January 29 2020

2016 Southwest Region Call for Papers

map of the AAR Southwest Region

2016 Southwest Regional Meeting

Marriott Hotel, DFW Airport North
Irving, Texas
March 11–13, 2016

General Information

The annual meeting will be held March 11–13, 2016 at the Marriott Hotel, DFW Airport North in Irving, Texas.

This year each of the member societies in SWCRS has been invited to think creatively about incorporating the theme of "Engaging Diversity" into sessions of the 2016 meeting. The societies' Call for Papers posted here each make reference to "Engaging Diversity," and members are encouraged to submit papers around this theme.

The Southwest Commission on Religious Studies invites members of constituent organizations to submit paper proposals for the 2016 regional meeting. Proposals should be submitted to the person designated in each section. Please indicate if the proposal is being submitted to more than one section. Proposals may be submitted to more than one section, but in order to accommodate as many people as possible, papers may not be read more than once during the meeting. Unless otherwise indicated, the deadline for paper proposal submission is October 15, 2015.

A response to your proposal will be sent within one month of the Oct. 15 deadline. If your proposal is accepted, you should confirm your participation in the session with the program chair. In addition, you must register for the meeting. All presenters and presiders are expected to register at least one month prior to the meeting, that is by February 11, 2016.

Powerpoint and Other Projection Media Presentations Policy

Due to the prohibitive costs of hotel audio-visual rentals, the SWCRS does not provide computers, projectors, or video monitors for presentations. Those persons submitting proposals for presentation must be prepared to provide their own equipment, or to plan for printed copies of any visual elements of their presentation. Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the relevant organization (AAR, SBL, e.g.) and/or the section coordinator (Ethics, Hebrew Bible, e.g.).

American Schools of Oriental Research

The American Schools of Oriental Research invite paper proposals on any topic related to biblical archaeology and the history and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Active fieldwork projects are welcomed, and papers under the theme "Engaging Diversity" are particularly encouraged. Student proposals must include a letter of reference from a sponsoring professor. Current students who are members of ASOR in good standing are eligible to participate in the annual Eisenbrauns Student Paper Award. Please submit your proposals by Oct. 1, 2015.

Contact Tom Davis (below) for more information. Please send your proposals in MS-Word format to:

Tom Davis, Tandy Institute of Archaeology
Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary
E-mail: tdavis@swbts.edu

Association for the Scientific Study of Religion

The Association for the Scientific Study of Religion invites paper proposals on any topic concerning the scientific study of religion, particularly those dealing with the sociological, philosophical, economic, historical, psychological, and political considerations of religion in society. The ASSR also welcomes papers from other affiliates of the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies, although papers may only be read in one affiliate. Selected papers submitted to the ASSR are published in the Proceedings of the Association for the Scientific Study of Religion.

The SWCRS is encouraging each of the member societies to think creatively about how to incorporate the theme of "Engaging Diversity" during the 2016 meeting. ASSR supports this theme and strongly encourages its members to explore and reflect upon the theme of diversity. Presenters may think in terms of interdisciplinary collaborations, panel presentations, as well as, individual papers. The theme is broad and topics may address one’s religious/ethical responsibility to others, the need for social justice in campus classrooms and society as a whole, respect for diverse perspectives in campus classrooms and society as a whole, demographic differences and how they affect attitudes and perceptions on campus and in society, and a myriad of other key questions of diversity.

Upon an accepted proposal or a request for membership, a membership invoice will be sent; members with PayPal accounts can directly submit their dues through the PayPal link on the ASSR website. All persons interested in participating in the conference are expected to be members of ASSR and must ensure payment of dues as outlined above. IMPORTANT: participants must register for the annual meeting through the SWCRS website and pay the cost of registration that applies to them.

PAPER PROPOSALS: The deadline for submitting paper proposals is Oct. 16, 2015. Proposals should be sent to: Dr. Ben D. Craver, Wayland Baptist University, San Antonio, Texas, at craverb@wbu.edu.

PAPER SUBMISSIONS: Paper submissions should be sent to Dr. Jon Loessin, Wharton County Junior College, Wharton, Texas, at  j-dloessin@sbcglobal.net or jonl@wcjc.edu. Papers must be received by Feb. 12, 2016, to be included in the Proceedings or to be considered for the 2014 Frank P. Forwood Award. The ASSR Style Guide for Papers may be found on the ASSR website.

American Academy of Religion

"Engaging with Diversity: Diverse Engagements": Call for Papers, Presentations and Panels

Under pressure fostered by the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in the 1980s, the events of September 11, 2001, the emergence of the Islamic State in 2014, and the festering social unrest in the United States today, a rethinking of cultural and social diversity has emerged as topic for academic research and intellectual reflection. The AAR-SW calls for papers, presentations, and panels that engage with diversity in the study of religion. Submit general theme proposals for individual presentations or full panels to Jens Kreinath at jens.kreinath@wichita.edu and Katherine Downey at katherinedowney@sbcglobal.net.

