Call for Papers: NAASR Annual Meeting


NAASR Annual Meeting

November 2013, Baltimore

Call for Papers

 The 2013 NAASR annual meeting, held jointly with the annual meetings of both the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL), will take place in Baltimore from Nov. 22-24. The NAASR Program Committee accepts proposals for both individual papers and complete panels. We welcome proposals for rigorous, critical, theoretically sophisticated scholarship on any aspect of religion.


NAASR Presidential Panel

 The NAASR Presidential Panel is a special program dealing with an important topic in the critical, analytical study of religion, selected annually by NAASR’s president. The president also seeks out the panelists. This year, President William Arnal has chosen the topic, “pedagogy and theory,” focused on critical engagement with Jonathan Z. Smith’s new collection, On Teaching Religion. While NAASR will not accept unsolicited submissions to the presidential panel, paper and panel proposals in any area that link up with the president’s topic are encouraged.


Programming Focus

 This year’s programming will focus on relationships between explanatory and critical-historical theory in the study of religion. Such varied theorists of religion as Émile Durkheim, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Clifford Geertz, and Jonathan Z. Smith can all be described as seeking scientific explanations, and indeed all described themselves so. All can equally be described as engaged in and developing critical and cultural theory of various kinds, and indeed all have arguably been most influential in those modes of theory. All are also among the constellation of distinguished thinkers to whom theoretically-informed scholars of religion continue to look for inspiration. And yet, much current scholarship insists upon a separation, usually exclusive, between these two dimensions of theory. Beyond the classic theoretical authors already mentioned, the Program Committee directs attention to the following article for consideration: Bruno Latour, “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern,” Critical Inquiry 30, no. 2 (Winter 2004): 225-248,

 For the Annual Meeting, we seek papers and panels that engage with aspects or dimensions of this fundamental theoretical binary.



The Committee welcomes proposals for individual papers or sessions from researchers at all levels (including graduate students, chaired professors, and independent scholars). It welcomes proposals from those new to NAASR, regardless of discipline or field, as well as those familiar with the Association and its aims. Applicants are encouraged to propose sessions that include a diverse mix of participants: multinational origins, a mix of men and women, a range of professional ranks, etc. Preference will be given to panels whose presenters have diverse institutional affiliations.

The Program Committee continues to welcome unconventional sessions, in which the format diverges in useful ways from the typical three/four papers with comment: round-table sessions, workshops with papers pre-circulated, “author meets critics” sessions, etc. Traditional paper panels are equally welcome.


Proposals for individual papers must include:

  1. A one-page abstract (maximum 500 words)
  2. A one-page curriculum vitae, including current postal and e-mail addresses

Proposals for complete sessions must include:

  1. A description of the session that explains how individual papers contribute to an overall theme (maximum 300 words)
  2. The names and paper titles of the presenters
  3. For each presenter, a one-page summary (maximum 500 words)
  4. For the commentator, chair, and each presenter: a one-page curriculum vitae, including current postal and e-mail addresses

Non-traditional proposals must include:

  1. A one-page description of the proposed activity or material (maximum 500 words)
  2. For each participant (including the proposing organizer), a one-page curriculum vitae, including current postal and e-mail addresses

Proposals should be submitted electronically to NAASR Vice President Christopher I. Lehrich. Word, WordPerfect, and RTF formats are preferred.

For more information please visit NAASR on the Web. For general questions about the Association, please email NAASR Executive Secretary Craig Martin.

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