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NAASR Note: Religious Studies, Liberal Arts, and the Public University

***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.

NAASR Note: When Is the Big Tent Too Big?

NAASR and the “Metacriticism of Biblical Studies” Program Unit of the Society of Biblical Literature are calling for proposals for a joint session at the 2015 annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia; the call focuses on the generally inclusive nature of religious studies as a whole:

When Is the Big Tent Too Big? We seek papers that critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of the “big tent” philosophy that governs professional organizations, publishing, and departments in religious studies and biblical studies. This “big tent” mixes etic and methodological naturalist perspectives with emic, confessional, and theological approaches to religion along with opportunities for interfaith dialogue. Contributors to this session identify the impact the Big Tent has on the secular study of religion and sacred texts and its status within the large world of secular disciplines of the humanities and social sciences.

For more information or to submit a proposal, please see the SBL webiste.

2015 Call for Proposals: Theory in a Time of Excess

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

(You can download a printable flyer here.)

NAASR Note: IAHR Extended Deadline

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.

2015 IAHR CFP Deadlines Approaching

IAHR-2015**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.