Religion and Cities Unit Call for Paper American Academy of Religion 2023 San Antonio Texas

Fatimah Fanusie's picture
Call for Papers
January 27, 2023 to March 1, 2023
United States
Subject Fields: 
Labor History / Studies, Native American History / Studies, Urban History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

AAR’s Religion and Cities Unit invites you to submit a proposal for the 2023 AAR in San Antonio. The deadline is March 1, 2023. You may find the full description of our CFP here: Religion and Cities 2023 CFP.  This year AAR changed its policy. You no longer need to be a paid AAR member to submit (no cost to submit). 

The Religion and Cities Unit seeks papers that analyze the interactive relationship between religion and urban environments at the AAR’s Annual Meeting. What theoretical models do we draw upon to engage the infrastructure, activities, and culture of cities across the globe? We are open to papers or panels that engage the ecological relationship between religion and cities in a variety of ways. We especially encourage papers or panels proposed from non-profit-scholar collaborations.  Inspired by the 2023 Presidential Theme, “La Labor de Nuestras Manos,” we are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Secular Afterlives of Abandoned Worship Spaces: Right now, cities across the globe are experiencing what one observer has called an “epidemic” of church closures as churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship permanently shutter their doors. We invite papers or projects that examine the narratives, histories, transformations, religious reincarnations, or secular afterlives of abandoned places of worship in urban spaces across the globe
  • Labor and Landscapes: Inspired by the history of the San Antonio Riverwalk, the Religion and Cities and Religion and Economy units invite papers and panel proposals for a co-sponsored session that considers the labor of producing and contesting urban and environmental landscapes. This could include literal landscapes of economic and environmental change, infrastructures and land use, green spaces, and urban ecologies. We also welcome proposals focused on the labor of producing imaginative landscapes, including landscapes of memory, border landscapes, and pathways through the citpapers and panel proposals for a co-sponsored session that considers the labor of producing and contesting urban and environmental landscapes
  • Gender Religion and the City: From women protesting the morality police in Iran to the Biden Administration raising the transgender flag to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility to Ms. Marvel visualizing feminism in a mosque in Jersey City, it is an important moment to examine the intersection of gender, religion, and the city. We are interested in papers or projects that examine who has the right to the city through a gendered lens
  • Non-Profit Collaborations :In recent decades, religious studies scholars and theologians have shifted from researching in communities to researching with communities. We welcome papers and projects to examine how collaborating with community members and/or non-profit organizations has transformed the study of religion and theology in the city. How does partnering with a non-profit organization inspire us not only to reevaluate how and why we do research, but who we do research for? How do community members challenge us to rethink the academic-non-academic divide? And how might religious studies and theological perspectives offer more just solutions to city officials?

We look forward to reading your proposals and feel free to contact us with questions.


Fatimah Fanusie (

Rupa Pillai (

Religion and Cities Co-Chairs


Contact Info: 

Fatimah Fanusie 

Contact Email: