Call for papers: 46th Annual Conference of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion

9-10 DECEMBER 2021

HOPE

“The whole of history is about hopes being sustained, lost, renewed,” wrote John Berger, reflecting on the life and work of the poet Nâzım Hikmet. “And with new hopes come new theories.”

In December 2021, the Australian Association for the Study of Religion and the Australian National University invite scholars from across the country and across the world to join us online to reflect upon the significance of hopes sustained, lost, and renewed across religions, theories, cultures, and scholarly disciplines.

We also invite papers and panels on the full range of topics and issues that reflect the diverse fields of specialization, disciplinary approaches, and research interests of scholars of religion.

Through individual presentations and panels, we invite participants to ask how the principle of hope has informed religious belief and practice in the past and present. For while hope has been understood as a Christian virtue, like faith and love, hope has also been seen as deceptive, the ambiguous contents of Pandora’s Box. Hope can even be cruel; following Lauren Berlant’s notion of “cruel optimism,” our hope may be holding us back. Whether spiritual, medical, technological, or political, one person’s hope may also be another person’s fear in our increasingly diverse and unstable societies.

Proposals of may be sent to aasrconference2021@gmail.com until 31 October 2021.

Please include relevant affiliation and contact information in a single document. Individual paper proposals may be up to 250 words. Panel proposals should be submitted as a single document with a short abstract for the panel as well as individual abstracts up to 250 words and individual author information. Panels may consist of 3 or 4 participants. Individual presentations will be 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions and answers, panels may be up to 120 minutes in total.

All presenters will be required to be members of the AASR by 30 November 2021. Members of the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion are exempt from this requirement.

The conference will be held online, over Zoom, on Australian Eastern Daylight Time (GMT/UTC + 11).

Keynote speakers, including presenters of the Penny Magee Memorial Lecture, the Herbert & Valmae Freilich Lecture, and the Hans Mol Memorial Lecture, will soon be confirmed.

All inquiries may be directed to aasrconference2021@gmail.com