News

2018 SAR Student Paper Prize Competition

2018 SAR Graduate Student Paper Prize Announcement: Submissions Due September 10, 2018

The Society for the Anthropology of Religion (SAR) is pleased to announce its graduate student paper prize competition, which is aimed towards encouraging emerging scholars to write compelling ethnographies on religion. This prize is intended to foster theoretically significant, ethnographically rich work by students at an early stage of their career.

The prize includes a cash award of $250 for the winning paper, which might be recommended for publication in Religion and Society. There will also be a $100 cash award for the runner up. New this year, SAR will be launching a mentorship program that will pair select graduate student finalists with faculty mentors. Finalists will have an opportunity to meet with their mentor at the 2018 AAA meetings in San Jose, CA to gain valuable feedback on revising their papers for publication.

At the time of submission, authors must be graduate students in anthropology or a related field in a university anywhere in the world and must be a member of SAR. Finalists will be notified early in the fall semester and paired with a faculty mentor before the 2018 AAA meetings. Winners will be publicly announced at a special mentorship reception, where finalists will be invited to present their work with commentary from their mentors. Winners and finalists will also be recognized at the SAR business meeting.

Interested graduate students are invited to submit their previously unpublished, original and polished work to Mara Leichtman ([email protected]) and Ana Mariella Bacigalupo ([email protected]) by September 10, 2018. Papers must be written in English, and should be no more than 30 double-spaced pages, including abstract, bibliography, and notes, and in 12-point font. Please write “SAR Paper Prize Submission” in the subject line of the email. Limit of one submission per person.

2018 Geertz Prize Open for Nominations

 The Society for the Anthropology of Religion 

A section of the American Anthropological Association 

announces the 2018 juried competition for the

CLIFFORD GEERTZ PRIZE 

IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION 

The Geertz Prize seeks to encourage excellence in the anthropology of religion by recognizing an outstanding recent book in the field. The prize is named in honor of the late Professor Clifford Geertz, in recognition of his many distinguished contributions to the anthropological study of religion. In awarding the Prize, the Society hopes to foster innovative scholarship, the integration of theory with ethnography, and the connection of the anthropology of religion to the larger world.

Eligibility 

Any single-authored or co-authored book focusing on the anthropology of religion, broadly defined, is eligible for the Prize. Edited volumes, textbooks, and reference works are not eligible, nor are works in which religion is a secondary subject. The book’s author need not be an anthropologist by profession, but the work should draw on and respond to research and theory within the anthropology of religion. Books must have a publication date of 2016 or later. Books that have already been reviewed for the Prize will not be reconsidered.

The prize will be awarded at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November 2018.

Submission guidelines 

To receive additional information on how to submit a book for consideration, please send a flyer or an abstract about the book to [email protected] Deadline for submission of books is 30 April 2018.

JoAnn D’Alisera

Chair, 2018 Geertz Prize Committee

2017 Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion

The Society for the Anthropology of Religion was proud to award the following prize at the 116th AAA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.:

The Clifford Geertz Prize Award

IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION

The Geertz Prize seeks to encourage excellence in the anthropology of religion by recognizing an outstanding recent book in the field.  The prize is named in honor of the late Professor Clifford Geertz, in recognition of his many distinguished contributions to the anthropological study of religion. In awarding the Prize, the Society hopes to foster innovative scholarship, the integration of theory with ethnography, and the connection of the anthropology of religion to the larger world. For more information about the award and a list of previous winners and honorable mentions, please visit http://sar.americananthro.org/index.php/activities/geertz/

 

First Prize

Elizabeth Pérez

Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black Atlantic Traditions

(NYU Press 2016)

Timothy Landry presenting Elizabeth Pérez with the 2017 Geertz Prize. Photo by Stephen Selka.

Honorable Mentions

Annalisa Butticci

African Pentecostals in Catholic Europe: The Politics of Presence in the Twenty-first Century

(Harvard University Press 2016)

 

Attiya Ahmad

Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait

(Duke University Press 2017)

 

CONGRATULATIONS to these scholars for
continuing to improve the anthropology of religion!

SAR panels at AAA 2017

Click here to see SAR panels at the 2017 AAA Annual Meetings. We have quite a wonderful selection of panels and we hope you will take advantage of it and attend some of the presentations.

Also a reminder: our business meeting in scheduled for Saturday, December 2 from noon to 2pm in Marriott, Congressional. We invite you all to attend. You can sample some of the nice buffet food we have selected for you and hear the latest news about the Society. Hope to see you there!

SAR 2017 Final Schedule

Final Schedule

We’ve finished the final schedule for our Biennial Meeting in one week in New Orleans, LA, May 15-17.

Abstracts

Click here for a PDF of the panel abstracts, and here for individually-submitted abstracts.

Registration

If you have not yet registered, consider doing so through AnthroGateway–the AAA’s website for meeting registration.

We look forward to seeing many of you soon in New Orleans!

Final Schedule

Society for the Anthropology of Religion 

Biennial Meeting – 2017

New Orleans, LA

Department of Anthropology

Dinwiddie Hall

Tulane University

6823 St. Charles Avenue

New Orleans LA 70118

Monday, May 15, 2017

2:45-4:30pm ~ 110 Weinmann Hall

Presidential Panel: Misty Bastian, Simon Coleman, Sondra Hausner, and Ramon Sarró

4:45-6:00pm ~ 110 Weinmann Hall

Presidential Lecture: Adeline Masquelier

6.00-8.00 ~ Dinwiddie Hall (3rd floor)

Reception

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3:30-5:00pm ~ 110 Weinmann Hall

Rappaport Lecture: Charles Hirschkind

5:00-6:00pm ~ 415 Dinwiddie Hall

Board Meeting

6:30-8:30pm ~ New Orleans Athletic Club (French Quarter)

Reception

 


Monday Morning, May 15, 2017

8:00-9:45 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

Politicizing the Times

Chair: Paul Buehler (Loyola University)

  • Paul Buehler (Loyola University): Evaluating Texts in Time: Censorship and Religious Conflict in Early Modern Europe
  • Amy Flynn-Curran (Maynooth University, Ireland): “No Anti-church Diatribes, No Signs or Banners, and Sunday-best Dress”: Mormon Feminists and the Role of Clothing and Respectability in Activism
  • Charles McCrary (Florida State University): “Pretend to a Knowledge of Futurity”: Anti-Fortune-Telling Statutes and the Regulation of Religion
  • Moshe Kornfeld (Washington University in St. Louis): If Not Now: Politicizing Religious Time
  • Jain Pankaj (University of North Texas): A Dharmic Categorization for the “Religions” of India, China, and Japan

8:00-9:45 ~ 103 Dinwiddie Hall

Temporality, Spiritual Ethics, and the Marketing of (Dis)Enchantment

Chair: Laurel Zwissler (Central Michigan University)

  • Laurel Zwissler (Central Michigan University): Where the Heart Is: Nostalgia, Gender, and Consumption in a Religiously Motivated Fair-Trade Organization
  • Laura L. Cochrane (Central Michigan University): Religiously Present and Past in a New Senegalese Sufi Community
  • Lorraine V. Aragon (University of North Carolina): We Don’t Call Ourselves Creators: Ritual Arts, Time, and Copyright Law
  • Michael Ostling (Arizona State University): The Protestant Ethic and the Spirits of Anti-Capitalism: Re-Rethinking Disenchantment, Again
  • James Peacock (University of North Carolina): Discussant

8:00-9:45 ~ 108 Dinwiddie Hall

Dealings with the Dead

Chair: JoAnn D’Alisera (University of Arkansas)

  • JoAnn D’Alisera (University of Arkansas): Proper Burial and the Afterlife: Reordering Space and Time in the Sierra Leonean Muslim Diaspora
  • Ehler Voss (University of Siegen) The Time of the Ghost Hunters
  • John A. Napora (University of South Florida): The Time of Spirits
  • Greg Wright (University of Texas): Purity and the Atom: Cultural Scripts of Purity and Taboo and the Link between Japan’s Outcasts, Traditional and Modern

10:00-11:45 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

Everyday and Lived Islams

Chair: Roberta Ricucci (University of Torino)

