PAPERS Resources

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

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North American Religions Section

Statement of Purpose: 

Purpose, Practices & Procedures:

  1. Purpose of an AAR Section, from the AAR website: Sections are the most inclusive units of the AAR Program, encompassing various research projects within a broadly defined, enduring field. The purpose of sections is twofold: to provide a forum for dialogue and exchange among differing approaches and projects in the field and to provide opportunities for the discussion of work that does not fall within the agendas that find other expressions in the Annual Meeting program. The section structure is intended to provide significant time for presenting research in the major subfields of religion.

2. Purpose of the North American Religions Section: The North American Religions Section exists to sponsor conversations about the field at thematic, theoretical, definitional, experimental or historiographical levels, in order to ask where the study of North American religions is going or should be going. Such conversations embrace the diversity of scholars, disciplines, methods and traditions that make up the field.

3. Routine functions: The Steering Committee composes the Call for Papers for NAR sessions for the AAR Annual Meeting; reviews, shapes and accepts proposals for those sessions; reviews and reports on sessions; and communicates with the NAR constituency.

4. Composition: The Steering Committee is made up of seven members, two of whom are elected by the members to serve as co-chairs. A Steering Committee term is three years, renewable for a second three years if everyone is amenable. The terms are staggered, so that there are continuity and change on the committee. During a total of six possible years, a member might serve a co-chair term, which is three years. A member elected to serve as co-chair has at least one full year’s experience on the Steering Committee. The co-chair elections are staggered as well, so that each new co-chair serves with an experienced co-chair.

5. Responsibilities: The co-chairs take care of the business of NAR and moderate communication of the Steering Committee. All members of the Steering Committee make decisions on substantive matters. All attend the Annual Meeting and reserve Friday dinner and Saturday lunch for Steering Committee socializing, envisioning and business. All attend the NAR Business Meeting.

6. Succession: Members of the Steering Committee are replaced by the following procedure: when there is a vacancy, after the Annual Meeting the co-chairs ask the NAR constituency (via email) for nominations. From among the nominees, the Steering Committee votes to elect a new member.

  1. The co-chairs maintain this “NAR Purpose, Practices & Procedures” document, make it available to the Steering Committee and the NAR constituency, and revise it as needed by vote of the Steering Committee.
Call for Papers: 

This section advances the study of religions in North America, broadly conceived (Mexico, the United States, Canada, etc.), as well as the study of historical, social, and structural links between North American religions and those beyond North American boundaries. We are especially interested in sponsoring sessions that explore the fundamental questions that have shaped the field in the past or should shape it in the future.

As always, the section welcomes proposals for papers and panels examining any of a broad range of topics; submissions need not be tied to highlighted themes.

For the 2015 Annual Meeting, we especially encourage proposals on the following topics:

*"Activism, Religion, and Social Change” (including Freedom Summer, same-sex marriage, street protests for justice, Ferguson) or “Disease, Plague, and Alien Threats” for co-sponsorship with the Religion, Media, and Culture group;
*Religion and the New Materialism
*Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
*American Islam
*Religion and Affect/Emotion
*Religion and Place/Emplacement (particularly displacement, such as the Trail of Tears and other forced removals of Native Americans)
*The City of Atlanta and North American Religions or Religion in the Cities
*Capitalism, Money, and Atlanta
*Religion, Civil Rights, Gay Rights
*Religion, Race, and State Violence (such as religious responses to Ferguson/Michael Brown’s death, criminality, and incarceration)
*Global Networks/Influence of American Religion
*Rethinking Narratives of Religion in the American South

Proposals for a quad-sponsored panel with Latino/a Religion, Culture, Society Group; the Liberation Theologies Group; the Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr. Group on “Prophetic Pulpits: The Influence and Legacies of MLK Jr. among Latina/o Activists.”
Recognizing Atlanta as a major center in the Civil Rights movement, we invite papers focused on the interplay between MLK Jr.'s religiously grounded civic activism as a model/partner/influence to Latina/o social engagement. Essentially we seek papers that will connect black and brown approaches to civic activism which are rooted in religious convictions. Potential themes for papers include: MLK's friendship and political/religious solidarity with César Chávez; historical sketches of Latina/o activists *en la lucha
for racial equality, workers' rights, immigration reform, etc.; critical comparison/contrast of National Latina/o Evangelical leaders advancing social reform through pulpit ministry (Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, NHCLC; Rev. Gabriel Salguero, NaLEC); current hot topics on black/brown race issues in the media (Ferguson, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman); activism in the barrio/hood and in the prison systems (Young Lords and Black Panthers connections).

The section sponsors sessions including roundtables, debates, workshops, performances, precirculated papers, and other creative formats. As always, the section also welcomes proposals for keyword panels based on important concepts in the field. We encourage the submission of both individual contributions and complete panels, though we may reconfigure proposed panels in order to place them on the conference program. For panel proposals, diversity of rank/seniority (including graduate student, post-doctorate, junior and senior participants) is especially welcome. Presenters in any format should expect to give short presentations that maximize time for audience questions and comments. All presenters should explicitly relate research to ongoing discussions in the field and the wider academy.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Other (please explain below)
Comments: 
Proposer names are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members for the first round of steering committee review. For the next rounds and until final acceptance or rejection, proposer names are visible to both chairs and steering committee members.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee