CFP Round-up: Upcoming Deadlines for Conference Proposals

Lauren Turek

There are a several upcoming national, international, and graduate student conferences for which readers/scholars of religion in American history might like to submit proposals. The two international conferences offer an opportunity for scholars of American Jewish history in particular, while the other three provide opportunities for presenting research on a range of American faith traditions or American religion more broadly. All of the following have deadlines within the next month or two:

Re-Framing American Jewish History and Thought: New Transnational Perspectives 
Call for Proposals deadline: February 15, 2016
Conference Date: July 20-22, 2016
School of Jewish Theology,  University of Potsdam

American Jewry, despite its size, cultural productivity, and influence on many levels, has hardly begun to develop as a field of scholarship outside the U.S. itself. Recently, however, the growing recognition of the interaction between American and other Jewries over time and into the present has sparked a novel wave of interest. European, Latin American, and Israeli-based scholars are beginning to add their voices to the scholarly discourse, complementing the dominant American perspective. This may presage a fruitful dialogue between American specialists and others. This conference aims to further encourage this development by bringing together younger and senior scholars involved in such research. We endorse an interdisciplinary approach that is open to historians, migration researchers, scholars of religion, theology, Jewish thought, and cultural and literary studies among other fields of knowledge.

We welcome papers on a broad range of subjects under the umbrella of the transnational approach. Those could include:
  • The migration of people and institutions between various countries and North America, with an emphasis on Jewish communities and how they mutually affected each other
  • The impact of the American or European backgrounds of individuals and groups on their Jewish activities in other communities
  • The transfer, translation, and adaptation of texts, ideas, and practices, particularly in the context of the sociology of religion, cultural modernization, and Jewish global awareness
  • Developments in Jewish theology within the American historical context and their relations to European models of religious thought
  • The Holocaust and American Jewry, and the interrelations between American and other Jewries in its aftermath
  • Comparative perspectives that place American Jewry in the context of the experiences of other modern Jewish communities
  • Representations and ideas of “America” and other venues of Jewish life and their location within Jewish history as well as in the present and future
  • Linguistic and cultural translations between languages and cultures as expressions of transformations through the encounter of American and other Jewries

The conference will be sponsored by the School of Jewish Theology at University of Potsdam, near Berlin/Germany. The working language of the meeting will be English. Applicants should submit abstracts of 300 words for 20-minute papers and five lines of biographical information by February 15 to

Pending final budget confirmation, the conference organizers will cover travel and accommodation expenses for participants. Please indicate in your application if you have institutional support or other means to fund your trip. For organizational questions, please contact Markus Krah of the Potsdam School of Jewish Theology (

The conference will be organized by Elisabeth Gallas (Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University), Anton Hieke (independent scholar), David Juenger (Free University Berlin, Center for Jewish Studies/German Historical Institute, Washington D.C.), Ulrike Kleinecke (University of Lucerne), and Markus Krah (University of Potsdam).

Contact Info:
Markus Krah,  School of Jewish Theology,  University of Potsdam
Am Neuen Palais 10, D-14469 Potsdam, Germany

Contact Email:

Contesting Jewish Loyalties: The First World War and Beyond
Call for Proposals Deadline: February 26, 2016
Conference Date:15-17 December, 2016
Jewish Museum Berlin

 International conference organized by:
The Centre for German-Jewish Studies, University of Sussex
The Centre for Research on Antisemitism, TU Berlin
The Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg
The Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, University of London
Jewish Museum Berlin

Just decades after intense persecution and the struggle for recognition that marked the second half of the 19th century, Jewish leaders and ordinary Jews found themselves at an unprecedented social and political crossroads. The frenzied military, social, and cultural mobilisation of European societies from 1914 onwards, along with the outbreak of revolution in Russia and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East had a profound impact on Jewish communities worldwide. From the outset, the First World War was seen as a watershed in Jewish history. Early in 1917, the Hebrew language daily newspaper ‘Hatzfira’, published in Warsaw, expounded to its readers: “the Great Commonwealth War that confused the world had put the Jewish world under one star. From the time the Hebrew people went into exile there was no one single historical event which could include and encompass the entire Jewish people in all places of dispersion, as this global war did.” One of the most fascinating findings to emerge from seeing the Great War as a turning point in Jewish history is the question of Jewish loyalties. The nature of Jewish allegiance was not only questioned from the outside, but was an omnipresent problem for Jewish individuals, families and communities that struggled to reconcile what appeared to be divided loyalties. At the end of the war these dilemmas continued to trouble Jews in Europe and elsewhere. Self-determination was now perceived to be a guiding principle for redrawing European and world maps - providing new hope for a more ‘just’ world order and an enduring peace. This intensified the struggle over Jewish self-definition in a rapidly changing world. The interbellum saw the emergence of right-wing nationalist movements and new violence born out of political reshuffling and economic turmoil. The emergence of the Jewish polity in Mandatory Palestine and the complete reconfiguration of the map of Eastern Europe radically transformed Jewish lives. As fighting raged for many years in the successor states, Jews often found themselves caught between the lines with their allegiances challenged and redefined in terms of religion, ethnicity, nationality and modern citizenship.

