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Meeting Call for Papers Announcement
Charting Religious Migration Across the Black Atlantic and US-Mexico Borderlands
Sponsor: Dr. Todne Chipumuro, UVM and Aimee Villarreal, UCSC
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Todne Chipumuro and Aimee Villarreal
CALL FOR PAPERS – AAA PANEL ON RELIGION AND MIGRATION Charting Religious Migrations Across the Black Atlantic and the US-Mexico Borderlands Scholars of religion and migration recognize that religious participants and phenomena are increasingly mobile and untethered to particular geographic locations and established religious traditions. These unsettlements have fueled the emergence of new religious movements, transnational connections, and global institutional structures. Anthropologists interested in documenting these complex layers of interactivity require a “global perceptual stance” (Jergensmeyer 2011: 248) that attempts to understand the relationship between the movement of people and traveling religious knowledges through multiple perspectives, concepts, and methodologies. The Black Atlantic and Latina/o Borderlands studies have gained traction in anthropology and religious studies as analytic frameworks that theorize religious migration currents and narrate the transnational religious worlds of migrants. Drawn from the dialogues of British cultural studies, the Black Atlantic conceptualizes the complex spaces, encounters, and cultural formations forged by people of African descent. Grounded in blacks’ negotiations of the disenfranchisements of Western modernity, the Black Atlantic has drawn attention to the limitations of using ethnicity, race, and nationalism as frames for understanding the histories and social movements of Afro-diasporic peoples. Instead, Gilroy argues for an attention to the “transcultural and intercultural perspective[s]” produced by the migrations of continental and diasporic Africans and religion provides a space for these encounters (Gilroy 1993: 15). Similarly, the Borderlands foregrounds the historical trauma of conquest and conversion, dislocation and dispossession of Amerindian populations, while also serving as a metaphor for mestizaje, transculturation, as well as religious syncretism, mythical geographies and genealogies. US-Mexico Borderlands frameworks also address the realities of national borders as militarized contact zones and sites for the production of illegality. However, religion often exceeds the boundaries of the nation-state generating new transborder Latina/o religious movements and identities. Owing its theoretical innovations to Chicana/o studies, the Borderlands concept “has been used as a transposable idea that can fit any similar context around the globe” (Gutierrez 2011: 135). Although the Black Atlantic and Latina/o Borderlands studies descend from particular intellectual lineages and geographical foci, they were never meant to be provincial. Scholars working within these frameworks do not often engage each other despite their mutual interest in the transnational connections mobilized by marginalized communities. This panel seeks to intervene in this state of affairs by creating a space for dialogue between scholars interested in migration and religion that employ either Latina/o Borderlands or Black Atlantic perspectives. Though we welcome papers on a variety of religious traditions, movements, or phenomena, scholars will be expected to speak to Black Atlantic and Latina/o Borderlands topics in their final presentations. To that end, this panel is organized around the following questions: How is religion articulated with migration as well as other forms of alterity within Black Atlantic and Latina/o Borderlands frameworks? How might inhabiting the margins, multiple localities, or Diasporas allow for the production of religious identities against the grain of ethnicity, race, nation, or gender? What politics, solidarities, or institutions are created through marginalized communities’ production of alternative theologies, spiritualities, and universals? Please send paper abstracts to Todne Chipumuro at and Aimee Villarreal at by March 10, 2012.
Keywords: Religion | Transnationalism | Migration
This announcement will be displayed until: 03/15/2013
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