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Religion under Pandemics: Practices, Memories, and Affects

Our units invite proposals that investigate how pandemics as well as societies’ attempts to manage or mitigate their impact (e.g. quarantines, ways of treating the afflicted, memorializing the dead, etc.) intersect with people’s religious lives, narratives about the past or sites of memory, and embodied experiences by foreclosing certain established practices as well as by opening up new spaces for devotional experimentation and meaning-making. We are especially interested in papers that place contemporary ethnographic work on COVID-19 in conversation with historical cases (and vice-versa), and/or which foreground how different methodological and theoretical approaches might help us make better sense of the roles religion plays under the extraordinary social circumstances of a pandemic.

Co-Chairs:

James Bielo, bielojs@miamioh.edu

Christopher Cantwell, christopher.d.cantwell@gmail.com

Rachel Gross, rbgross@sfsu.edu

Jennifer A. Selby, jselby@mun.ca

Megan Adamson Sijapati, msijapat@gettysburg.edu

Katherine C. Zubko, kzubko@unca.edu