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Religion and American Culture Caucus

Advisory Board:   Edward J. Blum (co-chair), Jennifer Hancock (co-chair), Matt Hedstrom, Tracy Fessenden, Mark Hulsether, Greg Jackson, Kip Kosek, Kathryn Lofton, Sally Promey.

We are pleased to welcome you to the Religion and American Culture Caucus of the American Studies Association. We invite and encourage all ASA members who are interested in exploring the place of religion in American life, and promoting the study and teaching of religion within American Studies, to join.

In recent years scholarship in American religion has taken a decidedly American Studies turn, as older paradigms emphasizing institutional histories and dominant groups have given way to newer approaches that focus less on official religion and more on religion as it is lived and practiced. These newer approaches are multidisciplinary, encompassing, for example, popular culture, visual and media studies, material culture, and cultural geography, and often emphasizing themes of sexuality, gender, race, region, class, and transnationalism.

We hope the caucus will serve as a forum for scholars in American Studies—and those looking for an institutional home—to meet, generate future ASA panels, and discuss research and teaching in this rapidly changing field.

As a caucus we hope to not only address the needs of current ASA members, but to also encourage new members to join by providing them a home within the association. In addition to serving members whose work is primarily in the field of American religion, we also hope to serve as a resource for members whose primary focus lies elsewhere, but who find themselves addressing some aspect of religion in their work.

Please explore this site to learn more about what we do, including sponsoring panels, a best paper prize, and on-going collaborative projects related to research and teaching.

Contacts: Edward J. Blum (eblum@mail.sdsu.edu)

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ASA 2013 Happy Hour Invite: Next Steps for the Religion Caucus

Join us for a drink and an informal planning meeting, Fri@4PM, Washington Hilton Sports Bar!

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ASA 2012 Religion Caucus Happy Hour

I hope you are coming to the ASA in San Juan this week.  If so…

Let’s meet in the Hilton Caribe lobby bar at 6pm on Friday for a Religion Caucus Happy Hour and Informal Planning Session. Please share this invitation with any interested friends who are not Caucus members.

Hope to see you there!

Matt Hedstrom

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Call for Commentors/Moderators

The Religion and American Culture Caucus was highly successful in increasing the number of panels on religion at the Annual Meeting of ASA in 2011, and we hope to repeat the experience in 2012. To that end, the Caucus has organized several panels for submission to the ASA program committee, but some of them are still in need of moderators/commentators. As a moderator/commentator, you would provide brief introductory comments for the panel, manage time, provide comments on each presentation as well as comments that unite the presentations, and manage Q and A.  Moderators/commentators can appear on the ASA program only once, so please do not volunteer for this position if you already have a commitment to the ASA program.

Moderators/commentators are needed for panels on the following topics:
Animals and spirituality
American atheism
Catholicism, violence, and nationalism
Celebrity and religion
Liberation theology
Missionaries and empire
Religion and empire in the New World
Religion and Empire in Asia
Mormonism and race
Mormonism and violence
Presidential religion
Religion in early America
Slavery and abolition
Religion and tourism
Religion and war

If you can volunteer to moderate/comment upon one of these panels, please contact Rebecca Barrett-Fox promptly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  As a reminder, panels cannot be submitted without moderators/commentators, so your generosity here might be the difference between a panel being submitted or not.

These are just some of the great topics that panelists are proposing.  This year’s Annual Meeting promises to be a great one for scholars of religion. Thanks for your help in making that happen!

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CFP for special issue of Ecumenica

Ecumenica Special Issue
Politics, Performance, and Religion
Fall 2012
With the 2012 election just around the corner, and with religion playing such an important role in the public conversation on American politics, now is the ideal moment for a volume on this topic. Ecumenica will welcome submissions that explore the theme in any historical period and from any culture–not just the United States. The journal is particularly interested in scholarship that explores the relationship between religion/spirituality, culture, and theatre/performance studies. We will welcome any exploration of politics and culture that intersects with theatre and performativity. Ecumenica generally accepts submissions on a variety of topics and approaches to criticism, including theatrical performance and theatre history, dramatic literary criticism, social, political and cultural studies of theatre and performance, ethnographic explorations of performance traditions, and editorial commentaries on topics related to the performing arts.
Topics for this issue might include, but are not limited to:
Plays and performances that tackle religio-political subjects from a variety of perspectives, from activism and advocacy to satire.
Performative interactions between various faith traditions and national or international politics
Intersections or tensions between religious practice and policy or governance
Performance in or of Theocracies
Religious performativity in Secular/Pluralist public spaces
The performance of religious identity in politics, or political identity in religion
Performative political action–demonstrations, protests, parades, pageants, etc–that have a religious character
“Hot Button” issues of legislation
In addition to traditional scholarly articles, we publish interviews with individuals (actors, directors, teachers, playwrights, and others) who work at the intersections of theatre and religion/spirituality; profiles on individuals, organizations, and performances that fit within our field of inquiry; and, occasionally, excerpts from unpublished plays.

Ecumenica also seeks book and performance reviews broadly related to the issue topic.  Deadline for submission is 15 November 2011. Inquiries and all material except reviews should be submitted in electronic format only to Carolyn Roark (cdr-at-ecumenicajournal.org). Book review inquiries and submissions may be sent to W. Barrett Huddleston (wbdh-at-ecumenicajournal.org), and performance review inquiries and submissions to Bradley W. Griffin (bwg-at-ecumenicajournal.org). The menus at left contain additional information, including submission guidelines, a style sheet, and the required cover page.

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Call for Papers: ASA 2012

The Religion and American Culture Caucus is happy to announce several calls for papers for ASA 2012 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, including panel themes of religion and the body, indigenous religions, religion and reproduction, religion and violence, apocalypticism and presidential religion to name a few.

The Caucus would also like to encourage all you folks interested in the place of religion/religions in American culture to propose your own panels as well.

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