Dear MAR-AAR Colleagues,
We encourage you to submit proposals for the 2013 AAR Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting on March 13–15, 2013, to be held jointly with the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Society for Biblical Literature (MAR–SBL). This promises to be our best annual meeting yet! The MAR–AAR Executive Committee has selected the Sheraton Baltimore Center City hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, as our venue. We are staying in the heart of Baltimore, steps from public transit and only a few blocks from the Inner Harbor.
The theme for the 2013 annual meeting is “Religious Experience Through the Senses.” The program includes a Wabash workshop on effective pedagogy; a dynamic plenary from S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate, Hamilton College, who will present aspects of his current research and book on the subject of religious experiences and the senses; and several networking events for all members of the region, from senior scholars to graduate students. We invite members to explore religion through the various ways it is expressed through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. This exploration could encompass, but is not limited to:
Religious expression for many involves tasting, seeing, touching, smelling, and hearing to inform an understanding of a religious experience. Think broadly to ways in which your particular area of research can explore or be expressed through the senses. Think broadly to ways that disciplines outside of biblical and religious studies may be invited to participate.
Particular attention should be given to how each section shapes their call to engage this year's theme. Section chairs are encouraged, but not required, to pay attention to proposals that specifically address aspects of the senses in topic and in presentation.
For any ongoing updated conference information please consult our website. Information will be posted as it is available during the upcoming academic year.
Submission deadline has been extended to December 3, 2012.
Please review the various sections accepting proposals below. Submit your 500-word proposal and 150-word abstract by e-mail attachment to Chairs/contacts identified in the Section to which you’re submitting. Members may only submit one proposal to a Section, and a total of two proposals.
For any Section without a specific focus in its call for papers, check the Mid-Atlantic region’s webpage in the near future for more details on proposal specifications for those Sections. We also invite proposals for panels given by members of the AAR.
Conference Sections and Conveners:
Christian History and Theology
This Section invites proposals relating to this year’s regional conference topic of religious experience through the senses and its relationship to the history of Christianity and Christian theology. We are particularly interested in proposals that explore how Christian doctrines and practices have articulated, affected, neglected, or been influenced by the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. This exploration could encompass, but is not limited to, signs and symbols, art, story, rituals, ecclesial texts, testimonies, torture, imprisonment, societal norms that modulate bodily sensation, politically regimented control of bodily sensation, foods, textiles, music, vocalization, bodily movements, and prayer experiences. We particularly welcome proposals that relate this exploration of sensation to questions of power dynamics and inequality within Christian history. For example, how have gender, race, empire, and socioeconomic status influenced the ways in which Christian doctrines and practices have related to various forms of sensation? Paper proposals on other topics relating to Christian history and theology will also be considered.
Contemporary Theology (Nineteenth Century to the Present)
East Asian Religion
This Section invites papers on the broad range of issues from the perspective of East Asian religious traditions, especially addressing on the conference theme of religious experience through the senses. We encourage creative scholarly papers discussing issues where the religious and nonreligious intersect; specifically East Asian religious views on sensations, from ordinary experiences, artistic perceptions, and religious experiences of transformations — such as Buddhist enlightenment, Yoga practice, and Taoist Way — through the six sense faculties of the physical body. We also welcome papers on any topic related to the Section's general focus of East Asian religions.
Global Religion and Pluralism
This Section is seeking paper proposals that deal with religious sensory experience including, but not limited to, art, dance, folk crafts, signs and symbols, foods, music, media, story, and the implications of social media and technology on experiencing religion within a global religious context. Special consideration will be given to papers that come from the areas of Islam, Judaism, and religions of South Asia. Other global religions and religious contexts will also be considered.
Philosophy of Religion
This Section invites proposals relating to this year’s regional conference topic of religious experience through the senses and its relationship to the philosophy of religion. Paper proposals on other topics relating to philosophy of religion will also be considered.
Psychology and Religion
Religion and Ethics
Religion and Leadership
This Section seeks proposals that address the role of spirituality, religion, and faith in leadership behaviors and decision-making within the broader contexts raised by pluralism in society and the workplace. Overarching questions addressed by this Section engage leaders’ identity, purpose, and personal responsibility from religious perspectives as well as organizational engagement with issues raised by the intersection of religion, spirituality, and leadership. In keeping with this year’s conference theme, proposals for papers and panels that address leadership’s appeal to the senses, as well as papers addressing religion and leadership, are particularly welcome. The explication of the conference theme, which embraces such broad appeal to the senses as signs, symbols, bodily movement, and media, provides a wide vista of issues that can be addressed.
Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
Religion in America
This Section invites papers from various disciplinary perspectives on the study of the senses and its relationship to religion in North America, generally considered. We are particularly interested in the following themes and topics: 1) Americana, for example, is full of religious references in hymnology, crafting, art, and architecture. Recent studies of the senses in history, cultural studies, and religious studies have begun to examine the “embodied” character of religious practice and belief in a variety of historical contexts. This particular turn to the body can be understood as part of a larger move to “rematerialize” the study of religion through investigations that ground themselves in the material and bodily productions of religious communities; 2) Historiographic themes in addition to work that considers “religion” in both categorical terms and as a mediating apparatus. How does religion bind? How do senses produce knowledge of the religious? Does the individual reign supreme in the experience and description of sensorial religious experience?; 3) The investigation into the limitations of categories such as “experience,” “religious,” and “senses.” How do experiences become religious? Are experiences, as scholar of religion Ann Taves suggests, deemed religious or experienced as such?; and 4) The integration of the study and theory of affect into larger studies of American religious life. Materialized bodies move through the world and its zones of contact affecting and being affected in a variety of ways, including in the very study of religion itself. How can religion be understood as a collection of “feeling-practices?” How does sound or touch discipline religious behavior? Which religious subjects are heard or felt compared to those who are read and collected? How are scholars made by their religious subjects?
Religion, Pop Culture, and Media
This Section is dedicated to the scholarly exploration of religious expression in a variety of popular culture phenomena. We encourage multidisciplinary scholarship and are committed to taking popular culture seriously as an arena of religious and theological reflection and practice. We strongly encourage creative multimedia presentations that provide alternatives to the conventional reading of conference papers. In cooperation with this year's theme, we are specifically looking for proposals that explore the role our senses play in understanding the interplay of religion within pop culture media. We are looking for the exploration of the intersections of religion and pop culture content in various contemporary media exclusive of the medium. Proposals might examine the following areas: 1) Digital entertainment media — Youtube, virtual worlds, multiplayer games, etc.; 2) Comic books, graphic novels, manga, sci-fi and fantasy novels, etc.; 3) Cinema and television — Auteur theory, drama, sitcom, science fiction, fantasy, etc.; 4) The pedagogical use of pop culture media; 5) Sci-fi/Fantasy games and toys — video, board games, card games, role-playing, etc.; 6) Music — cover art, lyrics, videos, digital content, etc.; and 7) The relationship between any of the above. We may also consider other related areas if a strong argument can be made.
This Section gathers Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thinkers for the study of scriptural texts that speak to themes of contemporary importance. Papers should examine brief scriptural passages (drawing on both textual scholarship and reception history) and suggest how they address contemporary readers' concerns. Participants will be asked to circulate drafts in advance of the meeting and revise their papers in conversation with each other. At least one session will include textual study in small groups. We invite papers or panel proposals concerning the arts and scriptural interpretation, how Charles Peirce’s and William James’s conceptions of religious experience relate to textual interpretation, and the role of the senses for interpreting traditionally sacred texts. We welcome proposals on other topics as well and particularly encourage complete panel proposals, especially text-based panel proposals that require scriptural study.
*New* Undergraduate Session
We invite submissions from undergraduate students in the Mid-Atlantic region addressing the general conference theme, although the disciplinary perspective by which the theme is approached can vary. Proposal should include name, institutional affiliation, a 500-word maximum proposal that outlines the issue, your argument, and relevance, as well as a 150-word abstract. Questions about the session and the proposal process should be directed to the Vice President, as should your proposal and abstract.
*Please note that the deadline for the Undergraduate Session has been extended until February 1, 2013.
Please send proposals by e-mail attachment to all of the Section Chair(s) for the particular Section to which you are applying no later than December 3, 2012.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Awards
As has become our custom, MAR–AAR will award the Kate Connolly-Weinert Prize of $200 to the most innovative proposal for a group session (or panel) dealing with peace issues or women's studies. The deadline for submission has been extended to December 3, 2012.
To help foster graduate student participation, the Executive Committee of the MAR–AAR will again award the Robert F. Streetman Prize of $200 for the best student paper presented by an AAR regional member. Those interested in the Streetman prize should submit their entire paper by December 3, 2012, and clearly indicate they are submitting the paper for prize consideration.
Online registration will be available in January 2013 at http://www.aarweb.org/About_AAR/Regions/Mid-Atlantic. You will be notified by e-mail when our online registration is live. Please utilize the AAR website for registration, as it saves paper and helps the region fulfill our national AAR mandate to promote environmentally sustainable gatherings.
Between January 16–March 1:
After March 1st/onsite registration: $100
Your registration includes the following:
Sheraton Baltimore City Center
The Sheraton Baltimore City Center offers online hotel room registration here. The discounted hotel rate of $129 will be applied if you make your reservation online. Please note, all online reservations must be made by February 12, 2013. A limited number of discounted rooms have been reserved, so we strongly encourage you to reserve rooms early.
Alternatively you may call the Sheraton at 410-752-1100 to reserve rooms. Please indicate that you are attending our conference so that you can receive the conference rate. Discounted hotel rooms ($129) will be held until February 12, 2013.
As part of the American Academy of Religion’s commitment to host environmentally-sustainable meetings, we are asking participants to consider bringing reusable beverage containers and name badge holders from previous conferences in order to cut down on waste at the conference.
For any ongoing updated conference information please consult our website at http://www.aarweb.org/About_AAR/Regions/Mid-Atlantic. Information will be posted as it is available during the upcoming academic year.
Additional Regional Happenings
Please join other Mid-Atlantic Region members for a reception on Sunday, November 18, 2012, 9:00 PM–11:00 PM, in the Buckingham Room at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. We will update you on regional happenings and provide the latest information about the 2013 Mid-Atlantic regional annual meeting. There will also be plenty of time to network with colleagues.