The aim of this conference is to explore the multifaceted question of Jewish loyalties. Starting from the Dreyfus affair, we seek papers that consider the degree to which individual Jews and Jewish communities in Europe, the United States and elsewhere engaged with the question of loyalty before, during and after the First World War, in a broad interdisciplinary and transnational context. Papers showing comparative elements in analysing questions of loyalty confronted by other national, religious or ethnic groups are particularly welcome.

In bringing together junior and established scholars from a range of different disciplines, the conference aims to provide the setting for in-depth discussion on the place and multifaceted meanings of a crucial question for modern societies that will significantly improve our understanding of the Jewish experience in modern times.

The organizers invite proposals for 20-minute papers that engage with these and related themes.

Abstracts should be no more than 200 words and be submitted alongside a brief biography (including professional affiliation and contact details) by 26 February 2016 to the email addresses at the foot of this page.

Successful candidates will be notified by the end of March 2016.

Limited budget might be available to support travel expenses, but participants will be encouraged to cover travel costs with their own funds.

For further enquiries please contact:

Gideon Reuveni:

Kim Wünschmann:
Centre for German-Jewish Studies
Arts B, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QN

17th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Gender, and Sexualities 
Theme: “Thinking and Talking About Women, Genders, and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy”
Call for Proposals Submission: February 5, 2016
Conference Date: June 1-4, 2017
Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York

Women’s history has undergone enormous shifts since the First Berkshire conference, recasting dominant historical narratives and pioneering new ideas and methodologies. Fresh ideas about the very category of “women,” innovative studies of the body, new analyses of sexuality, trans-regional and transnational scholarship have transformed understandings of history. We now stand at a critical crossroads rich with possibilities for exciting innovations in research and teaching in this field.

Reviving connections between communities and institutions, historians are increasingly joining forces — inside and outside the academy – with an eye toward affecting social change and social justice. New forms of cooperation have raised important historical questions: What can we learn from internationalizing the discussion of women, careers and family? How can we use multi-sited histories of slavery to write gendered histories of global capitalism? How can scholars and activists collaborate to transform the pedagogical landscape in our ‘classrooms’? The 2017 Berkshire Conference will be a venue for difficult conversations about these and other crucial questions.

We will accept proposals for organized panels, roundtables, and workshops along with individual paper presentations for the following themed tracks, seeking submissions from historians, gender studies scholars and feminist activists who work on diverse periods and regions. The program committee reserves the right to break up and/or combine proposed panels, and will find an appropriate panel for each individual proposal that has been accepted. We support creative presentation formats involving performances or film viewing. Please visit our Call for Paper website listed below for explanation of the various session formats and instructions for submission.

Themed Tracks:

 - Gender and the State: Majorities and Minorities
 - Social Justice, Migration and the City
 - Globalized Labor
 - Slavery and Other Forms of Unfree Labor
 - Women, Gender and Capitalism
 - Sexualities, Gender and Science
 - Pedagogy and Work Culture, K-12
 - Women, Gender and War
 - Refugees, Asylum and Gender
 - Women, Gender and Religion
 - Performance Studies and Visual Culture
 - Politics and Popular Culture
- Work Cultures/Work Realities: The Academy and Beyond

For more information on track themes and session formats visit
Questions?  Contact us at

Contact Info:
Yuki Terazawa
Associate Professor in History and Berkshire Conference Local Committee Member
Hofstra University
Hempstead NY 11549

Graduate Student Conferences

UCLA Center for the Study of Religion Second Graduate Conference on Religion
Call for Proposals deadline: February 19, 2016
Conference date: Wednesday and Thursday, May 11-12, 2016
University of California, Los Angeles

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kimberley Patton Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion, Harvard Divinity School.

Keynote Lecture: "The endless ocean that climbs our cliff': The California coastline, sanctified, profaned."

The UCLA Center for the Study of Religion announces its second graduate student conference on religion. This graduate conference aims to bring together students from various academic disciplines who work on topics within the study of religion. We invite proposals from any academic discipline and theoretical or methodological approach.

The theme for this year’s conference is Sacred Sites and Sacred Landscapes. In their demarcation from the non-sacred, sacred sites and landscapes heighten the expressions of religious identities through emphasizing the primacy of space. These spaces permit unique opportunities for access and display, thereby showcasing great diversity and investment in human religiosity. However, the interconnected and overlapping claims to sacred sites and landscapes have also been at times the cause of extreme strife and conflict among religious populations. The dynamic role that sacred spaces continue to play within the everyday realities of religious communities is the result of great continuity and change.

There is no limitation on the subject matter or the interpretation of the theme, but some possible topics may include: the competition over sacred sites, how narratives influence the understanding of a landscape, or ethnographic work into profane localities. Proposals related to sacred sites and landscapes in California are especially encouraged.

The conference will consist of two days of thematically-organized panel sessions. Faculty will serve as the respondents for each of the panels. On Wednesday evening, Professor Kimberley Patton will give the keynote lecture addressing the conference theme.

Guidelines for Submitting Proposals: Please include the following in your paper proposals: 1) paper title, 2) email address, 3) institutional affiliation, 4) a 250-word abstract, and 5) a short one page CV or a page on your research experience. Please send the proposal as a single PDF entitled “LastNameFirstName_Title” to: Paper presentations should be approximately 15-20 minutes in length.The deadline for proposal submission is February 19, 2016. Notification of your proposal’s acceptance status will be sent by mid-March. Please be prepared to submit a copy of your paper two weeks prior to the conference so that we may circulate it among conference participants. In addition, we expect all presenters to participate in both days of the conference.

For more information, please visit our website

Questions about the conference should be directed to Conference Coordinators: Michael Chen, Jeremy Peretz

Faculty Advisors: Carol Bakhos, Jacco Dieleman

Encountering the Unexpected: Glitches, (Dis)placements, and Marginalia
Syracuse University Department of Religion Graduate Student Conference
Call for Papers Deadline: February 5, 2016
Conference date: March 25th and 26th, 2016

The Religion Graduate Organization invites you to submit paper and panel proposals to the semi-annual Religion Graduate Conference, Encountering the Unexpected: Glitches, (Dis)placements, and Marginalia. This conference actively encourages interdisciplinary discussions about unexpected encounters in the field and in the archives. Specifically, this conference aims to explore surprise occurrences in academic work when ideas, texts, people, and places collide or interact in unpredictable ways. Consider moments in the research process which unsettle the positionalities and potentialities of bodies, politics, images, and texts. We invite both M.A. and Ph.D. students to submit abstracts from a variety of thematic and theoretical backgrounds.

We particularly invite papers on the following themes:

The unavailable, unexpected, and interruptive
Hauntings/spirits, ghosts in the shell, alien encounters
Bridges and barriers
Transitions, transgressions, and mistranslations
Hacking, coding, cybernetics
Lacunae, redactions
Miracles, surprises, and moments of the surreal
Bricolage, montage, overlapping images, photoshopped reality
Reconfiguring theories and methodologies
Unexpected ethnographic or field work encounters
Displacement, diaspora, boundaries
Coups, treaties, and alliances
Synergy, flow, short-circuits
Film, texts, performances
Flashpoints/breaking points
Mystical positionality and experience

Abstracts are welcomed from various fields and disciplines, including but not limited to:

Area Studies
Art History
Art, Film and Visual Culture
Cultural Studies
Gender Studies
Political Science
Queer Studies
Sex and Sexuality Studies
Science and Technology Studies
Panel submissions are greatly encouraged.

A panel should consist of 3 papers
Ideally a panel should include scholars from more than one institution

We are particularly interested in panels on:

  • Pamela Klassen’s Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity
  • Exploring the intersections of Native American Studies and Religious Studies
  • Cultural Memory and the Study of Religion
  • Memory, Memorialization, and The Search for Public Meaning
  • Visions of the Future: Past and Present
  • Social Media as Social Revolution
  • Religion on the Margins

Panel or paper proposals should contain the following:

  • A one-page abstract (350 words for papers; 500 words for panels) describing the nature of the paper or panel. No names or institutional information should appear on the abstract to facilitate a blind selection process.
  • Cover page which includes the name(s), institution(s), and contact information for participant(s)
  • Current CV for the participant(s)
  • For panel proposals, identify the primary contact person for the panel.

Submit all materials to on or before February 5th, 2016


Mark T. Edwards said…
Thanks for these, Lauren!

I thought I'd take this occasion to remind everyone about the CFP for the Conference on Faith and History meeting at Regent, Oct. 19-22.

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