CFP: Secularism and Secularity – American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting

CFP: Secularism and Secularity – American Academy of Religion  (AAR) Annual Meeting

Over the course of the last few decades, theoretical reappraisals of the secular have tried in a variety of ways to destabilize and revalue the notion of the secular so that it no longer means simply the “absence of religion.” Yet vernacular uses of the secular frequently continue to orbit around that very understanding. With this in mind, we invite proposals for papers or panels that explore “the secular” at its various sites of construction. In concert with this year’s conference theme, we are particularly interested in proposals that critically engage public understandings of secularism as well as those that investigate the constitution of the secular in religiously plural publics, in multiple identity formations (especially among the so-called religious “nones”), and in and through a range of social practices (for example, those related to death and dying). In addition, for a possible cosponsored session with the Death, Dying, and Beyond Group, we seek proposals on secular approaches to death.

To submit a paper proposal please follow the instructions on the AAR website found here. All proposals must be submitted no later than March 1 March 4, 2013.

Questions can be directed to the program unit co-chairs (Per Smith and Jonathan VanAntwerpen) at

UPDATE – The AAR has extended its deadline for proposals to Monday, March 4th.

CFP: “Irreligion, Secularism and Social Change” Deadline for abstracts 13th February 2012

This CFP is the result of a discussion a few of us have been having about putting together an exploratory session at this year’s AAR, in the hope that we can create a group within the AAR yearly program to deal with irreligion/nonreligion and secularism topics going forward.

“Irreligion, Secularism and Social Change”

Exploratory session, American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Chicago, IL on Nov 17-20.

Society is always in flux, a fact that could hardly be missed in 2011, the year of the protester. As such, social change has become a hot topic in a variety of academic disciplines. Those dealing with religion are asking questions about how religious belief systems envision utopia, how religious institutions promote or stifle transformations of society, and how social change in turn transforms religion; but what about irreligious institutions, nontheistic belief systems and secularism? How do they relate to and interact with social change? This panel was born out of the belief that it is also important to investigate the relationship between social change and “the secular.” Paper topics may include but are not limited to nontheistic moral philosophies and worldviews, irreligious communities, institutions and individuals, or secularism as ideology and practice. We hope to get proposals from a wide array of disciplinary perspectives and papers will be selected based on thematic relevance and methodological diversity. If you are interested in participating please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to by the end of the day, Feburary 13, 2012.

Please note that this panel is also part of an effort to create an “Irreligion and Secularism” unit within the American Academy of Religion annual meeting program and is therefore being pitched to the AAR as an exploratory session. This means that once your paper is selected the panel still requires approval from the AAR program committee before it gets accepted for this year’s annual meeting.

For further details please contact, Per Smith: