Events

2015 Annual Meeting, Nov 21-24

Join friends and colleagues in beautiful Atlanta, November 21–24, for the 2015 AAR & SBL Annual Meetings.

2015 Regional Meetings

Support your region and plan to attend your 2015 regional meeting. The following meeting registration systems are open:

Mid-Atlantic
Deadline: March 1, 2015

Midwest
Deadline: March 30, 2015

New England-Maritimes
Deadline: March 20, 2015

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: March 29, 2015

Rocky Mountain-Great Plains
Deadline: March 10, 2015

Southeast
Deadline: March 2, 2015

Southwest
Deadline: March 15, 2015

Upper Midwest
Deadline: April 13, 2015

Western
Deadline: March 16, 2015

Humanities Advocacy Day

The 2015 NHA Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day will be held March 16–17 in Washington, D.C.

XXI IAHR World Congress

Register today for the International Association for the History of Religions Congress in Erfurt, Germany, August 23–29, 2015.

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Updated: Academic Freedom and the Work of Professor Wendy Doniger

A Statement Adopted by the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion
March 3, 2014

On February 4, 2014, after four years of legal action, Penguin Books / India settled a lawsuit that alleged that one of its publications, The Hindus: An Alternative History, written by Professor Wendy Doniger, was “defaming Hindus and Hinduism.” In the settlement, Penguin agreed to suspend publication of the book in India and to destroy the inventory of remaining copies in India. The book remains available outside India.

Professor Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago and a former President of the American Academy of Religion, is a highly respected member of our community. The AAR strongly supports academic freedom, both in its mission statement (“Within a context of free inquiry and critical examination, the Academy welcomes all disciplined reflection on religion—both from within and outside of communities of belief and practice …”) and in a Board Resolution on Academic Freedom.

The AAR and its almost ten thousand members are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the study of religion. But to pursue excellence scholars must be free to ask any question, to offer any interpretation, and to raise any issue. If governments block the free exchange of ideas or restrict what can be said about religion, all of us are impoverished. It is only free inquiry that allows a robust understanding of the critical role that religions play in our common life. For these reasons the AAR Board of Directors fully supports Professor Doniger’s right to pursue her scholarship freely and without political interference.

Update: March 7, 2014

After the AAR Board adopted this statement, two related developments have taken place. A second publisher in India has acceded to pressure and has withdrawn another of Professor Doniger’s books from circulation. Publishers Weekly covered that story here. In yesterday’s New York Times, Professor Doniger published her perspective on this controversy. Her Op-Ed piece can be found here.