November 5, 2014

The Papers Are Now Available!

The Religion in the American West Group will be kicking off its first AAR (American Academy of Religion) meeting as an official, permanent program unit with a selection of excellent papers by Rebecca Tatum, Sarah Koenig, Brennan Keegan, and Jason Allen Redden.

The theme for our session, which meets Sunday, November 23, from 9:00 to 11:30am, is “Western Borderlands: Families and Congregations.”

The session’s description is:

In the North American West, there are numerous sites of contact at geopolitical borders as well as at boundaries of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and religion. This session’s papers examine these points of contact and negotiation from two broad vantage points. The first has to do with the birth and care of children and religious understandings of bodies; papers consider the role of Native American wet nurses and New Mexican midwives. The second has to do with the spread of evangelical Christianity in unique Western settings; papers explore missions to indigenous groups in British Columbia and to mining towns in Montana. These papers show that domestic, commercial, and Christian spaces have intersected in the North American West in complex and creative ways.

Following our tradition, the papers are pre-circulated and are available now for you to read carefully. Presenters will give only short introductions to their papers so as to leave ample time for comment and discussion. The official respondent this time around is Professor Colleen McDannell of the University of Utah.

To access the papers, follow these steps:

1.      Join the AAR if you have not done so already. Access to the papers is limited to AAR members.
2.      Go to this website: and scroll done to our session.
3.      Click on the paper titles to read the papers.
4.      Come on Sunday, November 23, with your questions and comments!

We look forward to seeing everyone in San Diego!