General Call For Papers

The Science, Religion, and Culture program at Harvard Divinity School announces the 6th annual “Ways of Knowing: Graduate Conference on Religion at Harvard Divinity School.” Inaugurated in 2012, this multi-day event is made up of thematic panels that cross religious traditions, academic disciplines, and intellectual and theological commitments. In addition, the conference features special panels on professionalization, addressing both academic and non-academic careers, and a keynote address. The conference aims at promoting lively interdisciplinary discussion of prevailing assumptions (both within and outside the academy) about the differentiation, organization, authorization, and reproduction of various modes of knowing and doing religion. Last year, more than 100 students and early career scholars representing over 60 graduate programs worldwide gathered to present their research. Following the success of our previous conferences, we invite graduate students and early career scholars to submit paper proposals from of a variety of theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary perspectives.

General Call for Papers

The central theme for this year’s conference is “Religion and Migration.” We take a capacious approach to understanding how human communities and religions have long engaged the question of movement across time and space. We especially encourage papers that engage the complex relationship between religion, mobility, and diaspora in a global age. Papers might focus on the religious lives of migrants; religious narratives about journey, travel, and passage; histories and legacies of mass migration by particular religious communities; or changes in religious landscapes as a result of emigration and immigration. Proposals might also interrogate the role of nation in constricting or enabling religious movement, religious texts that deal with themes of departure and arrival, religious responses to emerging migrant flows, and methodological approaches to the study of migration and religion. We welcome a broad range of papers that address the theme of religion and migration from a range of methodological approaches and in the context of various religious traditions, historical periods, and geographical regions.

We seek papers that explore religious practices and modes of knowing, especially in relation to this year’s central theme, “Religion and Migration”. We welcome the use of all sorts of theoretical tools, including discourse analysis, gender theory, queer theory, race theory, disability theory, postcolonial theory, performance theory, and ritual theory. Papers may focus on any period, region, tradition, group, or person. They may address a set of practices, texts, doctrines, or beliefs. Projects that are primarily sociological, anthropological, theological, ethical, textual, historical, or philosophical are welcome, as are projects that draw on multiple disciplines. 

Possible approaches include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. an exploration of a specific way of knowing, being, and engaging the world in relation to religion

2. historical, sociological, and/or anthropological analyses of the cultural processes that support a specific religious discourse or practice, its authoritative structures, and/or its strategies of inclusion and exclusion

3. analyses of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sexuality, and/or gender with respect to religious texts, practices, or performances

4. comparative examinations of religious texts and/or their interpretations, with attention to the historical, sociopolitical, cultural, and/ or intellectual contexts that mediate and delimit different interpretative strategies and practices

5. analyses of the interplay between religion and scientific, moral, and/or legal discourses, practices, and authorities

6. a theological construction or analysis of a particular normative framework, which critically and/or comparatively engages one or more religious traditions

7. critical analyses of the scholarly production and dissemination of knowledge on religion.