PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

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African Diaspora Religions Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group endorses the study of African diaspora religions beyond its traditional parameters to include broader geographies, histories, and cultures of people of African descent and the way they shaped the religious landscape, not only in the Caribbean and the Americas, but also in Europe and Asia. This study defines “diaspora” as the spread and dispersal of people of African descent — both forced and voluntary — through the slave trade, imperial and colonial displacements, and postcolonial migrations. This Group emphasizes the importance of an interdisciplinary approach and is central to its vision. The aim is to engage a wide range of disciplines and a variety of scholars who work on different aspects of African diaspora religions. It considers the linguistic and cultural complexities of the African diaspora, the importance of African traditional religions, Afro-Christianity, Afro-Islam, and Afro-Judaism, the way they have and continue to inform an understanding of Africa, and also the way they have and continue to shape the religious landscape of the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Call for Papers: 

1- For a possible quad-sponsored session with the Native Traditions in the Americas Group; the Indigenous Religious Traditions Group; Religions, Medicines, and Healing Group: we invite paper or session proposals that focus on how conceptions of indigeneity and diasporic identity are implicated in efforts to heal individuals, communities, and nations in the context of loss, displacement, and historical trauma.

2- Solo session
The Symbolism of Water in the African Diaspora:
Vincent Harding's There is a River begins with the Guinea Coast, the Senegal and Gambia rivers, and Cape Verde. Harding writes, "On these shores, near the mouths of these rivers, we first saw the ships." Water has constituted African American identity in multiple ways. We seek papers that explore water as a diaspora symbol both of displacement and as a space of healing.

3- For a possible co-sponsored session with Native Traditions in the Americas Group:
The Trail of Tears: We invite papers or session proposals that address the impact of the Trail of Tears on Native and African American communities. We are interested in addressing the Trail of Tears as a site of loss of sacred knowledge, as a site of displacement and removal, and as a site that offers the possibility of recovery and transformation.

Method: 
PAPERS
E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail)
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee