Deadline for submissions: October 15, 2016

Full name / name of organization: American Academy of Religion–Western Region (AAR-WR), Religion in America.
Contact email:

Scholars of American religion are well familiar with the problem that, in most standard narratives of American history, religion tends to play a minor and neglected role. A similar problem has been noted in the study of American literature. Scholars of American religions have worked to and may continue to help correct both of these problems. Along these lines, we invite paper proposals that think about, among other things, (1) how the history of American literature might be integrated with the history of American religions, not only as a reflection of religious developments, but as a source of American myths and religions (e.g., fictional narratives of America’s discovery, settlement, mission, calling, etc.), (2) how literature might be effectively used to teach about American religions, or (3) how literature is a site of and outlet for the American religious imagination, even for the invention of novel fictional religions (especially in science fiction and fantasy). Given the topic of our other target panel, perhaps also consider (4) fictional depictions of American religions with a Californian emphasis (esp. in Californian literature) or locus or fictional depictions of the racialized body in California-related religion/s. More broadly, given the theme of Religion, Race, and Racism, you might write on (5) how racialized narratives or figures in American literature have been used to sustain or even create racialized religions.
Please submit proposals to Dr. Jason S. Sexton at; Nathan Fredrickson at; and Dr. Konden R. Smith at