  • Roberta Ricucci (University of Torino): Muslims’ Everyday Religious Life: News from the Moroccan Diaspora in Southern Europe
  • Oguz Alyanak (Washington University in St. Louis): Conceptualizing Boş Zaman [Empty Time]: Revisiting the Notion of Leisure in Turkish Islam
  • Abdoulaye Sounaye (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany): Listen, the Time is Coming, Fill Your Ears with the Sunna! Women Listening to Sermons in Niamey
  • Dilsa Deniz (University of New Hampshire): Time, Timelessness and Eternity in Alevi Belief

10:00-11:45 ~ 103 Dinwiddie Hall

Sleepless Nights: Rituals of Nocturnal Sociality          

Chair: Zebulon Y. Dingley (University of Chicago)

  • Sean M. Dowdy (University of Chicago): The Arrival of the Naked Men: Reflections on a Collective Panic
  • Robert W. Blunt (Lafayette College): Doing Theory After Dark: Running at Night in Western Kenya and the Anthropology of the Good (Enough)
  • Jane L. Saffitz (University of California Davis): Laying Bare the Work of Good Fortune: Albino Medicine, Visibility Politics and Fate as Bodily Practice
  • Laura Meek (University of California, Davis): Dreams as Medical Practice in Tanzania
  • Zebulon Dingley (University of Chicago): The Bitter Flesh of Man: Predation and Necrophagy in Uwanga
  • James H. Smith (University of California, Davis): Discussant

10:00-11:45 ~ 108 Dinwiddie Hall

Traditions and Transformations in Indigenous and Amerindian Societies

Chair: Christopher B. Bolfing (University of Arkansas)

  • Christopher B. Bolfing (University of Arkansas): Sacred Calendars and the Concept of Time in Traditional Mvskoke Religious Ceremonialism
  • Whitney Cox (University of Houston): Time and Cosmology in the White Shaman Mural
  • James Andrew Whitaker (Tulane University): Time and Transformation in Awacaipu’s Religion
  • Edward Abse (Virginia Commonwealth University): Timely Innovations/Divergent Futures: Shifting Temporal Modalities of Shamanic Visionary Experience in Mazatec Indian Religious Life

11:45 – 1:00 ~ Dinwiddie Hall (3rd floor)

Lunch

 

Monday Afternoon, May 15, 2017

1:00-2:30 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

Ontology, Cosmology, and the Politics of Ethno-Racial Difference

Chairs: LaShandra Sullivan (Reed) and Elina I. Hartikainen (HCAS)

  • Brent Crosson (UT Austin): Is God a Trini or a Rock?: Time, Nation, and Ontological Difference in Amerindian and African Rituals of Sovereignty
  • Elina I. Hartikainen (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies): “Oxalá Goes to War!”: African Deities Enter Politics in Salvador, Brazil
  • LaShandra Sullivan (Reed College): Guarani “Being” and Land Struggle
  • Kerry Chance (Louisiana State University): Habitable Air: Climate Politics in Urban South Africa
  • Michael Cepek (UT San Antonio): Discussant

1:00-2:30 ~ 103 Dinwiddie Hall

Time and Taboos across Boundaries

Chair: David Strohl (Colby College)

  • David Strohl (Colby College): Love Jihad, Inter-religious Marriage, and the Politics of Progress in Contemporary India
  • Jain Pankaj (University of North Texas): Discovering Neo-orientalist Blind Spots in the Research about Jains’ Interactions with Muslim Emperors
  • Vanja Hamzić (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London): Archival Violence: An Ethnography of (Un)Archiving the Life and Death of the Enslaved Gender-Variant Muslim
  • Ram Natarajan (University of Arkansas): The Cross on the Courtroom Wall: Trials of State Violence, Indigeneity, and Argentina

