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Regional Coordinator:

Susan E. Hill
705 Wisner Drive
Waterloo, IA 50702
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Region's Website


This is just a gentle reminder that the Upper Midwest Regional meeting is fast approaching! You can now register online.

March 30–31, 2012
Luther Seminary
Saint Paul, MN, USA

The officers of the Upper Midwest Region of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Schools of Oriental Research are pleased to announce the program for the annual regional meeting.

The AAR plenary speaker, Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies, Iliff School of Theology, will speak on Friday, March 30, at 1:00 PM, on "Immigrants: Why They Come."

The SBL plenary speaker, Claudia Camp, Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University, will speak on Saturday, March 31, at 9:00 AM, on "Home of the Mother, Exile of the Father: Gender and Space in the Construction of Biblical Identity." An extended conversation with Dr. Camp will follow her talk at 10:15 AM.

We would also like to draw your attention to two preconference events:

  • Friday, March 30: Miguel De La Torre will lead a discussion/workshop on "Hiring and Supporting Minority Faculty." Dr. De La Torre is a former Chair of AAR's Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee and is the editor of the AAR's Career Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession. This workshop is geared to anyone in AAR/SBL/ASOR who is interested in the ways that institutions can work to become more welcoming to minority faculty and students. Participants are encouraged to take a look at the REM Career Guide online, especially Chapter 7, "Dealing with Difficult Issues," and Chapter 8, "Are You Considering the Hire?" This workshop will be beneficial to faculty, as well as departmental chairs and deans; please let them know of this opportunity. 
  • Friday, March 30: The AAR will hold an extended session in the morning entitled "The Failures and Possibilities of Theological Reflection on the Arts: A Conversation with Dr. Wilson Yates." Dr. Yates is Professor Emeritus at United Theological Seminary and editor of the journal ARTS: The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies. Dr. Yates will discuss the history of theological interest in the visual arts in the twentieth century, focusing on the accomplishments and challenges of those who engaged in a theological examination of artistic work. He will offer a critique of various theological approaches to the arts, positing that "many of their approaches were limited and inadequate in their treatment of the artworks themselves, and, subsequently, gave us less substantively acute and historically accurate interpretations." Dr. Yates will discuss the reasons for these interpretive inadequacies and offer some thoughts as to how we might respond to these failures. Mary Bednarowski, Emerita Professor of Religious Studies, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and Wayne Roosa, Professor of Art History, Bethel University, will respond.

Other program highlights include:

  • A graduate student seminar on “Getting the Dissertation Done"
  • A joint AAR/SBL panel and discussion on "The Challenges of Teaching in the Midst of and in the Absence of Diversity"
  • A Conveners’ Luncheon on Friday from 11:30 AM–1:00 PM, sponsored by the AAR/SBL officers. Every year, conveners volunteer their time reviewing paper proposals and putting together sessions for the conference. This is an opportunity for us to say “thanks” for all of their hard work. In addition, this luncheon is for anyone interested in finding out about service opportunities in the region. If you are a current convener, or are interested in finding out more about how you can help, please register for the luncheon when you register for the conference. Lunch is free, but we need to know how many people to expect.

Details of the program, including descriptions of Friday’s special meetings, access to the registration page, and hotel information, are available here.

We encourage you to bring your own mug/water bottle, as we move toward a "greener" meeting.

Please feel free to contact Regional Coordinator, Susan Hill at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with questions.

Sections at the Regional Annual Meeting

Joint Sessions:

  • Asian/Asian American Theology and Religious Studies
  • Multicultural Perspectives on Theology, Religion, and Biblical Interpretation
  • Teaching the Bible and Religion
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Women, Religion, and Sacred Text

AAR Sessions:

  • Ethics
  • Historical Perspectives on Religion
  • Native American Religions
  • Philosophy of Religion/Systematic Theology
  • Religion and Ecology
  • Religion and Science
  • Religion, Art, and Culture
  • Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Religions in North America
  • World Religions

SBL Sessions:

  • Archaeology and Excavation Reports (sessions cosponsored by ASOR)
  • Early Christianity
  • Early Judaism and Judaic Studies
  • New Testament
  • Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
  • Religion in the Ancient World
Please note that the system for electronic submission of paper proposals is now closed.

This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.