR student members who have been members for at least one calendar year are eligible to serve in this capacity. Previous editing experience is desired. As part of the selection process, candidates will be asked to copy-edit a sample column. The term of service is two years to begin and end in November at the Annual Meeting. Go to the AAR web site for complete details on the position and how to apply.
ACADEMIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE SEEKS REVIEWER
The AAR's Academic Relations Committee is expanding its list of reserve persons competent to serve as external referees for religion and religious studies units pursuing program reviews. The Committee invites nominations (including self-nominations) of persons open to serving in such a capacity. Nomination materials should include: 1) A brief statement indicating reasons for interest in serving, and types of institutions the nominee is qualified to review; 2) Curriculum vitae; and 3) A short narrative affirming: (a) administrative experience as a department chair, program director, dean or dean's equivalent; (b) at least five years of AAR membership in good standing; and (c) familiarity with the Academy's program review resources online at the AAR website.
Persons with previous experience leading a departmental or program self-study, serving as an external reviewer for another department or program, and/or serving on a regional or national accreditation team are especially needed.
Letters of interest and supporting materials should be submitted by October 10, 2012, for consideration at the committee's November AAR meeting. Approved reviewers will be notified by December 31. All approved names will be added to the current listing of potential program reviewers. Service as a program reviewer is subject to selection from the reserve list by departments preparing for reviews. Address letters of interest to Stephanie Gray at the AAR office in Atlanta.
AAR AWARDS NEWS
AAR Announces 2012 Book Award Winners
Congratulations to the winners!
Award for Excellence in Religion: Analytical-Descriptive Studies
Pamela E. Klassen, University of Toronto. Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity. University of California Press, 2011.
Award for Excellence in Religion: Constructive-Reflective Studies
Elliot R. Wolfson, New York University. A Dream Interpreted within a Dream: Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination. Zone Books, 2011.
Award for Excellence in Religion: Historical Studies
Thomas A. Tweed, University of Texas, Austin. America’s Church: The National Shrine and Catholic Presence in the Nation’s Capital. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Award for Excellence in Religion: Textual Studies
David M. Freidenreich, Colby College. Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law. University of California Press, 2011.
Best First Book in the History of Religions
Ronit Ricci, Australian National University. Islam Translated: Literature, Conversion, and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia. Chicago University Press, 2011.
The Awards for Excellence and Best First Book in the History of Religions recognize new scholarly publications that make significant contributions to the study of religion. The awards honor books of distinctive originality, intelligence, creativity and importance, books that affect decisively how religion is examined, understood, and interpreted. Awards will be presented at the AAR's 2012 Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 18, 2012, 7:00–8:30 PM.
AAR Excellence in Teaching Award - Nominations
The Teaching and Learning Committee seeks nominations for the AAR Award for Excellence in Teaching. Nominations of winners of campus awards, or any other awards, are encouraged. Procedures for the nomination process are outlined on the AAR website. The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2012.
2012–2013 International Dissertation Research Grants
The 2012–2013 International Dissertation Research Grants applications process is open. These annual grants, designed to support AAR student members whose dissertation research requires them to travel outside of the country in which their school or university is located, are intended to help candidates complete their doctoral degrees by offsetting costs of travel, lodging, and other dissertation research-related expenses. The application deadline is December 1.
IN THE FIELD ANNOUNCEMENTS
Are you interested in the latest happenings in the field of religion? Would you like to post an announcement of an event, award competition, or other news of importance in the field? In the Field is your resource for news of events and opportunities for scholars of religion and theological education, published online by the AAR. Here are a few of the recent announcements:
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships
The 2012-13 ACLS fellowship competitions are now open. You will find updated and comprehensive information on all our programs on the ACLS website. The majority of competition deadlines are in October and November. During the past year, ACLS awarded over $15 million to more than 320 scholars worldwide, making it a major source of support for humanistic scholarship in the United States. Fellows' profiles, along with research abstracts, are accessible online.