1:00-2:30 ~ 108 Dinwiddie Hall

Technologies and Temporalities

Chair: Heather Mellquist Lehto (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Heather Mellquist Lehto (University of California, Berkeley): “A New Paradigm”: Technology and the Future of Korean Christianity
  • Sydney Yeager (Southern Methodist University): Facebook Shrines: Blurring of the Secular and Sacred in the Time of Social Media
  • Mark Soileau (Hacettepe University): Synchronizing Moments in the Alevi Miraçlama Ritual
  • Hector Guazon (University of the Philippines-Diliman): Things, Selves, and the Local: Religious Inflections of Cosmopolitan Villagers

1.00-2.30 ~ 415 Dinwiddie Hall

Mentoring Session for Graduate Students with Charles Hirschkind (University of California, Berkeley)

 

 

2:45-4:30 ~ 110 Weinmann Hall

Presidential Panel

Misty Bastian (Franklin and Marshall College), Simon Coleman (University of Toronto), Sondra Hausner (University of Oxford), Ramon Sarró (University of Oxford)

 

4:45-6:00 ~ 110 Weinmann Hall

Presidential Lecture

Adeline Masquelier (Tulane University)

 

6.00-8.00 ~ Dinwiddie Hall (Anthropology Department) 3rd floor

Reception


Tuesday Morning, May 16, 2017

 

8:00-9:45 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

When the Gods Read What We Write (Part 1): Rhythms of Reading and Writing across Theology and Anthropology

Chair: Marc Roscoe Loustau (College of the Holy Cross)

  • Marc Roscoe Loustau (College of the Holy Cross): Memoir and Sacred Ethnology in Contemporary Transylvania
  • Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (Pacific School of Theology): Non-Hegemonic Subjectivities: The Role of Radical Interconnectedness and Theories of the Flesh
  • Joel Christian Reed (Michigan State University): Unblinded: Coming to Grips with Demonic Possession at the Little Vatican”
  • Todd Whitmore (University of Notre Dame): Ethnography as Askēsis: Beyond the Religious/Secular Divide in Anthropological Discourse
  • Derrick Lemons (University of Georgia): Discussant

8:00-9:45 ~ 103 Dinwiddie Hall

Contrasting Models of Christian Temporality

Chair: Devaka Premawardhana (Colorado College)

  • Devaka Premawardhana (Colorado College): Rupture Routinized: Rites of Passage(s) as Model for Christian Conversion(s)
  • Jessica Johnson (University of Washington): Perpetually Born Again: Baptism and the Affective Politics of Joyful Encounter
  • Douglas Bafford (Brandeis University): Lessons from an Ethnographer’s “Among the Text”: Some Comparative Notes on Epistemological Authority across History, Anthropology, and Christianity
  • Elayne Oliphant (New York University): Nostalgic Catholicism: The Temporal Politics of Presence in Paris

8:00-9:45 ~ 108 Dinwiddie Hall

Spirits, Relationalities, and Time

Chair: Rachelle M. Scott (University of Tennessee)

  • Rachelle M. Scott (University of Tennessee): Restless Ghosts and Karmic Time: Reflections on Temporality in Thai Buddhism
  • Eugenia Rainey (Tulane University): The Role of the Spiritual Mass in Promoting Spiritual and Temporal Agency
  • Samuel Ward (Queen’s University, Belfast): Authenticity, Orthopraxis and Efficacy in New Orleans Vodou: The Cases of Ancestor Veneration and Spirit Possession
  • Seth Palmer (University of Toronto): Moving Spirits, Sarimbavy Mediums and the Transgenerational Sexual Socialities of Possession

 

10:00-11:45 ~ 108 Dinwiddie Hall

When the Gods Read What We Write (Part 2): Formation, Writing, and Divine Agency

Chair: Hannah Hofheinz (Ecumenical Theological Seminary)

  • Katherine Dugan (Springfield College): “If you Pray About It, God’ll Give you an Opportunity to Do it”: Gendering Prayers, Catholic Millennials, and the Rhythms of Ethnography
  • George Gonzalez (Monmouth University): Conjurations of Spiritual Capitalism: The Anthropology of Galina Lindquist Between the Imperatives of Critique and “Real Presence”
  • Hannah Hofheinz (Ecumenical Theological Seminary): Liberating Lives in Text: When a Theologian Learns from an Anthropologist How to Write”
  • Axel Marc Oaks Takács (Harvard Divinity School): The Demand for Subjectivity in Comparative Theology
  • Don Seeman (Emory University): Inscribing Divinity: Writing Chabad Hasidism
  • Mathew N. Schmalz (College of the Holy Cross): Discussant

