Seminar on Religion and U.S. Empire: Call for Participants

Call for Participants: Seminar on Religion and US Empire (2013-2015)

We invite applications to participate in a three-year series of research seminars on the history of religion and US empire from the formal inception of the US as a nation-state to the present.  The central aim of this project is to establish a major scholarly assessment of the linkage between religion and American empire.  We plan to address the relative inattention of scholars of religion to the powerful impact that the establishment of empire has made on religion in the US.  Conversely, we will emphasize the role of religion in shaping the history of the US as an imperial state, an area of inquiry that demands further attention.  This seminar series will also develop innovative theoretical approaches to interpreting the larger phenomenon of empire by considering the US state as a paradigm for modern empires.

To achieve this, we are organizing a series of meetings over a three-year period by an interdisciplinary team of twelve researchers to analyze historical data about religion and empire; exchange information, insights, and critiques; develop appropriate theoretical models; provide mutual feedback on resulting manuscripts; and contribute to a co-edited volume on religion and US empire.  We believe the seminar and its products will redirect several ongoing scholarly conversations, support teaching on the topic, and inspire further research on this pressing issue.

The first meeting will take place in fall 2013 (probably in October) at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, courtesy of a generous grant from Creighton’s Kripke Center for the Study of Religion and Society.  We have also secured preliminary funding for the second meeting in fall 2014. We continue to seek funding for two additional meetings in 2015 to complete the series.

Participants will receive food and lodging for three nights and two days and a travel subsidy of up to $400.  In return, each member of the team will agree to participate in all of the meetings, produce an essay for the edited volume, and develop related teaching materials (e.g., a syllabus and bibliography).  We are seeking an interdisciplinary team of participants representing diverse methodological, chronological, and geographical interests related to the problem of religion and empire.  We also hope to identify promising early career scholars as well as established academics.

To apply, please submit the following material in electronic form to Dr. Tracy Leavelle at by 1 February 2013.

• 1-2 page cover letter explaining your interest in the seminar
• 1-2 page description of the research and writing you propose to do as part of the seminar
• Brief cv of no more than 5 pages
• List of three references

We will notify applicants of their status in March 2013.

Tracy Neal Leavelle, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of History
Creighton University

Sylvester Johnson, PhD
Associate Professor
African American Studies and Religious Studies
Northwestern University


Mark T. Edwards said…
Thanks for this, Paul, looks like a great experience!

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