Fellowship Opportunity: Early-Career Fellowships in Religion and the Public Sphere Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal

The Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal (RSDR) Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) aims to bring knowledge of the place of religion and spirituality into scholarly and public conversations about renewing democracy in the United States. These fellowships are offered by the SSRC’s Program on Religion and the Public Sphere with the support and partnership of the Fetzer Institute.

Applications are due March 16, 2020. Apply online at apply.ssrc.org. OVERVIEW

Since the country’s founding, scholars and citizens alike have debated religion’s place in US politics and civil society. The current moment is no exception. And while there are echoes from the past, the context within which American religion presently engages the public sphere is in many ways dramatically different than earlier historical moments. During the past half-century alone, the American religious landscape has undergone dramatic changes, including both rising religious diversity and rising religious disaffiliation. Both shifts have prompted scholars to consider anew the relationship between religion and spirituality. The political landscape, too, has been transformed by myriad, often countervailing, forces, including an increasingly diverse citizenry, rising social and political inequality, and sharpening polarization. This is an especially important and complex time for discerning whether, how, and under what conditions religion and/or spirituality shape American democracy, and vice versa.

Through research on the intersection of religious and/or spiritual identities, behaviors, attitudes, and organizations with social and political structures, processes, and institutions, RSDR fellows will deepen understanding of the evolving relationships between religion, spirituality, and democracy at this fraught moment in US history.

ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA

The RSDR fellowship program invites proposals for research at the intersection of religion, spirituality, and democracy in the United States. The fellowships offer research support over a period of up to 12 months to doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy and to postdoctoral researchers within five years of their PhD. Doctoral candidates will receive up to $15,000 and postdoctoral researchers up to $18,000 toward research-related expenses. Applications are welcome from scholars at either of these career stages from any country around the world.

We welcome proposals on all aspects and dimensions of religion and spirituality in its relation to democracy from across all fields in the social sciences, humanities, and theology. Proposals will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary selection committee on their overall quality and their potential to deepen understanding of the role that religion and spirituality play in democracy and to inform practical engagement around these issues. Applications, especially from postdoctoral researchers, should demonstrate strong interest in disseminating findings both to academic audiences and to practitioners and broader interested publics.

Fellowship funds will typically be used for activities directly related to research, such as travel expenses and accommodations, research equipment and supplies, support for research assistants, and costs for access to publications or proprietary databases. In exceptional cases, and in consultation with program staff, award funds may be used to cover other expenses.

RESEARCH THEMES

Applicants may address questions such as (but not limited to):

  1. Have recent shifts in American religiosity inhibited or strengthened the various forms of civic engagement associated with democratic citizenship? In what ways? How do religious institutions, discourses, and practices either contribute to or undermine civic engagement?
  2. Have recent changes in the American religious landscape affected public understandings of when and how religion is a legitimate part of civic engagement? If so, how? Conversely, do changing modes of civic engagement (e.g., use of digital and social media) shape the way religion enters the public sphere?
  3. As growing socioeconomic inequality and new dynamics of participation and exclusion shape American civil society, have patterns of religious affiliation, organization, and intensity been affected? In what ways? Conversely, have religious leaders and organizations responded to socioeconomic change and new patterns of associational life? How?
  4. What new constructive conceptions of democracy are emerging from within or among different religious and spiritual traditions? Relatedly, what immanent critiques of antidemocratic tendencies within different religious and spiritual traditions can be identified and articulated?

Additionally, projects that investigate the religious or spiritual dimensions of topics central to related SSRC programs in Anxieties of Democracy and Media & Democracy (e.g., inequality, identity, political participation, the impact of social and other media on democracy, immigration, and the politics of climate change) are welcome.

ADDITIONAL FELLOWSHIP ACTIVITIES

The fellowship includes participation in an interdisciplinary workshop upon the completion of RSDR-funded research. These workshops will focus on fostering interdisciplinary dialogue on key research topics, writing, public communication strategies, and cohort building.

Participants will be expected to contribute at least one essay to the SSRC’s flagship web forum on religion and secularism, The Immanent Frame (TIF).

TO APPLY

Applications must be submitted through the SSRC’s online application system no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on March 16, 2020. Applications will consist of a research proposal, a short application form, a curriculum vitae, and a letter of reference. Apply now at apply.ssrc.org.

Call for Proposals: SSRC 2020 Religion and the Public Sphere Summer Institute for Early-Career Scholars

The Social Science Research Council, with support from the Henry Luce Foundation, is pleased to announce the Religion and the Public Sphere Summer Institute for Early-Career Scholars. This week-long institute will take place July 16-22, 2020 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Applications are due January 31, 2020.