Arts, Literature, and Religion

In keeping with the SWCRS program theme, “Engaging with Diversity: Diverse Engagements,” we invite presentations that analyze, evaluate, or create meaningful representation of diversity. Our section will be most especially interested in identifying and describing instances of meaningful diversity, and understanding the ways in which these moments operate within a religious modality. Proposals should not exceed 500 words, and should be sent as an attachment to the below email. Proposals should include a title, a clear argument, and a brief description of the significance or importance of this argument. Send proposals to:

Allen H. Redmon

Comparative and Asian Studies in Religion

The Comparative and Asian Studies in Religion section invites paper and panel proposals addressing the 2016 AAR-Southwest Region’s program theme: "Engaging with Diversity: Diverse Engagements.” That theme invites papers "that engage with diversity in the study of religion.” The section also invites submissions on any aspect of socially engaged Buddhism, modern developments in the Islamic world, and Contemplative Studies. Papers on topics concerning other aspects of Asian religious practice and thought, both historical and contemporary, will also be considered. Proposals should not exceed 500 words and should include a title, brief description, and indication of the main arguments of the presentation. If using a PowerPoint presentation, please bring your laptop and make your own arrangements for a data projector. Please indicate if you have any special audiovisual requests. Send proposals to:         

Mark Dennis

Ethics, Society, and Cultural Analysis

In concert with the AAR-SW program theme of “Engaging with Diversity: Diverse Engagements,” the Ethics, Society and Culture section invites papers that address the following themes: (1) engaging the non-human world (and engagements with the Papal Encyclical on the environment are particularly encouraged); (2) engaging religious claims and practices regarding sexual and gender diversity; and (3) engaging the manifold roles that religion plays in both affirming and challenging racial and ethnic diversity. Exceptional proposals concerning other themes and topics will also be considered. Proposals for individual presentations should include a presentation title and an abstract of 250 words; panel proposals should include a panel title, the names of individual participants and presentation titles, and a 750-word description of the panel. Please e-mail proposals to:

Paul Martens at Paul_Martens@baylor.edu and Whitney Cox at wcox23@gmail.com

History of Christianity

2016 marks the five hundredth anniversary of the Venetian Republic's establishment of the first Jewish ghetto, and the four hundredth anniversary of the Catholic Church's condemnation of Galileo Galilei's heliocentrism. The History of Christianity Section encourages proposals that assess the Church's engagement with religious and intellectual diversity. We especially encourage proposals that evaluate how Christian institutions have represented and responded to non-Christian peoples, members of other Christian denominations, and secular ideologies. We also welcome any proposals that deal with the history or contemporary practice of diverse forms of Christianity. Proposals for individual papers should include a paper title and an abstract of between 250 and 500 words. Panel proposals should include a panel title, individual paper titles with participants, and a 250 to 500 word description of the panel theme. Please e-mail proposals to:

Justin Michael Doran


Philosophy of Religion and Theology

Proposals are invited in all areas in philosophy of religion or in theology, but are especially encouraged along the theme of engaging with diversity. This could include, but is not limited to, theology arising from racial, ethnic, gender, or religious minorities. Proposals involving multiple presentations or panel discussions (no more than three participants) focused upon a single topic, figure, or publication are encouraged. Each panelist should provide an abstract for such submissions. Proposals that feature interdisciplinary or inter-institutional participation, and that promise to stimulate productive discussion, will be favored. Abstracts should be no longer than 400 words in length. Send proposals to

Rebecca Huskey

Ritual Studies

The Ritual Studies Section offers a forum for ongoing theoretical work in conversation with concrete ethnographic or historical case studies and encourages submissions from students and scholars of religion whose research interest focuses on the study of ritual. This year, we particularly invite papers on ritual that engage with diversity, namely:

1. Ritual and Visual Culture: How are rituals becoming part of visual culture and how are they represented through means of visual culture? What forms of visual culture impact the ways in which rituals are practiced?

2. Ritual and Aesthetics: What role do taste and aesthetic standards play in the performance of rituals? How far are rituals evaluated on the basis of different aesthetical standards?

3. Inter-Religious Rituals: How does the encounter of different religious traditions impact the performance of a ritual? What kind of rituals are most prominent to become practiced in an inter-religious context? How are rituals of other religious traditions perceived? What happens when festivals of different religious traditions coincide on the same date?

4. Ritual, Political Conflict and Social Change: What is the role of political conflict in performance of religious rituals? What role do rituals play in social change?

In addition, the Ritual Studies Section will consider any proposals that might contribute positively to the academic study of ritual. Both individual paper proposals and proposals for full panels are welcome. Panel proposals should include full proposals for individual papers. Please note, because the AAR is exploring alternative formats for our sessions, contributors may be asked to submit their papers in advance of the meeting so they might be available to attendees, and to present a short summary instead of a full paper at the meeting. Submit proposals to:

Jens Kreinath

***NEW*** Graduate Student Paper Competition

The Southwest region of the AAR is pleased to announce the first annual Graduate Student Paper Competition. The competition seeks to foster graduate student scholarship that reaches the highest levels of creativity and excellence within religious studies. Papers may address any topic within the purview of the regional sections (Arts, Literature, and Religion, Comparative and Asian Studies in Religion, Ethics, Society, and Cultural Analysis, History of Christianity, and Philosophy of Religion and Theology) and should be no more than 5,000 words. Papers must be original and may not have been presented anywhere prior to the current regional meeting. The winner of the competition will be announced at the annual meeting of the region at SWCRS and will receive a $100 cash prize. Please send all submissions, along with a 300 word abstract, to B. J. Parker (b_j_parker@baylor.edu).


