Idols, Immigration, and Asian Religions in the American West: The North American Hinduism Group 2015 CFP

Vedanta Society Temple, San Francisco (via Flickr user Anomalous_A)

Michael J. Altman

While all the cool kids are hanging out in New York for the AHA/ASCH, I thought I'd take use this post to promote that other big conference, next year's American Academy of Religion meeting. I'm co-chair of the North American Hinduism Group (along with the amazing Shreena Gandhi) and wanted to give everyone a sneak peek at our unit's CFP before the official AAR CFP comes out. So, submit, people!

If you are interested or have questions you can contact me or Shreena:

Michael J. Altman
University of Alabama

Shreena Gandhi
Kalamazoo College

This Program Unit seeks to advance the study of Hindus and Hindu traditions in North America, and to nurture thoughtful debate on the methodologies and theories unique to and appropriate for this subject. We welcome any paper or panel submissions that might fulfill these goals.

Specifically for the 2015 AAR in Atlanta, we invite individual papers, paper sessions, and roundtable proposals on the following five topics:

1. The history and impact of Asian religions and the religions of Asian Americans in the Pacific Rim and the North American West (for possible quad-sponsorship with the American West, Japanese Religions, and Buddhism in the West Program Units)

2. The 50th anniversary of the 1965 U.S. immigration act: How have cultural practices been transformed in the North American legal context? How have views and constructions of the “Asian” and their religions changed since the passing of transformative immigration legislation? i.e. the emergence of the ‘model minority’ or ‘mindfulness’? (for possible quad sponsorship with the Law, Religion & Culture; Asian North American Religion, Culture & Society; and Religion & Migration Program Units)

3. 'Hindoos’ and ‘Mohammedans’ in North America during the long 19th century. How do American representation of Muslims and Hindus compare in the 19th century? How was their religious difference imagined similarly or differently?

4. Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching North American Hinduism

5. IDOL Talk - When and why (or why not) do Hindus describe their own sacred images as idols? When is the term "idol" deployed by non-Hindus? What are we really talk about when we talk about "idols?"


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