The goal of the 2020 Summer Institute is to bring together early-career scholars conducting research on, or beginning new projects on, the ways in which religion intersects with two critical public issues: social justice movements and environmental crises. Through a series of small seminars and workshops led by senior scholars, and unstructured time for reading, writing, and reflection, the Institute provides an intensive but informal setting for cross-disciplinary dialogue, exploring research design, presenting research findings, and networking with peers concerned with the ways in which religious ideas, practices, actors, institutions, and movements engage the public sphere. Following the workshop, participants interested in pursuing collaborative projects with each other will be eligible to apply for small seed grants to develop their projects.

SUMMER INSTITUTE THEMES

The Institute is open to advanced doctoral candidates and recent postdocs from all fields in the social sciences, humanities, and theology. We invite applications from early-career scholars who work on, or seek to work on, either of the following:

Religion and social justice movements in transatlantic perspective. This theme will focus on Europe and North America (including the United States, Mexico, Central America, Canada, and the Caribbean), but is also open to projects that include research in other regions, such as other home countries of immigrants to the global North. Projects for this theme might address questions such as:

  • How are religious leaders, actors, and organizations publicly responding to growing social inequality and to exclusionary populist mobilizations targeting racial minorities and immigrants? And with what kinds of effects?
  • How do religious actors understand the sources and dynamics of social inequality and exclusion (locally, nationally, globally), and how does this understanding shape the ways they approach them?
  • What kinds of transnational dialogues and intersections exist among religious actors to mutually support and learn from each other, and to imagine transnational responses to inequality and exclusionary populism? To what extent are such transnational dialogues and intersections reshaping local and national movements, whether religious or political?

• How are spiritually rooted forms of expression (practice, ideas, feelings, symbols, etc.) invoked in activism for social justice? How does this shape the internal dynamics within these movements or their cultural or political impact in the wider world?

Religion, spirituality, and environmental crises. This theme is open to projects from scholars working in any world region. Projects for this theme might address questions such as:

  • How does religion—broadly understood to include ethics and spirituality—play a role in the way people are interpreting radical shifts in their environments, such as those that increase threats to health, economic thriving, or social stability? How are communities, or movements, integrating experience and information about the changing environment into their lives?
  • As ethical, spiritual, and theological principles inform humans’ relationships with and responsibilities to nonhumans and to the natural world, what new environmental movements are emerging? Or how are existing movements shifting the focus of their work? To what degree do religious or spiritual institutions and values help or hinder the organizing of these movements in the face of environmental crisis? How might religiosity facilitate translocal or global connections across such movements?
  • How are scientific and religious ideas and narratives transmitted globally, and what is the role of technology in mediating these ideas and narratives? As new information and disinformation about environmental change and adaptation moves around the globe, how are religious beliefs, practices, understandings, and discourses about the environment being communicated, and with what effects?

    The 2020 Summer Institute will include separate sessions for each of the two themes in which participants engage with others working within their theme, as well as shared plenary sessions that will focus more broadly on the role of religion in the public sphere and overlapping analytic concerns.

    ELIGIBILITY

    Students currently enrolled in a PhD program who have advanced to candidacy (must have completed all requirements for the PhD degree except for the dissertation by June 2020) and recent postdocs (those who were granted their PhD during or after spring 2015) from fields in the social sciences, humanities, and theology are invited to apply for the Institute. There are no restrictions in terms of the citizenship or geographic location of the applicant.

    TO APPLY

    Applications must be submitted through the SSRC’s online application system no later than 11:59 pm EST on January 31, 2020. Applications will consist of a narrative description of a current research agenda, a short application form, and a curriculum vitae. Apply now at apply.ssrc.org.

Invitation to Apply: Emerging Scholars in Political Theology Program, 2020-2021

Emerging Scholars in Political Theology

The Political Theology Network invites applications from early-career scholars for its 2020-2021 Emerging Scholars in Political Theology program. Vincent Lloyd and Winnifred Sullivan will serve as mentors for the 2020-2021 cohort. Participants will meet in person three times: at Villanova University July 19-24, 2020, in Chicago in January of 2021, and again at Villanova in the Summer of 2021—in addition to online video conference meetings. All expenses will be paid, and Emerging Scholars will receive a $2,000 stipend for their participation. (Lloyd and Sarah Hammerschlag will serve as mentors for the 2021-2022 cohort, with an application deadline in January 2021.)

