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NAASR 2016 ● San Antonio, TX ● November 18-19, 2016
With the success of the 2015 NAASR program—devoted to examining the current state of theory in the study of religion with four main papers plus responses—the 2016 program will retain the same format but turn its attention instead to the closely related topic of method. And because of the wide variety of methods used in the cross-disciplinary study of religion we’re proposing narrowing the focus to four key tools that all scholars of religion surely employ, regardless their approach to the study of religion: description, comparison, interpretation, and explanation.
The program committee is therefore inviting members to consider the place of each of these in the study of religion—recognizing that examining each opens conversations on far wider topics of relevance to NAASR’s mission, such as description being intimately linked to ethnography, viewpoint, first person authority (to name but a few). In much the same way, detailed consideration of the other three tools also leads into conversations on the basics of the field (E.g., Having survived critiques of comparison as ethnocentric, what is the future of comparative studies and how ought they to be carried out? Given the once dominant, but for some now discredited, place of hermeneutical approaches what is entailed in the interpretation of meaning today? And, despite their once prominent place several generations ago, what does one make of the continuing lack of interest in the academy in naturalistic, explanatory theories of religion?) This focus on method, by means of these four basic tools, therefore provides us with an opportunity to assess the current state of the field.
As with the 2015 program, three scholars who work in a variety of subfields will respond to each of the four main papers (thereby involving 16 participants in total). The four main, pre-circulated papers will only be summarized briefly at their sessions and a large portion of the sessions will again be reserved for open conversations; the goal is that all of the papers will then be published in a special issue of MTSR. Unlike last year, however, the Program Committee will commission the four main generative papers (based on hopes that they eventually contribute to a new NAASR book series, to be announced soon).
The call this year, then, is for 12 respondents who are willing to each tackle the statements made by one of the four main papers. A successful proposal to be a respondent must address only one of the four tools—description, comparison, interpretation, or explanation—briefly demonstrating how you understand the term, challenges for its use today, and what, for you, is at stake in its deployment in a specific historical, textual, or behavioral situation. Successful proposals, then, should briefly demonstrate an awareness for how one of these tools intersects with the history of our field and our current practices, which simultaneously demonstrates your preparation to offer a challenging and thought-provoking response at this year’s upcoming meeting.
Send your 250 word (max.) abstract to
NAASR’s Vice President, Aaron Hughes (email@example.com),
by no later than March 01, 2016
Note: based on the success of the 2015 workshop, a NAASR jobs workshop will also be offered in 2016, organized again by Mike Graziano; more information on this will be circulated at a later date.
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
University of Chicago Divinity School
April 15-16, 2016
Keynote Speaker: Professor Thomas Tweed
The University of Chicago Divinity School is pleased to announce its first annual Graduate Student Conference, to be held on April 15th and 16th, 2016. This year’s theme is “Religion and Movement.” We understand the definitions of the conference’s constitutive categories—“religion” and “movement”—to be highly contingent and contestable, and therefore to be open to a multitude of varied interpretations. We invite papers that consider these topics from all disciplinary and methodological orientations. Papers may address any number of traditions, geographies, or historical time periods, but should involve sustained and self-conscious theoretical reflection on the conference themes.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to: immigration and/or migration; diaspora; pilgrimage; dance; ritual performance; spirit possession; movement within/between public and/or private spaces; embodied engagement with architecture or other material objects; the movement of capital or material culture.
Graduate students interested in applying to the conference should submit a CV and a paper abstract of 300-500 words to [firstname.lastname@example.org] by January 15th, 2015. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by January 31st, 2016. We encourage students from all fields and all levels of graduate study with interdisciplinary interests in the study of religion to submit proposals. We are eager to support and engage the work of students who identify as members of groups typically under-represented in academia. Some financial support may be available to those students who require aid in order to attend.
We welcome any questions applicants might have and invite you to communicate directly with the organizing committee, which is made up of doctoral students from a number of the Divinity School’s subfields. Questions may be sent to us at [email@example.com].
Religious Studies and Theology—a journal for which several NAASR members serve on the editorial board—is looking for submissions. This peer-reviewed journal publishes in June and December; however manuscripts are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Religious Studies and Theology welcomes original research pertinent to the contemporary world from a range of disciplines, with a particular interest in Canadian perspectives and/or studies of Canada from abroad and in relation to global contexts.
Manuscript submission is easily completed online here. Submissions are sent by the Editor to two peer-reviewers in a double-blind process. You will be notified within one week of submission if your manuscript has been sent for review. You will be notified of the decision within approximately three months and will be provided with a copy of reviewer comments.
Religion, a leading peer-reviewed journal in the study of religions, seeks submissions for a special issue on “Religion and Journalism.”
If religion is in the news, this is the result of journalism. Journalists put religion on the agenda. Moreover, many religious groups have their own newspapers and magazines and forms of journalism.
The editors invite the submission of academic articles addressing any aspect of this theme, including but not limited to the following: forms of religious journalism; the representation of religion by journalists; journalists as religious agents; changes and challenges in the work of covering religions; insider/outsider dynamics in religion reporting; global and national trends in religion coverage (thematic and structural); ethical challenges of reporting on religion; impact of new technologies on these issues; etc.
For more information, see the journal’s website here.
As one of NAASR’s journals, the editors of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion wish to extend a warm invitation to NAASR members to contribute articles, review essays, interviews, response articles, and announcements.
The Bulletin is the premiere non-refereed journal in the academic study of religion, publishing articles addressing method & theory in the study of religion, history of the discipline, pedagogical reflections, and accessible research arising from various area studies. The Bulletin has a long history of engaging and challenging both theoretical and professional trends in the study of religion.
