Call for Papers 2019

AAR/SBL Women's Caucus
AAR/SBL Annual Conference
in San Diego, November 23-26 2019

Caucus Theme: Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces: 

A Necessary Long Term Focus in the Study of Religions


There are four women's caucus sessions open for papers at this year's AAR/SBL Conference.
Please submit your paper proposals for the following to by March 1, 2019.

Session #1: Creating and Expanding Public Spheres and Climate Change 

The AAR/ SBL Women’s Caucus, in collaboration with the Feminist Liberation Theologian’s Network (FLTN), invites papers asking questions about our role as feminist theologians and scholars of religion and educators’ responsibilities to public spaces in times of anthropogenic climate change. In light of AAR/SBL 2019’s theme, we are particularly interested in the commitment of scholars and academic institutions in relation to creating and expanding public spheres. How can feminist scholars use our experiences and skills to promote respectful discussions on difficult topics? How might these skills and experiences be used in communicating and bridging people's denial and/or unawareness of anthropogenic climate change? We particularly welcome papers engaging with questions related to how and why public spheres should be expanded to include the religious, gendered and racial experiences of minoritized and/or marginalized people around the globe (e.g. refugees, migrants, etc.). And, what would the next step in inclusivity in our own public spaces look like? Panelists from this Women’s Caucus session need to attend the pre-conference FLTN session on Friday afternoon, and a FLTNrepresentative will attend this Caucus session on Saturday morning to continue the conversation. Panelists will include reflections on the FLTN session in their presentations as well as present their own work.


Session #2: Redefining Fields: Considering New Resources

The disciplinary histories of religious and theological studies have been shaped by patriarchy, White supremacy, and colonialism in ways that are being challenged in new introductions to both fields: Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan Shaw's Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide and Sarah Bloesch and Meredith Minister's Cultural Approaches to Studying Religion: An Introduction to Theories and Methods. While Intersectional Theology makes an intervention into theological studies and Cultural Approaches to Studying Religion makes an intervention into religious studies, both texts seek to redefine their respective fields by challenging hegemonic ways of knowing at the introductory level. Both texts, therefore, invite students to think differently from the beginning instead of having to unlearn hegemonic ways of knowing. These sorts of interventions create a path toward better cooperation between the disciplines and reduce the need to draw sharp lines to protect hegemonic ways of knowing. For this panel, we invite submissions from emerging scholars that consider the contributions of these two books toward transforming pedagogy and, in particular, how we introduce our fields to students. We also invite submissions considering how these transformative interventions might redefine the boundary between religious and theological studies. 


Session #3: Women Scholars Constructing Knowledge and Influencing the Public Discourse 

This session invites proposals from women scholars in religion who have published books in the discipline of women studies, gender, sexuality and religion in 2018 and 2019. This panel’s authors will provide an overview of their books and share their perspectives on current research in theology, biblical studies and religious studies, focused on the intersection of gender, sexuality or queer studies in the public sphere. These scholars will also share their experiences regarding strategies and mechanics for getting women studies and religion books published, offering advice to those seeking publication of their own book manuscripts.


Session #4: Women’s Religious Biographies:  Growing our sources about women in religion and expanding the space for women on public platforms like Wikipedia

The 1000 Women in Religion Project, a major initiative of the AAR/SBL’s Women’s Caucus, is working to add 1000 Women biographies to Wikipedia where only 17.49% of the entries are about women.  A deficit of reliable sources about women important to the history and ongoing unfolding of the world’s religious and wisdom traditions makes it difficult for our wiki-editors to meet Wikipedia’s sourcing and notability standards for submission.  In support of our effort to expand and equalize the space devoted to women on Wikipedia in ways that address this systemic gender bias, we are seeking biographies about women who are (1) notable as founders, practitioners, teachers, resistors and researchers of the world’s religious and wisdom traditions and (2) do not already have a biographical entry on Wikipedia.  Original research including attention to primary sources such as interviews of living subjects, transcriptions of existing recordings and historical documents is encouraged.  We are also looking for original analysis that makes a strong case for the subject’s notability in her religious or spiritual area of influence.  Papers will be published on the Women’s Caucus website and used as a source for the submission of an article to Wikipedia.


Please provide the following information:

  • Individual paper title

  • Individual paper abstracts (250 words) Visual presentations should include a picture

  • Name

  • University Affiliation

  • Email Address

  • Phone Number

  • Please label the attachment with your name and session you are applying.

  • Email subject line must read: 2019 Paper Proposal - Session # & name: Paper Title

You are invited to submit up to two proposals for the Women’s Caucus 2019 sessions.


  • All presenters must be AAR/SBL members and pre-registered for the conference by July 2019.

  • Presentations will be 10-15 minutes in length.

  • Notice of acceptance/rejection will be sent out by the first week of April 2019. If accepted, your paper will not count towards the maximum paper limit for the AAR or SBL.


Please contact us if you need more information or have resources that might be helpful to our members.