10:00-11:45 ~ 103 Dinwiddie Hall

Temporal Reorientations, Renewals, and Revolutions

Chair: Nicole Eggers (Loyola University)

  • Nicole Eggers (Loyola University): Narrating Spiritual Time: Revelation, Miracles, and the History of Wamalkia wa Ubembe
  • Behrooz Moazami (Loyola University): Time, Religious Moments, and the 1979 Revolution
  • Cleonardo Maricio Junior (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil): Politics of Everyday Life: How Young Pentecostal Believers Have Taken Political Stands Based on their Religious Affiliation in Brazilian Universities
  • Travis Webb (Claremont Graduate University): “Religious” Time and National Renewal: The Miraculous Inauguration of Donald J. Trump
  • Safet HadžiMuhamedović (University of Bristol): Waiting to Wait: Time, Religion and Politics in a Bosnian Landscape

10:00-11:45 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

Author Meets Critics: Kabir Tambar (Stanford University): The Reckoning of Pluralism: Political Belonging and the Demands of History in Turkey

Critics:

  • Yigit Akin (Tulane University)
  • Mark Lewis Soileau (Hacettepe University)
  • Rabia Harmansah (Lafayette College)
  • Ozcan Esra (Tulane University)

10:00-11:45 ~ 201 Dinwiddie Hall

The Politics of Religious Time and Secular Time

Chair: Kim Knibbe (University of Groningen)

  • Ruy Llera Blanes (Incipit, Spain): Re-remembering and the ‘Usual Cyclicity’: On the Value of Temporal Repetition in the Tokoist Church (Angola)
  • Kim Knibbe (University of Groningen): Pentecostal Time and Secular Time in the Encounter between Nigerian Missionaries and the Dutch
  • Brenda Bartelink (University of Groningen): Religion, Sexuality and Secular Politics of Time in Dutch Health Approaches
  • Jelle Wiering (University of Groningen): “Either Dusty or Dangerous”: Cultural Sexularism in the Netherlands
  • Miranda Klaver (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): In Sync with the Time and Synchronizing Time: The Hillsong Megachurch Network
  • H. Roeland (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Earthing in a “Modern” Age: Gardening, Sacralization and the Everyday Politics of Time

11:45-1:30

Lunch ~ Dinwiddie Hall (3rd floor)

 

Tuesday Afternoon, May 16, 2017

1:30-3:15 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

Roundtable: Critique as Horizon, Critique as Specter: Reflections from the Anthropology of Religion

[Sponsored by Critical Research on Religion, http://crr.sagepub.com]

Chairs/Organizers: James S. Bielo (Miami University), Rebekka King (Middle Tennessee State University)

  • Participants (5-7 minutes each): James S. Bielo (Miami University), Saliha Chattoo (University of Toronto), Nofit Itzhak (University of California, San Diego), Rebekka King (Middle Tennessee State University), Jon Bialecki (University of Edinburgh), Discussant.

1:30-3:15 ~103 Dinwiddie Hall  

Temporalities and Subjectivities in Islam

Chair: Nurhaizatul Jamil (College of the Holy Cross)

  • Nurhaizatul Jamil (College of the Holy Cross) “God Tests Us with Both Hardship and Ease”: Islamic Self-Help Education and Minoritarian Subjectivities in Contemporary Singapore
  • Michelle Hagman (Simon Fraser University): The Everyday Lives of Muslim Youths in Vancouver B.C.
  • Meryem Zaman (City University of New York): Creating Antagonists, Constructing Identity: Islamic Movements and Recruitment in Pakistan
  • Seema Golestaneh (Indiana University Bloomington): Whither Rupture? Time, Ritual and Definitions of the Everyday in Sufi Iran

