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Jonathan Z. Smith Conference in Trondheim, Norway (June 2019)

“When the Chips are Down,” It’s Time to Pick Them Up: Thinking with Jonathan Z. Smith

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway June 4-5, 2019

poster jpg

You can also find the abstracts HERE and the program HERE.

The Conference is also on Facebook where you can “like” the group HERE to follow, comment, ask questions, and get more information. During the conference, you can follow the hashtag #JZSatNTNU for live tweet updates.

NAASR Annual Meeting Program 2019 #naasr2019 • San Diego, CA

The North American Association for the Study of Religion is pleased to announce the program for our 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, November 22-24, 2019. Specific times and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

 NAASR Annual Meeting Program

History of the Field
Main paper author: Russell T. McCutcheon

Respondents:
James Edmonds
Jamil Grimes
Andrew Durdin
Rebekka King

International Perspectives on the Field
Main paper author: Rosalind Hackett
Respondents:

LeRon Shults
Tenzan Eaghll

Vaia Touna
Yasmina Burezah

Teaching the Field
Main paper author: Leslie Dorrough Smith

Respondents:
Rita Lester           
Ian Alexander Cuthbertson
Leonie C. Geiger
Martha Smith Roberts

The Role and Influence of Private Funding on the Field
Main paper author: Gregory Alles

Respondents:
Joshua Patterson
Michael J. Altman

John W. McCormack
Natalie Avalos

NAASR Working Groups 2019
American Examples
             Organized by Michael J. Altman

Critical Considerations of “Race” in Religious Studies
             Organized by Emily Crews, Richard Newton, and K. Merinda Simmons

NAASR Graduate Student Workshops*
Session One: Job Workshop
Session Two: Academic Publishing for Graduate Students
Session Three: Navigating the Politics of Academia
Session Four: Alternative Careers for Religious Studies Scholars

*Scholars of all concentrations within the field of Religious Studies are welcome to join the workshop—whether a NAASR member or not. Space is limited, so application does not guarantee participation, although we intend to accommodate as many people as we can. To register, please email NAASR VP Rebekka King at rebekka.king@mtsu.edu by no later than October 18, 2019. In this request to register please include your current degree or professional career stage and identify which session or sessions you would like to attend.

#naasr2019 • Nov. 22-24 • San Diego, CA

NAASR 2019 Graduate Student Workshops CFP

NAASR Graduate Student Workshops: Call for Participants

At our annual meeting in 2019, NAASR will sponsor four one-hour workshops for graduate students. One need not be a NAASR member to apply, although NAASR members will receive priority. Each session will explore a specific topic, and students can participate in any or all of the sessions. NAASR will provide a free lunch for participants as well. Scholars of all concentrations within the field of Religious Studies are welcome to join the workshop—whether a NAASR member or not. Space is limited, so application does not guarantee participation, although we intend to accommodate as many people as we can.

To register, please email NAASR VP Rebekka King at rebekka.king@mtsu.edu by no later than October 18, 2019. In this request to register please include your current degree or professional career stage and identify which session or sessions you would like to attend.

All workshops are on Sunday, November 24, 2019

Session One: Job Workshop
10:00 AM-11:00 AM, Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 202B (Second Level)
Russell McCutcheon (University of Alabama) and Matt Sheedy (University of Manitoba)

This workshop will explore the employment challenges facing early career scholars. Led by Russell McCutcheon and Matt Sheedy, this session addresses issues important to junior academics (notably, but not exclusively, ABDs now entering/about to enter the job market) by demonstrating how a professional organization can provide a practical and strategic forum for job-market advice. Workshop leaders will evaluate the participants’ C.V. and sample cover letter. They will also discuss the job market, the hiring process, interviews, and other issues related to the job market.

Session Two: Academic Publishing for Graduate Students
11:10 AM-12:10 PM Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 202B (Second Level)
Emily Clark (Gonzaga University) and Andie Alexander (Emory University)

This session will explore academic publishing opportunities for graduate students. Graduate students are not in positions to publish books, but numerous publication opportunities exist for them. Led by Emily Clark and Andie Alexander, this panel will help participants identify academic publishing opportunities and will provide strategies and tips for successfully publishing, with the goal of increasing marketability on the job market.

