PAPERS Resources

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

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Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This group is devoted to historical inquiry into the social and cultural contexts of the study of religion and into the constructions of “religion” as an object of scholarly inquiry.

Call for Papers: 

The Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group seeks papers that examine the formation and transformation of “religion” (together with other related categories) both in social, cultural, and political practice in various historical periods and in relation to the scholarly study of religion as that study has evolved over time. We seek to explore diverse geographical areas and historical moments. For the 2015 Annual Meeting, we particularly welcome proposals exploring:

(1) A genealogy of the current cognitive science of religion. We hope for papers that examine either the specific intellectual and cultural antecedents of this approach (in religion or other fields) or a history of the more general phenomenon of the medicalization of religion (For possible co-sponsorship with the Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Group).

(2) Responses to David Chidester’s Empire of Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2014). For possible co-sponsorship with the Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Group and the Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Group;

(3) The genealogy of religion and affect (for a possible co-sponsorship with the Religion, Affect, and Emotion Group). We seek papers reflecting on the longer history of studying religion and emotion (i.e. James, Durkheim, etc.) in conversation with recent theorists such as Ahmed, Berlant, Cvetkovich, and Sedgwick. What does the study of affect give us that Jamesian psychology or Durkheimian collective effervescence does not?
This group regularly uses its sessions to develop new models for conference conversation. Toward that end, we ask that participants be prepared to write shorter papers, which we may circulate mid-October in order to focus our discussions at the Annual Meeting in a more collaborative and interactive way. We also welcome further suggestions for new conversational models (please e-mail the co-chairs with your ideas).

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee