American Academy of Religion

April 2006 e-Bulletin


Content At a Glance:

  1. Congratulations to Guggenheim Fellows!
  2. Undergrad Survey: We need your input!
  3. Africa Focus at the 2006 Annual Meeting
  4. AAR Website Redesign
  5. AAR Career Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession
  6. Especially For Students
  7. AAR Committees
  8. Twenty-Five and Still Counting
  9. Task Force on Middle East Anthropology
  10. Your Membership Status



  1. Congratulations to Guggenheim Fellows!  Kudos to AAR members Don Lopez, Patricia Cox Miller, Stephen Shoemaker, Robert Yelle, and Frank Korom, who have been awarded  fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. More information about the foundation and the fellowships can be found at


  1. Undergrad Survey: We need your input! Visit this page to see if your department/program has filled out the online questionnaire: If you see that the survey has not been completed, please notify your department chair that her/his participation is crucial. The chair can contact Kyle Cole, Director of College Programs, at or 1-404-727-1489, for more information. The survey will track our field and its change since 2000, giving us, for example, an accurate picture of the impact of 9/11.  We all need data about our field to make the case for religion to our deans and presidents and to the public.  Please do your part!


  1. Africa Focus at the 2006 Annual Meeting: For our upcoming meeting in Washington, DC, the international focus is African contributions to the study of religion. We are soliciting partnerships with departments and institutions that can cosponsor an African scholar.  Cosponsorship will allow your group to hear from one of these fine scholars while they are already in the United States to attend the Annual Meeting. To learn more about the benefits of cosponsorship, please contact Aislinn Jones at


  1. AAR Website Redesign:  We are redesigning the AAR website to make it more user-friendly and attractive!  To help us make it what you want, the web designers will conduct interviews with a sampling of members.  If you are willing to spend some time reviewing the current website and spending a half-hour on the phone with the designer, please send an e-mail confirming your interest to Joe DeRose at


  1. The AAR Career Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession has been published and is available free at  It includes guidance for an entire academic career – from graduate student days to planning retirement, as well as information on alternative career options and advice for administrators. The Guide is interactive, allowing AAR members to engage in online conversation about topics in the Guide.  (To use interactive features, you will need to log in, using your surname, "Gray," and member ID, "Z28679.")


  1. Especially For Students


  1. AAR Committees:  The AAR Board of Directors approved a Task Force on the Status of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered Persons in the Profession.  The AAR is currently welcoming nominations and self nominations for this new task force and for the following ongoing committees and task forces in 2007:  International Connections, Public Understanding of Religion, Status of Racial & Ethnic Minorities in the Profession, Status of Women in the Profession, Teaching & Learning, Religion in the Schools, and Employment Information Advisory.  If you want to nominate a colleague or yourself, please send a letter explaining your interest and a C.V. to


  1. Twenty-Five and Still Counting: We’ve heard from many of you whose AAR membership has been active without a break since at least 1982.  Are there others?  Unfortunately, our records date back only to the late 1980s.  Please send an email to to let us know when your continuous membership began.  Thank you!


  1. The Task Force on Middle East Anthropology, a group of anthropologists working to preserve a space for open discussion on the Middle East, is creating a handbook for academics facing pressure for their academic research and teaching on the Middle East.  The handbook will provide accounts of how academic, professional, and activist organizations can be resources for academics, with special consideration for junior faculty and ethnic minorities.  It will also offer pedagogical tools for dealing with difficulties in the classroom. If you have an experience with students, parents, administrators, community groups, or the press – no matter how large or small – it could help others learn how to manage similar situations. Please email if you are interested in sharing your experience.


  1. Your Membership Status: Your membership is current for 2006. Thank you. Membership resources are available at