CFP Women in Religion Panel at the American Academy of Religion, Western Regional

Brooke Nelson's picture
March 13, 2020 to March 15, 2020
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Women in Religion
The conference theme Religion and Rites of Passage asks us to consider how rituals big and small help create meaning from moments of transition. For women in religion, rites have traditionally taken two shapes: those that are performed for the community at large and those that are bound within communities of women. Rites and rituals also complexly create and limit power and possibility in these two arenas. As a unit, we are interested in exploring the significance of both of these types of rituals in order to have a robust discussion of how religious practice and specifically, rites of passage, shape women’s lives: providing structure, as vehicles for the performative creation of meaning, defining insiders and outsiders to community, etc. The unit welcomes all proposals related to the conference theme and its intersection with women’s lived experiences (broadly defined). We are particularly interested in proposals which respond to the following topics:

  • Rites and rituals of birthing and motherhood, as they define and challenge notions of “womanhood” within various religious traditions
  • Women’s initiation into Western (neo)liberal citizenship or productivity: the way in which rites and rituals define women as sexual laborers or surrogates, the gender performativity of the ‘working woman,’ exclusion from these categories for reason of age, race, sexuality, ability status, etc.
  • Rites of humanization, dehumanization and mechanization: de-initiation from communities of ‘women,’ women as cyborgs, women becoming monster/other, etc.
  • Rituals of ordination and other ceremonies, hierarchies of authority, and the role of ritual in confirming and/or subverting women’s authority

Please send your 250-word proposal and participant form by October 1, 2019 to unit chairs: Michelle Mueller,, Brooke Nelson,, and Sara Frykenberg, for consideration. We look forward to receiving your proposal. 


This is a panel within the larger American Academy of Religion (AAR), Western Regional conference. Participants must be members of the AAR by the tme of the conference and submit a participation form with their abstract ( link on website).

Contact Info: 

Dr. Brooke Nelson, California State University, Dominguez Hills