American Academy of Religion: 23-26 November 2013, Baltimore, MD

I am in Baltimore for the next few days for the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. There are a ton of people to meet here, as well as a meeting for the steering committee of the Asian North American Religions, Cultures, and Society (ANARCS) group that I need to attend. While the conference lasts until 26 November, I’m actually taking off Monday (25th) afternoon.

Before that, tomorrow I will be in a paper session titled ‘Re-membering Home: Indigenous and Colonial Encounters in Asian North American Religious Spaces.‘  Devin Singh (Yale University) will preside over this panel, which is formed by Melissa Borja (CUNY Staten Island), Ren Ito (Emmanuel College, Toronto), and JuneHee Yoon (Drew University). We are very privileged to have Lisa Rose Mar (University of Maryland, College Park) as our discussant.

My paper is titled ‘Strategies of reconciliation: First Nations and Cantonese evangelicals in Vancouver, BC.’ Here’s the abstract:

This paper performs an empirical analysis of how Cantonese evangelicals have ministered to First Nations populations in British Columbia. Based on 50 key informant interviews and three focus groups, I argue that Cantonese-speaking evangelicals recognize to some extent their duty to help First Nations either through charity or through social justice lobbying as an extension of living out an evangelical understanding of the Gospel. However, these understandings are differential based on their comprehension of orientalization and how to practice evangelical theology based on experiences of racialization. I consider three approaches: a progressive evangelical theology that mandates policy advocacy, a conservative evangelical practice that emphasizes charity work, and lay Cantonese evangelical participation in both strands while being critical of First Nations poverty. This paper contributes to both Asian North American and indigenous religious studies by pointing to the complex potentials for unexpected collaborative avenues in the struggle against white settler ideologies.

I’m also excited for several of the other sessions that ANARCS is sponsoring, including a very promising ‘quad-sponsored’ session titled ‘Placing the Subfield’ that will discuss the ‘Americas’ in the North American religions.

If you are in Baltimore and want to meet up, I’d be very happy to do so. I’m looking forward to a very productive AAR and to learning a lot from my friends and colleagues.

CFP: AAR 2013: ANARCS

Call for Papers | AAR 2013: Asian North American Religions, Cultures, and Society Group

The Group invites and welcomes individual papers, panel proposals, and nontraditional ways of sharing scholarly work that address:

  • Issues of empire, militarization, after-war trauma and memory;
  • Creative resistance practices;
  • Asian American Catholic life and Baltimore as the bastion of American Catholic life;
  • Asian American religious life in the greater Baltimore-DC metropolitan area;
  • Multiracial/Interracial bodies and theologies;
  • Exploring categories of “North” or “Asian” in Asian North American religion, culture, and society;
  • Intersections with Native American and indigenous critiques of settler colonialism; and
  • Any other critical aspect of Asian North American religion/s, culture, and society.

In addition to paper and panel submissions, we encourage the submission of nontraditional ways of sharing scholarly work and welcome a variety of formats to promote interactive sessions. Submissions are made directly to AAR.