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Call for Panelists

Hidden Presence: Race and Religion in the Academy

Deadline: December 10th, 2021

Open Panel, European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR) conference, June 27--July 1 2022, Cork (Ireland)

HIDDEN PRESENCE: RACE AND RELIGION IN THE ACADEMY Convened by Dr. Justine Bakker (Radboud University), this panel invites contributions on the intersections of race and religion, with a specific focus on academic knowledge production. Scholars have studied the relationship between race and religion in various ways. Some explore the racialization of specific religions in public and/or legal domains, such as the racialization of Islam in France and Germany. Others study the Christian theological origins of modern and contemporary racial categories. Some demonstrate how race shapes religious discourses and expression. Others show that racial categories are reinforced, transformed, or challenged in and through religious spaces, texts, practices, and ideas. This panel seeks to add to this varied body of work by exploring the intersections of race and the academic conceptualizations of terms such as “religion,” “spirituality,” and “esotericism” (see also: Amir-Moazami 2018; Bakker 2020; Beliso-De Jesús 2018; Hulsether 2018; Masuzawa 2005; Miller and Driscoll 2018; Nye 2019; Robinson 2019; Schneider and Bjork-James 2020; Topolski 2018; Vial 2016). As scholars in Black, post- and decolonial, and gender and sexuality studies (and other fields) have shown, academic categories and frameworks are not neutral and often informed by uneven power relationships. How have racialized ideas influenced what forms of religious expression and practice were and are studied? How has the conceptualization of “religion” shaped racial constructs and hierarchies? To what extent do academic conceptualizations of “religion” (continue to) have implications in the wider social domain by shaping what religious phenomena are considered “good” or “bad,” “legitimate” or “false,” “civilized” or “backward”? To what extent has this informed state-sanctioned violence against minorities and limits on religious freedom? And what sources—historical and contemporary—exist that (can be used to) envision a reflective study of religion that seeks to overcome the field’s hegemonic imbalance? In sum, this panel seeks contributions that explore the various intersections of religious studies and racialized structures of domination.

Those interested in participating should submit their abstract via the EASR website: https://www.easr2022.org/individual-abstract-submission. Please make sure you indicate that you're submitting this abstract to an Open Panel Session (HIDDEN PRESENCE: RACE AND RELIGION IN THE ACADEMY)

Abstract submission should include your name, the title (no more than 15 words), five keywords, and an abstract of no more than 300 words. Your proposal will be assessed by both the panel Convenor (Dr. Justine M. Bakker) and the Scientific Committee of EASR.