By Quincy D. Newell and James B. Bennett
All four papers for this year's AAR Seminar on Religion in the American West meeting are now available online. The Seminar will meet on Saturday, November 17, from 4:00-6:30 pm. We ask that all attendees read the papers before the session so that we can spend our time on a richer, fuller discussion. The description of our session in the program book sums it up well:
"This session will explore not only the many ways that diverse religious communities have imagined the American West as sacred space and sacred place, but also the ways that religious imaginations can be found in often overlooked places and activities that characterized life in the West. Discussion will also consider how the papers, taken together, highlight the contributions the American West makes to understanding American religion and the ways studying religion helps us understand the American West."
We have four fantastic papers to talk about this year:
"Between Manifest Destiny and Diaspora: American Judaism in the Era of Westward Expansion," by Shari Rabin of Yale University;
"Material 'Goods': Towards a Commercial History of Religion in the American West," by Sarah Koenig of Yale University;
"The Evangelical Origins of National Parks and a Religio-Aesthetic Vision of the American West," by Thomas Bremer of Rhodes College; and
"Real and Imagined Territories: Restoring the Independent Oglala Nation and Reviving the Ghost Dance Ritual at Wounded Knee in 1973," by Tammy Heise of Florida State University.
To see the papers, you'll need to be enrolled as a member of the seminar. If you don’t remember whether you have been enrolled as a member, we recommend trying the first three steps below. If that doesn’t work, or if you have not been enrolled, please email Tisa Wenger to be enrolled.
Here are the instructions:
1. Go to Religion in the American West Website (this is different from the Religion in the American West blog).
2. Click on the "members only" tab, which should take you to the class management system at Yale where the papers are posted.
3. Click on the appropriate log-in tab, which for most of us will be the non-Yale log-in. If you do not remember your password (your log-in should be your email address), there is a "forgot your password" link that should enable you to recover access.
4. Once you have successfully logged onto yaleclassv2 you should see a tab that says "Rel American West."
5. Click that tab and then the "papers" link on the left and you should see the folders. This year’s papers are in the 2012 folder.
This session is the Religion in the American West Seminar's last meeting -- seminars have a five year life-span, and we've hit our limit. There is an effort underway to create a new AAR program unit on religion in the American West. Keep an eye on this space for more information. (We'll probably also talk about it at the Seminar meeting in Chicago.) We hope to see you there!