American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, 17 – 20 November 2018, Denver, Colorado, USA
The deadline for proposals is Thursday, March 1, 2018
Religion in Southeast Asia Unit
Situated at the nexus of several civilizational influences — including Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern — Southeast Asia, as a region, remains understudied in terms of its relevance to the theoretical and methodological study of religion. This neglect is in part due to the tendency to reduce Southeast Asian religious systems to the named “world religions” often identified with other regions. As a result, indigenous practices are not viewed in terms of their conceptual and other linkages — and in some cases the dynamic interactions between those practices and the religious practices brought over by different classes of immigrants are frequently overlooked. However, and especially in the last fifteen years, exciting materials addressing different religious cultures in Southeast Asia have emerged. Hitherto, there has been little scholarly conversation at the AAR on Southeast Asia. And, perhaps even less commonly, are Southeast Asian religious cultures (e.g., Buddhist, Islamic, Christian, Hindu, “animist,” Chinese, and Pacific) put into conversation with one another. In light of this need in the field, we strive to provide a context for this conversation as well as to foster critical thinking about Southeast Asia as a region.
The Religion in Southeast Asia Program Unit at the American Academy of Religion invites proposals for individual papers, paper sessions, and roundtables. For those interested in proposing organized paper sessions, we would encourage you to consider a 90-minute session with pre-circulated papers. (This can be indicated in your panel proposal.) Continuing our effort to cultivate a greater inclusiveness in the range of topics and participants involved in the Unit’s activities, we will favor submissions from both underrepresented groups and those who have never before presented in this Program Unit. Topics of special interest for 2018 include:
• Religion, borders, and violence
• Religion as a critical category
• Southeast Asian scholarship on religion in Southeast Asia
• Contemporary ethnographies of religion
• Cinema in Southeast Asia
The Religion in Southeast Asia Unit is working with the Religion and Popular Culture Unit to organize a jointly sponsored session on cinema in Southeast Asia. The session will explore film as a site for debating issues — such as, e.g., historical memory and violence, LGBTQ rights, the place of religion in public life, changing ideals of romantic intimacy and personal accomplishment — that have proven difficult to discuss in other public arenas.
• Decolonization as Healing
With a wide range of other units, we plan to co-sponsor a session on the theme of decolonization as healing, recognizing that colonization in Africa and in other parts of our world has resulted in both historical and ongoing threats to health and wellbeing. We are looking for papers that address facets of this theme, including but not limited to: “Place, Land, and Environmental Degradation,” “Decolonization/Restoration of Identities,” “Vocabularies and Pragmatic Applications of Rituals and Ceremonies,” “Reclaiming the Past, Imagining the Future,” and “Tradition as Healer”. Co-sponsored with the Religions, Medicines and Healing; African Diaspora Religions, African Religions; Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society; Body and Religion; Indigenous Religious Traditions; Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society; Native Traditions in the Americas; Religions in the Latina/o Americas; Religion in South Asia, Religion in Southeast Asia; and Religion, Colonialism and Postcolonialism; and World Christianity Units. Successful proposals will clearly identify where the project fits within the Call for Papers, and will speak to its broader implications for African American religious history.
This session is a panel. Please submit a proposal for a paper or presentation. If your proposal is chosen, your paper will be circulated ahead of the conference and you’ll be asked to give a brief (5-7 minute) summary of the paper during the conference session.
Proposals may also be submitted on any other subject relating to religion in Southeast Asia.