1:30-3:15 ~108 Dinwiddie Hall  

Religion, Time, and Economy

Chair: Amy Stambach (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Amy Stambach (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Spirit Possession: Alienation’s Opposite?
  • Alexander Stewart (University of California, San Diego): The New Old-Fashioned Way: The Temporality of Islamic Revival in Modern China
  • Jesse Miller (Florida State University): A View of the Past: The 1957 Funeral of the Mogho Naba and its Relevance Today
  • Victoria Sheldon (University of Toronto): “The Road Back to Nature”: Reversing Secular Temporalities in Aspiration for Chronic Illness Empowerment through Nature Cure (Prakriti Jeevanam) Therapy in Post-Development Kerala, south India

 

3:30-5:00 ~ 110 Weinmann Hall

Rappaport Lecture

Charles Hirschkind (University of California, Berkeley)

 

5:00-6:00 ~ 415 Dinwiddie Hall

Board Meeting

 

6:30-8:30 ~ New Orleans Athletic Club (French Quarter)

Reception


Wednesday Morning, May 17, 2017

8:00-9:45 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

Time/Space in Global Christianity

Chair: Hilary Kaell (Concordia University)

  • Jessica Hardin (Pacific University): Sisters in Christ: Gendered Mentorship in Global Christianity
  • Hilary Kaell (Concordia University): That All May Be One: Simultaneity and Proximity in Child Sponsorship Programs
  • Stephen Selka (Indiana University, Bloomington): Spiritual Pilgrimage as Time Travel: Chronotopes in African Diaspora Tourism
  • Courtney Handman (University of Texas at Austin): The Spatiotemporal Transformations of Lutheran Airplanes

8:00-9:45 ~ 103 Dinwiddie Hall

Religious Rhythms and Ethical Practices

Chair: Nur Amali Ibrahim (Indiana University, Bloomington)

  • Nur Amali Ibrahim (Indiana University, Bloomington): Improvising Islam: Muslims and the Secular Liberal Encounter
  • Rabia Harmanşah (Lafayette College): Cyclicity of Life-Death, Hope and Motion: Time Perception of Bektashis and Esoteric Meanings
  • Kalpesh Bhatt (University of Toronto): Temporal Religious Practices: Public Memory and Everyday Ethics in the Swaminarayan Hindu Tradition
  • Isobel-Marie Johnston (Arizona State University): Jewish Marriage in Corporeal Time: The Rhythm and Rhyme of Niddah
  • Jenna Stover-Kemp (University of California, Berkeley): Textual Authority and Utopia: An Examination of the Pentateuchal Passover Traditions

8:00-9:45 ~108 Dinwiddie Hall  

National and State Narrative of Past, Present, and Future

Chair: Letha Victor (University of Toronto)

  • Letha Victor (University of Toronto): Building Roads: Time and the Movement of Interpretation
  • Mahshid Zandi (Arizona State University): Tehran’s Holy Defense Museum: War as “Glorious Time”
  • Huwy-min Lucia Liu (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology): One Ritual, Many Times: Religious Variations on Socialist Funerals in Urban China
  • Jakub Havlicek (Palacky University, Czech Republic): Religion as a Chain of Memory and Education in Post-Socialist Societies: Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic

10:00-11:45 ~103 Dinwiddie Hall

Intersections of Time and Space in Evangelical Christianity

Chair: Deana L. Weibel (Grand Valley State University)

  • Deana L. Weibel (Grand Valley State University) and Joshua Ambrosius (University of Dayton): “Time from Eternity to Eternity”: Space Exploration and the Astronaut Experience of God’s Worldview
  • Ingie Hovland (University of Georgia): “Pay Careful Attention to the Time”: Synchronized Prayer in an Evangelical Women’s Movement
  • Alana Sá Leitão Souza (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil): Religion, Time and Morality among Children in Brazil’s Most Evangelical City

10:00-11:45 ~ 102 Dinwiddie Hall

Roundtable: Religion and Migration in the Age of Trump

Participants:

  • Charles Hirschkind (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Behrooz Moazami (Loyola University)
  • Abdoulaye Sounaye (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany)
  • Catherine Wessinger (Loyola University)

10:00-11:45 ~108 Dinwiddie Hall

Rethinking Cosmologies through Examining Temporalities

Chair: Judith M. Maxwell (Tulane University)