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities offers grants to scholars and others engaged in humanistic research and teaching. Twenty-six grant programs support individuals, teams, and institutions doing work for other scholars, students, or the general public. Fundable projects include research for monographs, scholarly editions, creating or revising a class, preserving or digitizing archival collections, professional development for teachers, museum exhibits and documentaries. The NEH has a long record of supporting important scholarship in religious studies, including a variety of disciplinary approaches and religious traditions.
Daniel Sack, a NEH program officer (and AAR member), will be available at the annual meetings in November to talk about grant programs and possible applications. Visit the NEH booth in the exhibit hall or write email@example.com. More information on the NEH and grant programs is at neh.gov
More notices and calls of interest to AAR members are at In the Field!
ACADEMIC ABBY: Professional Advice from Your Colleagues
Do you have a question about life in academe that you are at a loss to answer by yourself but don't feel you can approach your colleagues with it? Ask Academic Abby! Academic Abby is able to answer questions large and small, from dealing with faculty dilemmas, to tenure issues, to work/life balance troubles. Questions can be submitted anonymously through an online form. Members of the AAR Status of Women in the Profession Committee will respond to each question received. The question and answer will be posted on the Status of Women in the Profession web page and issues of Religious Studies News.
ASK THE DIVA
If you are experiencing issues of special concern to LGBTIQ scholars of religion, the Diva can help! What questions do you have about graduate school, career development, teaching, etc.? Questions can be submitted anonymously through an online form. Members of the LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession Committee will respon. Your confidentiality is assured; the answers can be e-mailed to you privately if you wish. With your permission, the questions and answers will be posted anonymously in Religious Studies News.
AAR MEMBER NOTES
In Memoriam: Gabriel Vahanian (1927–2012)
Gabriel Vahanian passed away on August 30 at the age of 85. Vahanian was a figure in the "Death of God" movement in the 1960s. His bibliography covers a wide range of subjects, all related to his profound interest in the relationship between religion and contemporary culture; The Death of God (1961) is his most widely read book. Vahanian taught in the Department of Bible and Religion at Syracuse University from 1958-1984, after which he returned to France to teach at the Université de Strasbourg and accepted an appointment to the Protestant Theological Faculty in Strasbourg. A more-in-depth In Memoriam will appear in the October 2012 issue of Religious Studies News.
Phyllis Zagano, Hofstra University
Awarded the St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson Award by Voice of the Faithful, a national Catholic activist group based in Boston.
J. Jayakiran Sebastian, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Assumed duties as the Dean of the Seminary at the beginning of July.
Books and Major Publications
Edward J. Blum and Krijn Pansters, Tilburg University Franciscan
Virtue: Spiritual Growth and the Virtues in Franciscan Literature and Instruction of the Thirteenth Century. Studies in the History of Christian Traditions 161, Brill Publishers 2012.
Donald A. Crosby, Colorado State University
The Thou of Nature: Religious Naturalism and Reverence for Sentient Life. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. June 2013 release date.
Paul Harvey, University of Colorado
The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. University of North Carolina Press. 978-0807835722
Christopher David Shaw, University of Oxford
On Exceeding Determination and the Ideal of Reason: Immanuel Kant, William Desmond, and the Noumenological Principle. Cambridge Scholars Publishing May 2012 ISBN (10): 1-4438-3748-2, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-3748-4
Mary VanderGoot, Grand Rapids, MI
After Freedom: How Boomers Pursued Freedom, Questioned Virtue, and Still Search for Meaning. Wipf and Stock Publishers, July 2012 release date. ISBN 13:978-1-62032-198-0
Phyllis Zagano, Hofstra University, with Gary Macy and William T. Ditewig
Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future. Paulist Press, 2012. 978-0809147434
Phyllis Zagano, Hofstra University
Women in Ministry: Emerging Questions about the Diaconate. Paulist Press, 2012. 978-0809147564
Let your AAR colleagues know about your professional milestones! Submit your Member Note online.