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Call Text:

The Childhood Studies and Religion Unit welcomes proposals for individual papers and sessions that engage the intersection of religion and childhood or children, broadly construed. We are especially interested in proposals from non-Euro-American and non-Christian perspectives, and we welcome a range of methodologies from across the humanities and the social sciences. Our unit's sessions will reflect our commitment to diversity, including gender, race and ethnicity, field and/or method, and scholarly rank.

For the 2021 AAR meeting, we hope to organize sessions around one or more of the following topics:

• affect theory as it intersects with childhood, children, and religion
• children, religion, and protests: how has engagement with protests shaped children's spirituality and/or religious identity?
• religious toys, children's games, and the material culture of religion and childhood
• religion in child welfare systems (especially as part of the larger conference theme around "religion, poverty, and inequality")
• representation of children's voices

For session proposals, please indicate the type of session you are proposing (panel or roundtable); innovative and interactive sessions are especially welcome, and our co-chairs are happy to discuss what category might best fit any given proposal. In keeping with our commitment to presenting diverse perspectives and voices in each of our sessions, we also urge you to indicate what types of diversity your proposal or participants might represent.

Mission Statement:

This Unit’s overall aim is to investigate the complex and multifaceted relation between religion and childhood. The specific goals of the Unit are as follows:

• Provide a forum for focused interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue about the diverse relations of children and religion
• Heighten academic interest in this topic in all fields represented in the AAR
• Prepare scholars in religious studies to contribute to wider academic discussions about children and childhoods
• Lend the voice of the academy to current questions of public policy and child advocacy
The focus of the Unit is both timely and significant given the present concern for children across the globe and the rising interdisciplinary academic interest in childhood studies. The Unit functions as a forum at the AAR for advancing childhood studies as a new line of scholarly inquiry.

Method of Submission:




Wendy Love Anderson, andersonwl@wustl.edu

Sally Stamper, sstamper@capital.edu


Steering Committee:

Jodi Eichler-Levine, jeichlerlevine@lehigh.edu

Kishundra King, kishundra.d.king@vanderbilt.edu

Melva L. Sampson, mlsampson2013@gmail.com

Andrew Walker-Cornetta, aw13@princeton.edu

Katarina Westerlund, katarina.westerlund@teol.uu.se


Session Allotment: Tier 1 – Two 90-minute sessions

Next Review: 2023