cfp: American Studies Association 2008 Annual Meeting

The Religion and American Culture Caucus of the American Studies Association offers the following Calls for Papers for the 2008 Annual Meeting in Alburquerque, New Mexico, October 16-19, 2008. According to ASA guidelines, the Caucus may officially sponsor only one session per year but may assist in the organization of other sessions. Sponsorship does not guarantee a place on the final program. For more information on the Caucus, please see our site at

All proposals should follow the ASA’s submission guidelines for session descriptions, paper abstracts, and CVs, which are described on the ASA website. (

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of Caucus members; notification of sponsorship will be made before January 25.  Please send proposals to Matt Hedstrom by January 11, 2008.

Calls for Papers

1.  The Religious Left in Modern America

This panel seeks a reassessment of the religious Left in American culture and politics from the heyday of the Social Gospel in the late nineteenth century to the present.  The current efforts of the Democratic Party to speak more effectively in a religious idiom, and the widely reported fracturing of the Religious Right, bring a renewed urgency to studying the role of religion in the development and continued makeup of the Left in American politics and public life.

Topics may include (but are certainly not limited to):  the Social Gospel; religion and the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s; religious voices in the African-American, Latino/a, gay and lesbian, and women’s liberation movements; religion and the labor movement; pacifism and anti-imperialism; the Democratic Party; church, state, and pluralism; political philosophy; the New Deal; the Great Society.

2.  Religion and Violence in Popular Culture

Both the violence of religion and the religion of violence are all too evident in our contemporary politics and culture. This panel aims to assess the complex interplay between religion and violence in American life through a study of its myriad manifestations in popular culture, both historically and in the present.

3.  Other complete sessions

We are eager to consider for sponsorship other complete panel sessions exploring historical, theoretical, and/or methodological issues in religion and American culture, including matters of secularism as a category of experience and analysis.  Panel proposals should address the 2008 meeting theme, “Back Down to the Crossroads: Integrative American Studies in Theory and Practice.” The notion of the crossroads speaks to current theoretical work in religious studies and offers the opportunity for commentary on a wide-variety of religious and cultural phenomena in the American West and Southwest, nationally, and transnationally.

Though we can only consider complete panel proposals for sponsorship, we are pleased to offer assistance to those working to assemble panels for 2008.  Please feel free to be in touch!

Matthew S. Hedstrom, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Center for the Study of Religion
Princeton University

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