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2024 AAR-SW Regional Conference Call for Papers

Religion at Work and at Play

The Southwest region of the AAR invites proposals on the theme of “Religion at Work and at Play,” or on any topic related to the field of Religious Studies. Proposals may be submitted online through this link: The submission deadline is now closed. For questions about the CFP or the conference, contact Cindy Dawson, AAR Regionally Elected Coordinator at [email protected] or Lora J. Walsh, AAR President at [email protected]

Paper or roundtable proposals related to the conference theme might address the following questions: How can we evaluate the “work” religion does socially, politically, economically, artistically, or in other fields of impact? How have past and present communities understood the specialized, professionalized, or remunerated “work” of religious leaders?  What is the place of religion at work and how do we make sense of new institutions and roles that have developed in response to religion in the workplace, such as corporate chaplaincy? Presentations that acknowledge the working conditions of scholars in our field and region and that explore new strategies for building solidarity and increasing opportunity are especially welcome.

In the spirit of play, presenters can share games that are helpful for teaching, describe the playfulness of religious practices and celebrations, examine gameplay as a form of immanent religion, and more. What playful images appear in texts, rituals, festivals, or religious arts, and how does this playfulness function in the larger context of a religious tradition? Suggestions for games to play at a religion-themed game night are also welcome!

In addition to proposing a paper, panel, or roundtable, the submission form invites several other forms of participation:

  • As a respondent for book-club sessions on books connected to our conference them;
  • As a participant in roundtables on using games in pedagogy, on contingent and adjunct faculty, on monographs in progress or in print by scholars in our region, or on the best of religious studies journalism
  • As a table-discussion leader for a professional development lunch; and / or as chair of a panel or roundtable

Book Club Respondents

Conference participants can apply to raise questions and prompt discussion about a book selection related to our conference theme. To apply, describe in 250-500 words how the selected book aligns with your teaching, research, or other interests, and how you would invite others to discuss the book. Book choices include:

  • Meatpacking America: How Migration, Work, and Faith Unite and Divide the Heartland, by Kristy Nabhan-Warren (UNC, 2021).
  • Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game: At the Center of Ceremony and Identity, by Michael J. Zogry (UNC, 2010).
  • God Laughs & Plays, by David James Duncan (Triad, 2006).

Roundtable Participants

To apply for one of these roundtables, summarize your expected contribution to the topic in 250-500 words.

“Games for Teaching Religion”: Do you have a favorite game for teaching religious studies concepts or content? Presenters can describe the game and / or guide conference participants in playing all or a portion of the game.

“Making It Work?: A Caucus for Adjunct and Contingent Faculty”: Participants will identify the conditions and circumstances of their current academic labor and suggest ways to support the wide variety of religious studies scholars in our region.

“Meet My Monograph: In Print or In Progress”: Roundtable participants will share struggles, obstacles, and strategies for completing book-length publications and will celebrate books by AAR-SW scholars.

“My Favorite Religion Journalism”: Have a favorite piece of long-form investigative reporting, podcast, or other journalistic medium on a religious studies topic? This roundtable will promote journalism that has proven most useful for sparking interest and sharing religious studies topics with students, family and friends, or other public audiences.

Past participants in this regional conference have valued the flexible and non-traditional session formats, the analogue (low- or no-tech) nature of most presentations and interactions, the opportunity to meet colleagues who work with similar student populations, the relative affordability of the conference location and venue, and the ease of making personal connections. Ideas for session formats and ways to connect conference participants are always welcome at [email protected] (Lora Walsh, President of AAR-Southwest).

Past Conference Programs:

2020 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference

2019 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference.

2018 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference.

2017 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference.

2016 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference.

2015 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference.

2014 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference.

2013 Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Regional Conference.