February 24 2020

2017 Midwest Region Call for Papers

Map of the AAR Midwest Region

2017 Midwest Regional Meeting

March 3–4, 2017
Ball State University
Muncie, IN

2017 Call for Papers

Conference Keynote Speaker: Thomas Tweed, University of Notre Dame, "Religion in Higher Education"

The deadline for proposal submissions is January 10, 2017

  • Authors may submit a 400 to 500 word proposal for individual papers or for panels of papers. 
  • The proposal form requires you to submit your proposal to a single section chair.  Please also cc the Vice President and Program Chair of the Conference, mstewart@adrian.edu
  • Descriptions of each section are listed on the Section Chairs web page. If you have any questions about whether your proposal is appropriate for a particular section, please contact that section’s chair. 
  • If you feel your proposal does not fit into any of our current sections, you may submit it to the Special Topics section. 
  • While at least one Special Topics session may be related to the theme addressed by the conference speaker, proposals to Special Topics (or any other section) need not be tailored to fit the themes addressed in the plenary session. 
  • Creative, unconventional, interactive session formats are encouraged. 
  • You may also opt to submit a proposal for a poster if that better suits your project; just indicate this in the proposal itself. 
  • If you are interested in organizing a panel, email the section chair directly.

Please observe these restrictions:

  1. You may submit up to two different proposals to a single section.
  2. You may submit up to two different proposals to two different sections.
  3. You may not submit the same proposal to two different sections.

Notification of acceptance/rejection will be sent out at the beginning of February.


The Midwest Regional Conference is sub-divided into 14 Sections.

Conference paper proposals should be targeted to one of these broad sections listed below. If you have any questions about whether your proposal is appropriate for a particular section, please contact that section’s chair. If you feel your proposal does not fit into any of our current sections, you may submit it to the Special Topics section

Please do NOT send proposals by e-mail attachment to the section chairs. Instead, please submit your conference paper proposal using the online system posted here, when the call to papers becomes active.

Sections and Section Chairs

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that treat religion from anthropological or sociological perspectives.  Proposals can approach the study of religion as a social institution in relationship to other social institutions and/or belief systems of a given culture.  Proposals can also examine cross-cultural comparisons of formal and informal expressions of religion. 

Jackie Rhoades, Rhodes State College, dr.v.j.rhoades@gmail.com

Ecology and Science in the Study of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that explore the interrelationships between religion and all aspects of the natural world (understood as nature, cosmos, creation, environment, ecology, etc.). Encompasses subject matters and theoretical perspectives generally associated with the scholarly subfields of religion and ecology, religion and science, and religion and animals. Papers and panels may have a theological orientation or be identified as work in the academic study of religion.

Harrison King, Northwestern University, harrisonking2019@u.northwestern.edu
Nancy Menning, Ithaca College, nmenning@ithaca.edu

Ethics and Philosophy of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels dealing with ethical theory, applied ethics, moral theology, and other topics related to religion and morality, as well as papers dealing broadly with the philosophy of religion, such as questions of religious ontology, metaphysics, and epistemology.

Dustin Byrd, Olivet College, DByrd@Olivetcollege.edu.

Gender and Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that explore the intersections of religion, gender, the body and sexuality and how these meeting points create new places of exploration into the religious experiences of human beings as gendered, sexed, and embodied beings.  Proposals addressing the intersectionality of race, class, and gender/sexuality/embodiment and feminist approaches to the study of religion are especially encouraged.

Katie Deaver, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, deavka01@luther.edu

History of Christianity

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that analyze any variety of Christianity from academic, historical, and social scientific perspectives. Proposals for papers that adopt theological, constructive, confessional, or faith-based perspectives should be submitted to either the Theology or the Ethics and Philosophy of Religion Section.

David Barbee, Winebrenner Theological Seminary, dmbarbee@hotmail.com


Solicits proposals for papers and panels focusing on any aspect of the Islamic tradition, including its texts, history, or practices. Proposals may focus on any time period and be from any disciplinary approach, so long as the topic is capable of engaging scholars of Islam.

Mun'im Sirry, University of Notre Dame, msirry@nd.edu

Literature and Sacred Texts in the Study of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that examine the intersection of religion and the arts, with a focus on literature (broadly defined to include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and dramatic works), as well as sacred texts from global traditions. The call also extends to papers and panels that address the connections between religion, sacred and/or secular literature, and the arts.

Tara Flanagan, Loyola University Chicago, taraelizabethflanagan@gmail.com

Material and Sensory Cultures of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that explore the importance of materiality and sensory cultures as they are manifested in and encountered by religion and spirituality. This section welcomes submissions with an interest in religious art and iconography, embodiment, the visual arts, music and aural cultures, sensory encounters, architecture, and photography, with an emphasis on vernacular manifestations.  

Rachel Lindsey, Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in Saint Louis, rmlindsey@wustl.edu

Religion and American Culture

Solicits proposals for papers and panels exploring social, cultural, and historical aspects of religion in the Americas, and of the United States in particular. Studies of religious traditions or ideas that are not specifically situated in, or related to, their manifestations in this geographical context are not accepted.

Kristen Tobey, John Carroll University, ktobey@jcu.edu

Religions of Asia

Solicits proposals for papers covering textual, ethnographic, or other historical and cultural studies of the religious traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, consisting primarily of (but not necessarily limited to) Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

Jason Fuller, DePauw University, jfuller@depauw.edu

Special Topics

Solicits proposals for papers and panels not appropriate for other Sections. Preference will be given to those proposals that focus on the topic of the annual conference keynote. 

Steve Young, McHenry County College, SYOUNG@mchenry.edu

Study of Judaism

Solicits proposals broadly inclusive of Judaism and Jewish tradition. Panels and proposals may address textual studies, history concerning any time period from the ancient to the modern, theology, sociology, or anthropology of Jewish subjects.

Vadim Putzu, Missouri State University, VPutzu@missouristate.edu

Teaching Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels on teaching practices (syllabi, assignments, classroom activities), the use of innovative pedagogies, challenges relevant to teaching particular courses, advising and mentoring, or reflections on (the joys and challenges of) teaching in our field.

Spencer Dew, Centenary College of Louisiana, sdew@centenary.edu


Solicits proposals for papers and panels in all areas of theology from within or about any religious tradition.  Theology here can be broadly defined as reflections on the nature of God, on humanity (including--in Christian language--sin, salvation, suffering, etc.), epistemology/theological method (i.e. how one knows or speaks of God), and related questions and issues. This section especially invites proposals that are constructive--that is, ones that make contestable claims about theology and theological method and so contribute to the ongoing work of theological reflection--rather than ones that are exclusively historical, descriptive, or comparative in nature.

Jason Mahn, Augustana College, jasonmahn@augustana.edu

Undergraduate Students

Specifically designed for undergraduate students in the field of religious studies who wish to broaden their academic experience by presenting their research at a formal conference, this Section solicits proposals for papers by undergraduate students on any topic concerning religion.

Brian Smith, Ripon College, SmithB@ripon.edu

Proposal Submission Form