PAPERS Resources

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

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Arts, Film, Literature, Media, Popular Culture, Visual Culture, and Religion Cluster

Statement of Purpose: 

As religious practice is deeply embedded in the everyday aesthetic lives of people, careful analysis of these aspects of culture have become crucial for the academic study of religion. Several program units of the AAR have responded to this need, and this Cluster seeks to find overlaps and differences in methodology, subject matter, media analysis, and historical investigations between ways of approaching the material and artistic mediations of religious life. These four Program Units (Arts, Literature, and Religion Section; Religion and Popular Culture Group; Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Group; and Religion, Media, and Culture Group) collectively examine the ways humans engage the sacred through various media including, but not limited to film, literature, television, architecture, the fine arts, and a wide variety of material objects.

Call for Papers: 

The Birth of a Nation--A Century Later
The year 2015 marks the centenary of the release of D.W. Griffith's troubling cinematic masterpiece, The Birth of a Nation. Based on Thomas Dixon's racist novel The Clansman, Griffith raised the stakes of the cinematic arts through highly developed editing approaches and other technical advances. At the same time, the film retains many of the racist portrayals found in the novel. This raises questions about the relations of aesthetics and ethics, about visual representation, and about the ongoing connections of race and religions in the United States. This session will explore the film, its cultural context, and its aftermath by exploring related artistic productions and cultural movements connected with the film.

Method: 
Other
Other: 
We are not inviting submissions for this session.
Process: 
Other (please explain below)
Comments: 
As a cluster group, we do not seek proposals. We invite presenters.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee