Friends! AAR is upon us! Herewith, our guide to the AAR -- the sessions we think you might be interested in if you are interested in religion in the American West. We've tried to be exhaustive, but we've probably missed something (or many things) -- so help us out by leaving more information in the comments.
On Saturday, November 17, you'd probably be interested in...
A17-124 Mormon Studies Group
The Mormon Heritage Industry: Reading the Mormon Past in Popular Media
McCormick Place West-184A
Grant Underwood, Brigham Young University, Presiding
Megan Goodwin, University of North Carolina: "'Common Sense is No Match for the Voice of God:' Krakauer’s Misreading of Elizabeth Smart"
David Newman, Syracuse University: "As in Utah, so in Arabia: Orientalizing Mormonism in 2007's September Dawn"
Colleen McDannell, University of Utah: "Obsessed by History: The Heritage Industry and the Mormons"
Responding: Patrick Mason, Claremont Graduate University
Business Meeting: James McLachlan, Western Carolina University
S17-230 SBL Latter-day Saints and the Bible Section
McCormick Place West-474A
David Seely, Brigham Young University, Presiding
Gaye Strathearn, BYU: "Interpretations of the 'Image of God' in Biblical and LDS Thought"
James F. Berlin, LDS Church-Translation Division: "Joseph Smith's Recovery of Biblical Angels"
Eric A. Eliason, BYU: "Joseph Smith, Folk Magic, and the Bible"
Shon D. Hopkin, BYU: "Ritual, Ordinance, and the Law of Moses"
Dana M. Pike, BYU: "Fair as the Moon and Clear as the Sun: The Song of Songs in the Latter-day Saint Religious Tradition"
(Let's colonize the SBL [Society for Biblical Literature], shall we?)
No question here. You clearly want to go to:
A17-331 Religion in the American West Seminar
(Re)Sacralizing the American West
McCormick Place South-503A
Sara Patterson, Hanover College, Presiding
Shari Rabin, Yale University: "Between Manifest Destiny and Diaspora: American Judaism in the Era of Westward Expansion"
Sarah Koenig, Yale University: "Material 'Goods': Towards a Commercial History of Religion in the American West"
Thomas Bremer, Rhodes College: "The Evangelical Origins of National Parks and a Religio-Aesthetic Vision of the American West"
Tammy Heise, Florida State University: "Real and Imagined Territories: Restoring the Independent Oglala Nation and Reviving the Ghost Dance Ritual at Wounded Knee in 1973"
Responding: James Bennett, Santa Clara University & Quincy Newell, University of Wyoming
Go here for instructions about how to get the papers for this session.
On Sunday, November 18, you'd probably be interested in...
A18-124 Native Traditions in the Americas Group
Absent, Disappearing, and Persisting: Representations of Native Traditions
McCormick Place West-192A
Jason Sprague, University of Iowa, Presiding
Suzanne Owen, Leeds Trinity University College: "Indigeneity and the 'Absent Other' in Representations of the Beothuk"
Sarah Dees, Indiana University: "Comparative Philology and the Scholarly Representation of Native American Religions"
Andrea McComb, University of California, Santa Barbara: "From Franciscans to Tourists: Pueblo Patron Saints' Feast Days and the Colonization of New Mexico"
Responding: Michael Zogry, University of Kansas
Business Meeting: Michael Zogry, University of Kansas & Mary Churchill, Sonoma State University
A18-129 Religion and Popular Culture Group
Reimagining Secularization Theory in the Study of Religion and Popular Culture
McCormick Place North-127
Shanny Luft, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Presiding
David Walker, Yale University: "Railroading Rituals: Mormons and Tourists in the American West"
Jeffrey Scholes, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs: "Relating Sports and Religion in a Post-Secular World"
Brandon White, Emory University: "Secularized Starfleet?: Religion in Popular (Sci-Fi) Conceptions of the Future"
Denis Bekkering, University of Waterloo: "Unfaithful Fans of Televangelists: Between Recreational Christianity and Antifandom"
A18-215 Childhood Studies and Religion Group
Preparing the Next Generations: Catholic, Evangelical, and Mormon Youth in the Twentieth Century
McCormick Place West-184A
Amy DeRogatis, Michigan State University, Presiding
Natalie Rose, Michigan State University: "Ensuring the Future: Mormon Courtship at the End of Plural Marriage, 1890-1920"
Karen Johnson, University of Illinois, Chicago: "Race, Religion, and Civil Rights: Catholic Youth and the Push for Interracial Justice in 1930s Chicago"
Rebecca Koerselman, Michigan State University: "Gender Goes Camping: The Construction of Feminine and Masculine Identities in Postwar Evangelical Summer Camps"
Responding: Susan Ridgely, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
If you read and/or contribute to this blog, you also might be interested in:
A18-234 Wildcard Session
The Blog that Dares Not Speak Its Name: New Media and Collaborative Scholarship
McCormick Place West-196B
Kathryn Reklis, Fordham University, Presiding
This panel will explore engagements with new media as a potential horizon in the academic scholarship of religion both in terms of content (what is studied/written about), form (how it is studied/written), and audience (for whom it is studied/written). In particular, we will examine the interactive, ad hoc, immediate nature of blogging as a new form of collaborative scholarship and a form particularly suited to the analysis of and engagement with new objects of study. The panelists, all working in academic fields of theology or philosophy, converse about their collaborative work exploring the core questions of their disciplines and experimenting in new forms of trans-disciplinary scholarship by writing a blog about popular visual culture together.
Natalie Wigg-Stevenson, University of Toronto
Martin Shuster, Hamilton College
Travis Ables, Eden Theological Seminary
Responding: Shelly Rambo, Boston University
A18-266 Indigenous Religious Traditions Group and Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Group
Crossing Boundaries: Healing and Walking in Mexico and the Southwest
McCormick Place South-501A
María Del Socorro Castañeda-Liles, Santa Clara University, Presiding
Brett Hendrickson, Lafayette College: "Curanderismo in the United States: Anglo American Interest in Mexican Folk Healing"
Seth Schermerhorn, Arizona State University: "Walking to Magdalena: O’odham Taxonomies of Movement and the Category of Pilgrimage"
Angela Anderson Guerrero, California Institute of Integral Studies: "Mysticism within the Tradition of the Mexicayotl"
There are lots of interesting sessions on Monday (11/19) and Tuesday (11/20) as well, but we didn't see any that looked like they engaged the subject of religion in the American West. (Of course, we were just skimming session themes and paper titles, so we likely missed something. Leave it in the comments!)
If you're traveling to AAR, travel safely. We'll look forward to seeing you there!