Articles range in length from 3000 to 7000 words. Both standalone pieces and panels of papers are welcome. Guidelines are available online here. Please address any queries to the editor, Philip L. Tite (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), or the managing editor Arlene Macdonald (firstname.lastname@example.org).
***Deadline extended to 31 January 2015***
The following CFP might be of interest to NAASR members:
Religious Studies, Liberal Arts, and the Public University
The conference will examine religious studies methods, curriculum, pedagogy, and ethos in terms of the field’s relationship to two key social locations, the liberal arts and the public university. Proposals are invited for papers and presentations on this theme. The organizers are particularly interested in the following topics: the intersection or disjunction of religious studies methods with the fields of humanities and social sciences; what religious studies contributes to liberal education; disciplinary ethos in the context of public universities bound by the First Amendment; the public university as fertile context for religious studies as an analytical discipline; history of religious studies at public universities; curricular and pedagogical challenges of religious studies in both liberal arts and public university contexts; the departmental model and its alternatives, especially the presence of religious studies as part of multidisciplinary departments; the articulation of the value of religious studies in an age of austerity; and particular challenges for religious studies in online or hybrid pedagogy. Proposals falling under the conference title but not specifically listed here will also be considered. Please send proposals (250 word maximum) by email attachment to Professor Rebecca Raphael at rr23 at txstate dot edu by January 31, 2015. The conference will be held April 10-11 at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Philosophy, and the NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in Humanities.
Although the terms “method and theory” can now be found in course titles, curricula/degree requirements, area/comprehensive exams, and listed as competencies on the CVs of scholars from across a wide array of subfields, and while a variety of groups at annual scholarly conferences itemize theorizing among the topics that they routinely examine, it seems that few of the many examples of doing theory today involve either met-reflection on the practical conditions of the field or rigorously explanatory studies of religion’s cause(s) or function(s). So, despite the appearances of tremendous advances in the field since NAASR’s founding as the lone place for carrying out theory in the study of religion—when “theory” was indeed a rare word and was often replaced with the more neutral “approach”—it can be argued that little has changed.
The upcoming 2015 meeting in Atlanta marks the organization’s 30th anniversary and so the NAASR program will be divided into two related parts: (i) an invited Presidential Panel on the history of NAASR and the changing (or not) circumstances of its present and possible future and (ii) four separate panels (all leading up to the Presidential Panel), two hours in length each, all exploring a variety of views on how one carries out theorizing in the academic study of religion today—when almost everyone claims to be a theorist but few seem to do theory.
Each of the four panels will focus on one substantive statement on what theory is (or is not) and what can (or cannot) be accomplished by adopting a particular understanding of the requirements of theorizing in the human sciences. This call for proposals is therefore devoted to having NAASR members submit approx. 250 word abstracts from which the Program Committee will select four papers, each of which presses members to consider different issues involved with defining and doing theory in the academic study of religion. The abstract must make clear the submitters understanding of what constitutes theory while also summarizing the direction of his/her argument and any examples/data domains with which the presenter will work.
Note: Proposals selected will need to result in substantive and original essays, of approx. 4,000-5,000 words in length, that will be submitted to NAASR in PDF form by no later than October 1, 2015, for pre-distribution to all members. Also, these papers will not be read in Atlanta but, due to the pre-distribution, presenters will have 15 minutes to orally summarize their arguments. Respondents will then be invited by the Program Committee to work with each paper, applying and testing its argument.
Our goal is to publish the collection in MTSR or another appropriate venue.
Submit all proposals, by no later than February 15, 2015, as PDF file attachments to:
Prof. Aaron Hughes
NAASR Vice President and Chair of the Program Committee
University of Rochester
aaron.hughes at rochester dot edu
The IAHR September e-Bulletin is out. You can find it here.
Of particular note is the extended deadline for panel proposals for the 2015 meeting in Erfurt—the new deadline is 15 December 2014.
Also worth mentioning is the proposal to change the name of the IAHR, something which will be discussed at Erfurt next year. See the e-Bulletin for more details.
**Update: the deadline for panel proposals have been extended to 15 December.**
The deadline for panel proposals for the 2015 IAHR World Congress—to be held in Erfurt, Germany—is 14 September 2014! (The deadline for individual paper proposals is a little further off: 15 December 2014). You can find out more about the IAHR Quinquennial meeting by checking out the IAHR website or the conference website.
Here’s are the details for the call for panels:
We invite contributions from all disciplines of religious studies and related fields of research to allow for broad, interdisciplinary discussion of the Congress topic to register their panels for the XXI World Congress of the IAHR. Panels should address one of the four thematic Congress areas: Religious Communities in Society: Adaption and Transformation – Practices and Discourses: Innovation and Tradition – The Individual: Religiosity, Spiritualities and individualization – Methodology: Representations and Interpretations.
Each panel lasts two hours. Panel papers should be limited to 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of panel participants. Panel conveners are asked to approach possible participants from different nations to reflect the scope and internationality of the IAHR Congress.
To propose a panel, please submit a general proposal of the panel as well as individual proposals of all papers included in the panel. Both panel and papers of a proposed panel will be evaluated by the Academic Program Committee to ensure a high academic standard of the Congress program. We therefore ask panel conveners to submit the proposals of all prospective panel participants of a proposed panel as indicated by the submission form. Proposals of panels and of papers should not exceed 150 words.
The deadline for submission of proposals is Sunday, September 14, 2014. All proposals must be submitted electronically via the IAHR 2015 website (www.iahr2015.org). As part of the submission process, you will be asked to indicate the area in which you would like your proposal considered. Your proposal will then be forwarded to the appropriate member of the Academic Program Committee.
You will receive notice concerning the status of your proposal as soon as possible and certainly before March 1, 2015. If your panel or paper has been accepted by the Academic Program Committee, please note that you will have to register as Congress participant before May 15, 2015 to be included in the Congress program.