2021 Meeting

SAR meets every other year for a vibrant and diverse conference of research and ideas in the anthropology of religion. The 2021 meeting of SAR was held virtually from May 14th to May 16th. The theme of the meeting was “From Ethics to Politics.” To see the program for that conference, visit https://sites.google.com/view/sar-2021/home.

Format and location:

The conference will be hosted on the American Anthropological Association website and sessions will happen in zoom meetings or webinars. Once you have registered for the conference, you can go to https://bit.ly/3c8udt6. You will be asked to log in to the AAA website and after that be taken to the conference landing page. 

Individual papers for 15-minute presentations can be submitted on their own. In addition, organized panels of various formats can also be submitted.

All panels will be 75 minutes long. For standard 15-minute presentations, this means 5 presentations per panel. However, other formats are welcome and can be indicated on the panel submission form. For roundtables, author-meets-critics panels, interviews, or other formats, paper titles and abstracts for participants are not required (but can be submitted if participants would prefer).

The conference will happen in several three-hour long blocks: 

US Central time 9am-noon (UTC 14:00-17:00)

US Central time 2pm-5pm (UTC 19:00-22:00)

US Central time 6pm-9pm (UTC 23:00-2:00).                                                                                                                      

Call for Papers:

For more information on the 2021 virtual conference theme, and how to submit an abstract, visit the following link: http://sar.americananthro.org/sar-spring-virtual-conference-call-for-papers/           


Registration and access to the virtual conference will go through the American Anthropological Association website. However, in order to make the event accessible to as many people as possible, we have set up registration so that it is not necessary to be a member of the American Anthropological Association or the Society for the Anthropology of Religion to register for the conference. If you are a member of SAR, you will get a small discount on your registration as well as our great thanks for supporting the section.

Registration prices are:


Professional – $30

Student – $15

Retired – $15

Unemployed/underemployed – $15


Professional – $40

Student – $20

Retired – $20

Unemployed/underemployed – $20

If you are a AAA member, you will only see registration options that match your AAA membership. In other words, if you are a Student Member, you will only see the Student Member price; if you are a Professional Member, then you will only see the Professional Member price. If you are not a AAA member, we are asking that you choose whichever registration category best fits your current status. If you feel that registration fees will be a hardship, please contact me (chandman@austin.utexas.edu) to request a waiver of the registration fees.

Registration for the SAR meeting is now open here. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the link for SAR 2021 Spring Virtual Meeting and click the Register button. If you are a member of the AAA, then just go ahead and log in to the AAA site as you usually would. If you are not a member of the AAA, you may need to create an account. Please note that whatever email you use to log in or create your account will be the email you will use to access the virtual conference platform.

Small group workshops for graduate students:

This year we will host a number of small group workshops during the SAR 2021 meeting. Each workshop will have room for up to four graduate students and be led by one faculty facilitator. Each graduate student will pre-circulate a short (no more than 10 pages double spaced) paper to their small group prior to the conference. During the conference, the faculty facilitator will meet privately with the small group and discuss the papers, as well as issues and concerns related to the topic more broadly. It is a great chance to have some focused attention on your work, meet other students working on the same issues, and develop your project.

Small group workshop topics and faculty facilitators:

Schisms and sects – Angie Heo, University of Chicago

Healing, health, and religion – China Scherz, University of Virginia

Deleuzian approaches to the anthropology of religion – Jon Bialecki, UCSD

Reconsidering Religious Economies – Daromir Rudnyckyj, University of Victoria

If you are interested in participating in one of these sessions, please turn in an application by April 5 that includes:

-the name of the session you are interested in

-a brief description of your research project (200 words max)

-a brief description of the short paper you would present (200 words max)

Applications are here: https://forms.gle/3EokwWrJq7aVUoEn6. You may apply to participate in up to two different sessions. Please fill out a different application for each session you are applying to. 

If selected, you will need to send your paper to your facilitator by May 1. 

Mentoring sessions: 

We will have a number of mentoring sessions aimed at graduate students and early career PhDs. These sessions do not require any advance registration. The presenters will give brief remarks but these are meant to be relatively unscripted Q and A events. Look for these sessions when the conference schedule is announced in mid-April.

Decentering Academic Whiteness: Thriving as BIPOC Women and Non-binary Scholars in the Anthropology of Religion with N. Fadeke Castor and Jeanette Jouili

Doing collaborative ethnographic research on religion with China Scherz, George Mpanga, and Sarah Namirembe

Book publishing in anthropology of religion with SAR book series editors Don Seeman and Hillary Kaell

More information about these sessions will be forthcoming!


The conference program is available at https://sites.google.com/view/sar-2021/home 

Those who are registered for the conference will be able to access links to the conference zoom sessions and other material on the password-protected conference website at that point. Once you have registered for the conference, you can go to https://bit.ly/3c8udt6. You will be asked to log in to the AAA website and after that be taken to the conference landing page.

For any questions related to the conference, please email either Courtney Handman (chandman@austin.utexas.edu) or Daromir Rudnyckyj (daromir@uvic.ca).