  • Judith M. Maxwell (Tulane University): Kaqchikel (Maya) ajq’ija’: Ritual Specialists Counting the Days and Creating Time
  • Christopher B. Rodning (Tulane University): Mounds, Bundles, and the Architecture of Memory: Native American Earthen Mounds and Townhouses in the American South
  • Aaron Frederick Eldridge (University of California, Berkeley): Presence Reprised: Thinking Divine Time through the Practice of Apophasis

2017 Geertz Prize open for nominations

The Society for the Anthropology of Religion

a section of the American Anthropological Association

announces the 2017 juried competition for the

CLIFFORD GEERTZ PRIZE

IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION

The Geertz Prize seeks to encourage excellence in the anthropology of religion by recognizing an outstanding recent book in the field.  The prize is named in honor of the late Professor Clifford Geertz, in recognition of his many distinguished contributions to the anthropological study of religion.  In awarding the Prize, the Society hopes to foster innovative scholarship, the integration of theory with ethnography, and the connection of the anthropology of religion to the larger world.

Eligibility

Any single-authored or co-authored book focusing on the anthropology of religion, broadly defined, is eligible for the Prize. Edited volumes, textbooks, and reference works are not eligible, nor are works in which religion is a secondary subject. The book’s author need not be an anthropologist by profession, but the work should draw on and respond to research and theory within the anthropology of religion. Books must have a publication date of 2015 or later. Books that have already been reviewed for the Prize will not be reconsidered.

The prize will be awarded at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November, 2017.

Submission guidelines

To receive additional information on how to submit a book for consideration, please send a flyer or an abstract about the book to Hillary Kaell at [email protected] Deadline for submission of books is April 30, 2017.

A pdf of this call for nominations can be found here.

Hillary Kaell

Chair, 2017 Geertz Prize Committee

Board Member, Society for the Anthropology of Religion

2016 Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion

2016 Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion and Honorable Mention

The Society for the Anthropology of Religion was proud to award the following prize at the 115th AAA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis:

The Clifford Geertz Prize Award

IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION

The Geertz Prize seeks to encourage excellence in the anthropology of religion by recognizing an outstanding recent book in the field.  The prize is named in honor of the late Professor Clifford Geertz, in recognition of his many distinguished contributions to the anthropological study of religion.  In awarding the Prize, the Society hopes to foster innovative scholarship, the integration of theory with ethnography, and the connection of the anthropology of religion to the larger world. For more information about the award and a list of previous winners and honorable mentions, please visit http://sar.americananthro.org/activities/geertz/.

First Prize:

Saba Mahmood

Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report

(Princeton University Press 2015)

Honorable Mention:

James Hoesterey 

Rebranding Islam: Piety, Prosperity, and a Self-Help Guru

(Stanford University Press 2015)

In addition to the winner and runner-up titles, the Society for the Anthropology of Religion recognized the following four books as finalists for the 2016 Clifford Geertz Prize:

Shahab Ahmed 2015. What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Yolanda Covington-Ward 2015. Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo. Durham: Duke University Press.

Valentina Napolitano 2015. Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return: Transnationalism and the Roman Catholic Church. New York: Fordham University Press.

Bhrigupati Singh 2015. Poverty and the Quest for Life: Spiritual and Material Striving in Rural India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

CONGRATULATIONS to these scholars for continuing to improve the anthropology of religion!

2017 Biennial Meeting

Biennial Conference May 15-17, 2017

Religion and Time

SAR meets every other year for a vibrant and diverse conference of research and ideas in the anthropology of religion. The next meeting of SAR will be in New Orleans, Louisiana from May 15 to May 17, 2017. The theme of the meeting will be “Religion and Time” (see abstract below).

Meeting Information:

When: May 15 to May 17, 2017

Where: Dinwiddie Hall, Tulane University

Address: Dinwiddie Hall, St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118

Rates: Best Western Plus St. Charles Inn: $135 King and double (no additional charge for triple or quad); Hampton Inn Garden District Hotel: $169 King and double (no additional charge for triple or quad); Parkview Historic Hotel: $179

Phone: Best Western Plus St. Charles Inn: 800-489-9908; Hampton Inn Garden District Hotel: 800-292-0653; Parkview Historic Hotel: 888-533-0746. (Reservations must be made by phone. Refer to: Society for the Anthropology of Religion to book the group rate).

Reservation deadline is January 31 for Parkview, March 30 for Best Western, and April 14 for Hampton Inn.

 

Meeting Abstract:

Religion and Time

Anthropologists of religion have long been aware of the intertwining of religion and time. Not only do religions draw on time to create the temporalities that structure daily life and the life cycle but they also exist in time. The millennial anxieties centering on the transition to the 21st century, alarmist claims that the Maya calendar predicted the end of the world in 2012, and more diffuse evangelical Christian concerns about the End of Times are a vivid reminder that time shapes and is shaped by religious doctrine and practice. These cases of apocalyptic fervor can also perhaps be taken to signal that this is a good moment to explore critically the multiple connections between religion and time.

From its Durkheimian and Weberian roots onward, the anthropology of religion has attended to the functions and the flow of time in religious life. Ritual time has been described as standing “out of time” or as having it own temporality. Far from unfolding like the so-called linear time of secularism, religious time, anthropologists have shown, is often cyclical—or “ruptured.” It may reverse or stop secular temporalities, create opportunities for transcending them, or punctuate their uniformity. Classic works have stressed how a focus on the past has helped animate communities, anchor truths, mystify the workings of power, explain the unforeseen, or deal with misfortune. The future too is a matter of great concern, one that religions address in a variety of theoretical and pragmatic ways.

Religion offers an unusually productive window into human temporalities as classic works in the anthropology of religion—from Émile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss to E. E. Evans-Pritchard to Edmund Leach, Alfred Gell, Mary Douglas, and Clifford Geertz—have shown. If anthropologists of religion have focused on certain issues, they have also neglected others. This conference will provide opportunities not only to revisit classic concerns but also to consider in what new directions a focus on time and temporality can take us.

The works of Johannes Fabian and Michel-Rolph Trouillot have brought new awareness of how assumptions about temporality have facilitated yet also limited anthropological theories of society and history. Meanwhile other scholars have examined the making of religious communities through a focus on the temporal imagination. More recent explorations of temporality and being-in-time have highlighted further the centrality of time in human experience. They have also raised new questions about agency, affect, futurity, the life course, the work of memory, and the politics of hope, among other things. A key goal of this conference is to bring the anthropology of religion in explicit conversation with the anthropology of time.

The Society for the Anthropology of Religion therefore invites its members to consider the ways in which time figures and functions in religious experience. How might we revisit classic topics of the anthropology of religion through the lens of time? What kinds of temporalities does the work of religion help create or modify? How might an attention to temporality, duration, or eventfulness enrich our models of structure and agency? In what ways does time matter in religious experience and what insights might a focus on temporal matters offer into the experience of conversion, witchcraft, divination, morality, or prayer, to name but a few possible topics of investigation? What do we mean by “the everyday” in relation to ethical or moral practice?

It is hoped that such an agenda will stimulate participants to explore a wide range of issues, old and new, and consider how their approaches to time might generate new conversations with not just history but also theology or economics, for instance. Some possible panel topics are listed below, but these are intended simply as possible points of departure. Participants should feel free to select any topic they wish to explore so long as it addresses the relation between religion and time.

Possible Panels or Sub-Topics

Religion as a Portal to the Past

Ritual and Time

Religion, Rupture, and Continuity

Hauntings

Religion and the Weight of the Past

Religion and Being-in-Time

Religion in Time

Messianic Time

Religion and History

Liminality

Religion and Futurity

Religious as Suspended Time

Moral, Immoral, and Amoral Temporalities

Divine Calendars

Religion and the Politics of Time

Religion and the Everyday

 

Individual abstracts, panel proposals, and questions about presentations and panels should be sent to [email protected] by the extended deadline of February 20, 2017.

The default format for individual abstracts and panels is the same as for the annual AAA conference, but proposers are welcome to suggest alternative formats that can be fitted into the timing of the program.