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In addition to general papers and proposals dealing with religion, colonialism, and post-colonialism, we invite papers on the following topics:

● China, Colonialism, Postcolonialism
We invite papers that analyze China – historically and in the present – through the lens of postcolonial studies. We are interested here in both China’s increasing transregional and transcontinental role and how a postcolonial lens might be applied to internal Chinese politics and history.

● Decolonizing the Syllabus and Reworking the Canon
We are exploring a possible multi-year focus on actively contributing to a decolonization of religious studies syllabi and to re-working the canon, highlighting and discussing theorists and approaches that are marginalized and deserve closer attention. We are considering multiple ways of doing this: a workshop-like panel discussing e.g. introductory courses in religious studies and actively working on re-writing the syllabus from a decolonial perspective; a panel or roundtable focusing on a particular underestimated theorist and exploring their contribution to the past and future of religious studies. This topic continues to interest us and we are planning on actively working on and pushing for a panel on this for 2021.

● Author(s)-Meet-Critics: Book Panel
We are also planning to have another book panel in 2021, after the successful panels on books by Birgit Meyer, Richard King, Pamela Klassen/Jennifer Graber, Chris Driscoll/Monica Miller, and J. Brent Crosson in the past. Submissions of full panels on a recently published book touching on issues of colonialism and postcolonialism are also welcome, but please contact the co-chairs beforehand if your are interested in developing a book panel with our Unit.

We are also highly interested in papers for a following possible co-sponsored session with the Critical Approaches to Hip-Hop and Religion Unit:
Postcolonial Perspectives on Religion and Hip-Hop

We are looking for papers making use of postcolonial theories for an analysis of Religion and Hip-Hop, with a particular interest in Hip-Hop as "diasporic lingua franca" (Fatima El-Tayeb) for dispossessed and marginalized communities and as a tool for de-/anticolonial activism.

Thank you for considering sending a proposal to the Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Unit and we look forward to hopefully being able to seeing you in person again in San Diego.

Please note that the Religion, Colonialism and Postcolonialism Unit is deeply committed to inclusion and diversity. Please ensure that any full panel proposals are sensitive in their consideration of a plurality of gendered and racialized voices.

Mission Statement:

This Unit presents an opportunity for scholars in various subfields of religious studies to explore a topic whose relevance cuts across specializations. We bring together scholars treating different time periods, geographical regions, and traditions in working to strengthen our field’s role in the study of empire, colonialism, and postcolonialism.

Method of Submission:



Adrian Hermann, adrian.hermann@uni-bonn.de

Prea Persaud, ppersaud@ufl.edu


Steering Committee:

Kathy Chow, kathy.chow@yale.edu

Kathleen Foody, kmfoody@ncsu.edu

Syed Adnan Hussain, syedadnan.hussain@smu.ca


Session Allotment: Tier 2 – Two 2-hour sessions

Next Review: 2024