PAPERS Resources

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

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Anthropology of Religion Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group draws together scholars who utilize the methodological tools and theoretical perspectives of anthropology in the study of religion as a social and cultural phenomenon. Given the increasing importance of anthropology and ethnography for the academic study of religion, we serve the academy as an important forum for sustained discussion and critique of anthropological approaches that can connect scholars working on diverse traditions, regions, and eras who otherwise might not have the opportunity to learn from each other. Interested members are encouraged to join our (low volume) list-serv: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AAR-Anthropology/info

Call for Papers: 

We invite proposals from the full range of anthropological theories and methods that explore diverse traditions, regions, and periods.

We welcome alternative and creative format sessions that involve presentations other than read manuscripts (including film, multimedia, and performance) and those that offer more opportunity for dialogue and collaboration among presenters, respondents, and audiences.

We especially encourage individual and panel submissions that address:

1) the spirit of this year’s theme, Valuing Religion, such as anthropologies of value and/or the value of anthropology in the study of religion;

2) flirtations and fetishes in the field and the impact of these upon the ethnographer and the ethnographer’s work;

3) the value of alternative scholarly forms, not only beyond dense academic prose, but also beyond writing (what emerging and/or underused forms of ethnography can be brought to bear on the evocation, representation, and interpretation of local, moral, interpersonal worlds?) This could include, but is not limited to, the value of film and visual methods in the anthropological study of religion. Preferably, presentations will incorporate demonstrations of alternative methods. We are interested especially in proposals on film in the study of ritual, especially with regard to the use of film in fieldwork or ethnographic filmmaking, for a potential joint session with the Ritual Studies Group.;

4) sensuous scholarship - à la Paul Stoller, David Howes, and others - in which the scholar-researcher’s body and bodily experiences are incorporated into the work, moving beyond an instrumental use of the body as the means by which the scholar-researcher’s brain is transported to and from the field;

5) ethnographies of internet, virtual, and digital communities;

6) personhood and conceptions of the self in theology and anthropology;

7) religious virtuosity, innovation, experimentation, and creativity.

• The Anthropology of Religion Group will also quint-sponsor a panel on Birgit Meyer's forthcoming book, Sensational Movies: Video, Vision and Christianity in Ghana (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015), in collaboration with the World Christianity Group; the Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Group; the African Religions Group; and the Religion, Colonialism and Postcolonialism Group. Selection of panelists will be pre-arranged so that they may read Meyer's book as provided by the press in advance of the meetings in order to comment on it. Prof. Meyer will summarize her book's argument, and at least one panelist will comment on the methodological aspects of Prof. Meyer's book. We are soliciting no papers for this session but encouraging our members and other interested parties to attend for what will be a truly multi-disciplinary discussion focused on religion and Africa.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee