SARI CFP for 2022 AAR Annual Meeting

The Steering Committee of the South Asian Religions (SARI) Unit invites colleagues to submit proposals for the 2022 AAR Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. SARI’s mission is to provide a venue for new research on the many religious cultures, literatures, and histories of South Asia. We have a strong preference for sessions in which the papers cover a range of South Asian traditions, regions, and languages. Some themes already identified as potential papers sessions are listed below—please contact the associated colleagues for details about potential collaborations. Panels and papers are also encouraged that respond to the 2022 AAR Presidential Theme: “Religion and Catastrophe.”

The SARI Steering Committee accepts full panel submissions only (i.e. Papers Sessions), with the exception of papers for the New Directions panel (see below). For the 2020 Annual Meeting, SARI has a flexible allotment of panel formats: either one 2.5-hour session, one 2-hour session, and five 90-minute sessions; OR two 2.5-hour sessions, one 2-hour session, and three 90-minute sessions. SARI can also sponsor one additional paper session if it is co-sponsored with another Unit. Please note most SARI panels will be 90-minute and plan your proposals accordingly.

In your proposal, you may specify your preferred panel format (150, 120, or 90 minutes) but the time allotted for accepted panels varies based on the overall programming needs. In the past, 150-minute panels have usually consisted of 6 participants (4 paper presenters, a discussant or respondent, and a presider), and 90-minute panels have consisted of 4 or 5 participants (3 paper presenters, a presider, and perhaps a respondent). However, creative formats are encouraged, such as roundtables, paired papers with no respondent, pre-circulated papers, and so on. If relevant, list any potential co-sponsoring Unit with your proposal. All Papers Session Panel Proposals must be submitted through the PAPERS system on the AAR website.

“New Directions” Panel 2022:

The SARI Steering Committee accepts individual paper submissions in one category, to provide space for new scholarship in our field. To be eligible, applicants must (1) be ABD doctoral students (or recent graduates) from a Ph.D. program in South Asian religions and (2) never have presented at the national AAR meeting. Accepted panelists will be mentored by a senior colleague with appropriately specialized expertise. To apply, email your proposal (and any other queries) to Bhakti Mamtora ( or Anand Venkatkrishnan (, convenors of the panel for 2022 AND upload your individual paper proposal in the AAR’s PAPERS system, labelled as a “New Directions” submission.

If you are looking for collaborators towards proposing a panel session, please feel free to reach out to colleagues on the SARI listserv (currently RISA-L), to contact the SARI co-chairs for assistance (Sarah Pierce Taylor [] and Jenn Ortegren []), or to email the colleagues listed below if there is a topic that is interesting to you.

Race, Caste, and Conversion in 20th century South Asia (to be co-sponsored by the Religious Conversions Unit: Deepra Dandekar ( and Eliza Kent (

The Babri Masjid destruction: 30 Year Retrospective: Audrey Truschke (

Care, Friendship, and Female Religiosity in Contemporary South India: Harini Kumar (

Religion and/as Labor: Andrew Kunze (

The Monastery in South Asia: Nabanjan Maitra (

Magic and Definitions of Magic in South Asia: Aaron Ullrey (

“Teaching the Introductory ‘Islam in South Asia’ Course”: Karen Ruffle (

Roundtable discussion of a recent book: Jenn Ortegren ( or Sarah Pierce Taylor ( We are hoping to make this a more common feature of SARI annual offerings, with the stipulation that the book to be discussed should touch on the diversity of South Asian religious traditions and/or the complexity of religion as a category in relation to South Asian religions.