Theta Alpha Kappa

Student members of Theta Alpha Kappa chapters in the Southwest Region are invited to submit papers for presentation at the regional meeting. 

Although any TAK member is permitted to submit a paper proposal, this session is traditionally a forum for undergraduates.  There will be one session devoted to the best papers; open to all topics.  Submissions must come from the chapter adviser and include: 1) the presenter’s name and contact information; 2) the entire paper (preferred) or an abstract of the paper (acceptable); 3) the name of the school; and 4) venue for which the paper was prepared (i.e., honors project, senior thesis, etc.). In the event that there are more proposals than can fit in one session, local chapter advisers may be asked to select the one best submission from their schools. Submit proposals to:

Derek Dodson


Society of Biblical Literature

The Society invites member scholars representing diverse intellectual traditions and social settings to submit paper proposals employing various methods of research and interpretation to the program units (see below under Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Second Temple Judaism). 

Proposals should include a title, an abstract of 200–300 words, and the Participation Form below, attached separately from the abstract. Proposals should be mailed to the program chairs (see below) by 15 October 2015. 

Proposals from graduate students are welcome but, in addition to the participation form, should include a draft of the paper and the name and contact information of a faculty member who knows your work.

Technology Policy: SBL welcomes the use of technology in presentations, but presenters should expect to provide all projection or sound equipment and screens for themselves, as the Region is unable to provide them owing to cost factors.

SBL Participation Form



Paper Proposal Title:



Phone:________________________ Email:_________________________________



SBL ID#________________________________


Highest earned degree:_______________________


Check if you plan to apply for the Regional Scholar Award (see below): ________


Status: Please check one of the following:

Faculty ____   Doctoral Student ____    Master's Student _____   Other ____  Specify (Church professional, etc.): ______________________________ 

For proposals by students only, a faculty person who knows your work                                                                                                                          


Institution: _________________________________________________

Phone: ___________________________ E-Mail:_________________


SBL Regional Scholar Award

Each year the national SBL Conference of Regional Coordinators recognizes excellent papers presented at regional meetings by junior members of the Society. Consideration for the Regional Scholars Award is open to applicants who are at least at the dissertation stage of a doctoral program and who are no more than four years past the receipt of the PhD. 

Each region can nominate one scholar annually. The national SBL Conference of Regional Coordinators selects the regional scholars from these candidates. Nomination by the region is no guarantee of selection by the national organization. Awardees will be encouraged to revise the paper presented at the regional meeting in March 2016, with the help of a mentor, and submit the revised paper to an appropriate program unit of the SBL national meeting. They will be recognized as Regional Scholars at the national meeting. 

 Applicants for the Regional Scholar Award should submit a letter of application (indicating any experience the applicant has presenting papers at the national meeting), a curriculum vitae, and a draft of a paper accepted for presentation at the regional meeting (8-10 pages of text, with appropriate documentation) to the appropriate regional SBL program unit chair (Hebrew Bible, New Testament, or Second Temple Judaism; see below) by 10 January 2016. Also, please indicate on the Participation Form that you intend to apply for the Regional Scholar Award.

Hebrew Bible

Members of the society are invited to submit proposals via   e-mail on a variety of topics related to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha, including proposals on specific exegetical problems on all parts of the canon, biblical theology, biblical hermeneutics and methodological papers, the Dead Sea Scrolls, race, ethnicity and gender, and academic teaching.  This list is intended to be suggestive rather than exhaustive. Submission by e-mail is strongly encouraged. Please send all Hebrew Bible proposals to:

Professor Mark Sneed
Lubbock Christian University
Lubbock, TX 79407
E-mail: mark.sneed@lcu.edu

New Testament

Members of the society are invited to submit proposals for papers on any topic related to the study of the New Testament: e.g., Paul, the Gospels and Acts, the Johannine literature, Jewish and Christian apocrypha, hermeneutics and theology, and contemporary critical and pedagogical approaches (this list is intended to be suggestive rather than exhaustive). Submission by e-mail is encouraged. Please send all New Testament proposals to:    

Professor Richard Wright
Abilene Christian University
Abilene, Texas
E-mail: Richard.Wright@acu.edu

Second Temple Judaism

Members of the society are invited to submit proposals for papers on any topic related to the study of Second Temple Jewish ideas, texts, religious, social or political practices, or relevant issues about Judaism in the Greco-Roman world. Methods of study may vary widely as appropriate to the field. Submission by email is encouraged. Please send all Second Temple Judaism proposals to:

Annelies Moeser
Brite Divinity School, TCU
E-mail: a.moeser@tcu.edu


Ariel Feldman
Brite Divinity School, TCU
E-mail: ariel.feldman@tcu.edu