The Study of Religion as an Analytical Discipline

Dr. Kayla Wheeler, Dr.Francis Stewart, and Dr. Monique Moultrie join SORAAAD

The workshop is pleased to announce Dr. Kayla Renée Wheeler Assistant Professor, Gender and Diversity Studies, Xavier University and creator of the Black Islam Syllabus (SORAAAD 2019) and Dr. Francis Stewart, Lecturer and Director of the Edward Bailey Research Center for the Study of Implicit Religion at Bishop Grosseteste University, have joined SORAAAD’s Committee. Dr. Monique Moultrie Associate Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies at Georgia State University (SORAAAD 2018) has joined out Board of Advisors. We look forward to developing our programs with their insights.

Representation and the Analytical Study of Religion

In its 10th year and with an eye to major events in 2020-2021, SORAAAD will focus on representation and the analytical study of religion. Attention to representation in research design, including what factors into how we understand religion and conceive of what we should study, were among the workshop’s originating concerns. In its most basic terms, representation is a means of characterizing and accounting for elements in “a sample” from which we generalize in order to characterize phenomena. Representation conjures simultaneously the need to address the manufacture and designation of alterity and normativity (SORAAAD, 2012 PDF), to cultivate a capacity to chart arrays of human expression and activity, to recognize and rectify voids, and to allow this work to change how we compare, explain, and conceptualize (Long, 1995; Moultrie, 2017, Compton et. al, 2017, Garland-Thomson, 2015). How do (and should) the various concerns associated with representation play out in the design of research on religion, our understanding of generalizability and extensibility of our concepts and findings, and the nexus of people, ideas, and institutions in our field of scholarly production? More….

Constructing Acceptable Victims from the Archive of Popular Culture: Luke Cage, Menachim Begin, and Beyoncé

Representation, Public Narratives and Religion

Alana Vincent, University of Chester
Sunday, February 28, 2021
1:00-3:00 PM CST | 7:00 PM-9:00 PM UTC-Time Zone Conversion

Alana VincentRepresentation is a key concern in conversations about historic wrongdoing and reparations, where the ability of not only specific individuals but entire communities to adhere to the popular imagination of ideal victimhood is a key issue (Bouris 2007, Smith 2014). Religious imaginaries, particularly Christian ideals of innocence and forgiveness, are central to contemporary understandings of victimhood, which are promoted less through careful philosophical or legal argument and more through popular culture representations of harm and reparation (Ahmed 2014)….More

“The Anthropology of Scriptures: Correcting for Progressivist Retrograde in the Study of Religion”

Richard Newton, University of Alabama
Saturday, January 23, 2021
11:00 AM-1:00 PM CST | 5:00 PM-7:00 PM UTC-Time Zone Conversion
Richard Newton - University of AlabamaThe politics of representation appear to be taking center stage across the humanities and social sciences. Institutions have allocated space to discuss not only whose work counts as scholarship, but also for whom scholarship must come to account. Put differently, the academy has a diversity problem, and it has issued a call for proposals on how to fix it. For those more firmly rooted in the ivory tower, this request cannot but look like progress. At the same time it moves those hailed from the margins of scholarship into a position of critical retrograde, a preoccupation with matters only germane to a modernity left behind and never relevant to the moment under construction. Many in the academy have grown comfortable with the deconstruction of the past. Still unnerving is the deconstruction of modes and processes that have not passed. Consequently, the history of religions frequently elides relativist descriptions with the relativising of analysts and their claims. More…

Statement of Participation and Non-Discrimination

The SORAAAD network and community welcomes participants of all ethnic origins, races, genders, orientations, (dis)abilities, religious backgrounds, financial means, and professional or immigration statuses. You are valued and wanted at this workshop. Your voices, ideas, papers, and personage matter. We urge you to review Analyze Religion as it clarifies our editorial and professional commitments. Please note our adoption of the ALA’s conduct policy as our own and our statement here to emphasize our work to create a productive, interdisciplinary, and intersectional atmosphere (Crenshaw, 1989) where all are treated with respect. More…