Graduate Student Luncheon – 12:10 PM-1:10 PM Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 202B (Second Level)

Session Three: Navigating the Politics of Academia
1:10 PM-2:10 PM, Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 202B (Second Level)
Rebekka King (Middle Tennessee State University), Richard Newton (University of Alabama), and Stacie Swain (University of Victoria)

Academia is coming to terms with its own #metoo movement. Graduate students and early career scholars are particularly vulnerable to harassment, discrimination, and abuse. This session will provide a forum to discuss the institutional politics and power dynamics that make it difficult to report such experiences in academia (in particular for women and minoritized groups). Rebekka King, Richard Newton, and Stacie Swain will provide input on strategies for making campuses safer, identifying resources for victims, and generating best practices for allies and bystanders.

Session Four: Alternative Careers for Religious Studies Scholars
2:20 PM-3:20 PM, Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 202B (Second Level)
Brad Stoddard (McDaniel College) and Emily Crews (University of Alabama)

 With more scholars competing for fewer jobs, PhDs in Religious Studies are increasingly looking for careers outside the academy. This workshop, led by Brad Stoddard and Emily Crews, will identify fields and career paths for PhDs who wish or who otherwise need to pursue alternative careers.

**

#naasr2019 San Diego, California, November 22-24, 2019

NAASR 2019 Annual Meeting CFP

“The Field”: Assessing and Critiquing the Academic Study of Religion

Call for Proposals

At our 2018 meeting, NAASR sponsored a panel commemorating the work, legacy, and influence of former NAASR President, Jonathan Z. Smith. Much of the discussion addressed his important work Imagining Religion, where Smith famously called scholars to be mindful of the ways they “imagine” religion and so-called religious data. Building off this crucial insight, NAASR 2019 will highlight the field of the academic study of religion and its impact on the ways that scholars and others imagine religion. NAASR 2019 will explore various factors that influence the production of academic discourses on religion and their dissemination in the classroom, in academic literature, in public debates, and in other forms of information dissemination. Specifically, the program for 2019 will focus on four topics: History of the Field, The Role and Influence of Private Funding of the Field, Teaching the Field, and International Perspectives on the Field.

A few of the issues that we intend to address are: How is religion constructed and depicted in the academic study of religion? How do private donors selectively privilege certain descriptions of religion, and to what ends? How do instructors communicate and/or critique these descriptions to students and to broader audiences? Scholars are increasingly called to engage in public scholarship. What is public scholarship, who answers these calls, and how do scholars imagine religion in this scholarship?

Following the model used for the past several annual meetings, four main, substantive papers will be invited and distributed both to respondents and to NAASR members approximately one month prior to the meeting. The authors of the main papers will summarize their papers at the meeting. Each paper will then have four respondents, who will have fifteen minutes each to reply to the main paper. An open discussion will follow for the remainder of the session.

Following the precedent set over the past four years, the aim once again is to publish these sessions as a book (with responses from the main paper presenters) under the NAASR Working Papers series with Equinox Publishing (edited by Martie Smith Roberts).

This is therefore a call for respondents.

The four main papers will be invited, each to examine the implications of framing our research as focusing on one of the following topics:

  • History of the Field
  • The Role and Influence of Private Funding of the Field
  • Teaching the Field
  • International Perspectives on the Field

The main presenters will be asked to analyze the construction of religion in academic literature in light of their assigned theme (or articulated theme, given theme, specific theme), to advocate/critique scholarship carried out in that vein, and to explore its implications both for the field and for the broader imagining of religion. Submissions for possible respondents (16 in total are needed) must each:

  1. identify the key theme (one of the four immediately above) on which they wish to focus in their reply
  2. provide a brief (max. 500 words) statement on the most pressing issue(s) in need of consideration when addressing scholarship on religion and one of these themes
  3. as part of (2), discuss how their scholarship and/or field of study explores the theme

We would like to pair scholars from diverse data domains.

NAASR especially invites submissions from early career scholars who have an interest in the topics explored in our sessions.

Please send your proposal as a file attachment by March 1, 2019, to NAASR VP Rebekka King at rebekka.king@mtsu.edu

#naasr2019 • Nov. 22-24 • San Diego, CA

Call For Papers: Thinking with Jonathan Z. Smith Conference in Trondheim, Norway

NAASR, in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, is pleased to announce the call for papers for the upcoming conference in June 2019.

See the full CFP HERE.

“When the Chips are Down,” It’s Time to Pick Them Up:

Thinking with Jonathan Z. Smith

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway

June 4-5, 2019

Confirmed keynote speaker:
Aaron W. Hughes, Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Jewish Studies
in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester

In his bio-bibliographical essay, J. Z. Smith wrote that he was fond of the expression “when the chips are down” in the sense of all being said and done. With his passing away in December 2017, the phrase has gained an additional layer of sad finality. Now, the chips are really down. And that means, it is time for us to pick them up. With this in mind, we would like to invite interested scholars to submit abstracts considering theoretical and methodological issues central to J. Z. Smith’s oeuvre in the context of their own research.

For example, in “When the Chips are Down” (in Relating Religion, 2004) Smith described his “persistent preoccupations”: the questions of taxonomy, comparison, similarity and difference, translation, defamiliarization, redescription, and generalization. To what extent, if at all, can we implement, reinterpret, and develop these concerns in new directions and in new data domains? What advantages and limitations do the perspectives that J. Z. Smith illuminated present when applied to the various items that we each study? Is thinking with J. Z. Smith still a road worth pursuing and, if so, where can it take us— either in our own work or collectively, as a field? By answering these and similar questions, we want to test the adequacy and applicability of Smith’s concerns for new situations, historic periods, and regions, and thus to provide an indirect assessment of J. Z. Smith’s influence and legacy in the field of Religious Studies.

200-300 words paper proposals should be sent to smithtrd2019@gmail.com
and accompanied by one-paragraph biographical information.

Deadline for proposal submission: December 15, 2018.
Final decisions on conference participation will be sent out by January 21, 2019.

The conference has no registration fee. Meals and hotel accommodations in Trondheim will be covered.

Presenters will be invited to submit full-text articles for a planned publication in the NAASR Working Papers series.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact conference organizers

Barbara Krawcowicz (barbara.krawcowicz@ntnu.no) or
Ann-Kathrin Bretfeld-Wolf (ann.k.bretfeld-wolf@ntnu.no).

NAASR Job Market Workshop Updates

#naasr2018

We are pleased to announce the first facilitators for the NAASR Job Market Workshop at this year’s annual meeting in Denver.

Jason Blum and Laura Levitt will be leading our small group sessions on Sunday, November 18. The workshop is divided into three main sessions over the course of the afternoon.

  1. Workshop/Small Groups 1:00-2:00 pm
  2. Q&A/Discussion 2:00-3:00 pm
  3. Networking and Conversation 3:00-4:30 pm

Space is limited to 25 participants in this NAASR workshop, and participants can stay for as long or as little as they like. To register, please e-mail the organizer, Michael Graziano (grazmike [at] gmail [dot] com) by no later than October 15, 2018. In this request to register please include your current degree or professional career stage.

You can find more info about the workshop, including the CFP, HERE.

 

 

Updates to NAASR Bylaws

NAASR members,

Over the past year or so, it became clear that our bylaws have not kept pace with our growth, with our various partnerships, and with broader trends in academia. To rectify that, the Executive Council is proposing two important changes. First, the EC reviewed the bylaws and suggested a series of minor changes that reflect our new partnerships and changes to the voting members of the EC. These changes appear in bolded text in the download below.

 

NAASR Bylaws_Proposed for 2018 Meeting

Second, one of the proposed changes adds a Code of Conduct to the bylaws. Earlier this year, NAASR hired an attorney who specializes in employment and discrimination law. The attorney drafted a Code of Conduct which the EC then modified slightly to reflect our specific organization. After several rounds of revisions, the attorney and the EC approved our final draft, which is also available to download from this page.

 

 

The existing bylaws allow NAASR members to amend the bylaws provided we post the proposed revisions at least 30 days before the annual meeting. We will then vote on the new bylaws during the business meeting in Denver.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Best,
Brad