Ritual Studies Group Call for Papers: The AAR and SBL Meeting Atlanta, Georgia November 21-24

Atlanta Skylines of and from Atlantic Station

Ritual Studies Group Call for Papers

Deadline: Monday, March 2 2015, 5:00 PM EST, through: http://papers.aarweb.org/

Statement of Purpose:

This Group provides a unique venue for the interdisciplinary exploration of ritual — broadly understood to include rites, ceremonies, religious and secular performances, and other ritual processes — in their many and varied contexts, and from a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Call for Papers:

The Ritual Studies Group encourages submissions from scholars whose research focus on the study of ritual, and from scholars keen to develop theoretical sophistication in the study of ritual. This year, we particularly invite papers on:

  • Ethical Questions in the Study of Ritual: We are particularly interested in papers or panel proposals which examine the particular ethical and normative issues in the study of ritual and ritual traditions. We are also open to papers taking on broader questions of the relationship between ritual and ethics.
  • Ritual, Body, Movement, and Space: We are interested in papers that look at various embodied practices, such as walking and dancing within ritual contexts and, more broadly, papers examining the sensual dimension of ritual. In this context, we are also interested in papers providing new or innovative ways of examining possession or trance.  
  • Ritual and Social Change: We are interested in research examining the role of ritual in social change or the contributions ritual studies can make to understanding social change. We are particularly interested in papers attending to ritual and climate change.

In addition, we are interested in the following topics for potential joint sessions with other program groups:

  • Ritual and Film: Building from 2014 presentations on ritual and film we are interested in proposals on film in the study of ritual, especially with regard to the use of film in fieldwork or ethnographic filmmaking, for a potential joint session with the Anthropology of Religion Group.
  • Ritual, Sex, and Gender: We are interested in proposals that look at the relationship between ritual, sex, sexuality, and gender for a potential co-sponsorship with the Men, Masculinities, and Religions Group.
  • Ritual and Esotericism: We are interested in proposals that might contribute to a joint panel with the Western Esotericism Group that focus on the ways in which esoteric discourses often oscillate between normativity and transgression when they become embodied in rituals. Any other aspect of the relationship between western esotericism and ritual studies will also be considered.

In addition to the listed topics, the Ritual Studies Group is also open to reviewing any proposals that might contribute positively to the academic study of ritual. We are interested in both individual paper proposals and proposals for full panels. Panel proposals should include full proposals for individual papers. Please note, because we are exploring alternative formats for our sessions, contributors may be asked to submit their papers in advance of the meeting to be available to attendees, and to present a short summary instead of a full paper at the meeting. 




Proposer names are visible to chairs and steering committee members at all times


We had some dispute on this process within the committee, and switched from initial anonymous review to a visible review.

Based on broader program committee desires we will be using an open process.



Grant H. Potts, [email protected]

Jens Kreinath, [email protected]

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