The Emerging Scholars in Political Theology program is looking for the next generation of creative and thoughtful political theology scholars. Political theology, as we understand it, is an emerging field that uses the methods of humanistic inquiry to study the intersections of religion and politics in public life. Scholars in political theology come from a variety of disciplines including religious studies, theology, law, political theory, anthropology, history, literature, and sociology. We share a commitment to building an academic field that is diverse along multiple axes (gender, race, geographical focus, religion, citizenship, and institution), to producing scholarship that is both rigorous and publicly-engaged, to incorporating voices traditionally excluded from the academy, and to the practical work of pursuing social justice. Scholars of traditions other than Christianity and of geographic areas outside of the United States are particularly encouraged to apply.

The Emerging Scholars in Political Theology program will involve facilitated discussions of shared readings, teaching and syllabus workshops, and training in public scholarship. Participants will share and discuss works-in-progress and will meet with academic and non-academic experts as we reflect on the state of the field.

Applicants should have the PhD in hand, but must have received their PhD after December 31, 2015. To apply, please send a CV and a brief (1 or 2 page) letter of interest to Richard Kent Evans at rkevans (at) haverford.edu by January 15, 2020.

In your letter of interest, please consider addressing the following questions: 1) How do you see the past, present, and future of the field of political theology, and how does your own research contribute to the field? 2) Which key texts do you see as forming the “canon” of political theology and why? 3) What role does political theology play in your teaching?

CFP: Holstein Dissertation Fellowships in Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion

DEADLINE: APRIL 3, 2020

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside is pleased to announce that applications are open for the 2020-21 cohort of Holstein Dissertation Fellows.

The Holstein Dissertation Fellowship is a competitive annual, non-stipendiary program that brings together a small cohort of doctoral candidates working in the area of queer and transgender studies in religion for networking, writing support, and mentoring at UC Riverside in Southern California. Fellows travel as a group to UCR on three separate weekends during the academic year; the fellowship pays all expenses for transportation, accommodations, and meals during each trip. Typical cohorts are between four and six Fellows, depending on available funding.

Applications are invited from PhD students in any field, both within and outside the US, whose dissertation research focuses on queer and/or transgender studies in religion. Doctoral degree tracks other than the PhD may be considered on a case-by-case basis, and applications from doctoral students attending UC Riverside are welcome. Fellows must have advanced to candidacy (CPhil) or their institution’s equivalent, and must have had their dissertation project approved by their institution, by June 30, 2020. They must also anticipate completion of the PhD no sooner than spring of the fellowship year. Fellowships are intended, in other words, for those who will be doctoral candidates for at least a significant majority and ideally all of their fellowship year.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, a CV, a dissertation abstract, and one letter of recommendation from a member of your dissertation committee. Your cover letter should explain your background in queer and/or transgender studies, religious studies, and queer and/or transgender studies in religion; briefly introduce your dissertation project; explain your current progress on the project and your expected timeline for completion, with particular attention to the work you plan to do during the fellowship year; and identify at least three faculty members in Southern California, listed in order of preference, with whom you would like to work in a mentoring relationship during the weekend visits to UCR. Nominated mentors should be scholars with whom you do not ordinarily have the opportunity to work, and should not include Melissa Wilcox, who works closely with all fellowship recipients. Send all application materials as email attachments to melissa.wilcox (at) ucr.edu by April 3, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by Dr. Wilcox and by the applicant’s nominated mentor(s); selection criteria include but are not limited to the quality of the applicant’s work, the depth of the project’s connection to queer and/or transgender studies in religion, and the applicant’s length of time to degree completion (all other factors being equal, those who will be ineligible for later cohorts due to completion of the PhD will receive priority consideration). There are no guarantees as to the availability of nominated mentors, but every effort will be made to match accepted Fellows with mentors whose own work is close to the Fellow’s dissertation topic.

The Holstein Dissertation Fellowship is funded by the Holstein Family and Community Chair in Religious Studies at UCR, which was created through the generosity of Robert and Loretta Holstein and their family and friends.

For questions regarding the program or the application process, please contact Melissa M. Wilcox, Professor and Holstein Family and Community Chair in Religious Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of California Riverside, Riverside CA 92521; melissa.wilcox (at) ucr.edu.

Religion and Sexual Abuse Project Grants

The Religion and Sexual Abuse Project seeks proposals for six grants of $20,000.

The Project is made up of a team of religious studies scholars specializing in a range of traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoga, NRMs, and Catholicism. The grants will fund projects that promise to benefit the scholarly study of sexual abuse across religious traditions and cultures. The grants could support writing projects, workshops, conferences, special programs, documentaries, theater productions, visual art projects, or other endeavors related to research on religion and sexual abuse. Collaborative projects are welcome. The team will select researchers who specialize in areas that complement or contribute to the existing research team’s expertise. For example, we encourage applications from those specializing in Protestantism, such as Evangelicalism and Southern Baptist denominations, the Black Church, Mormonism, Judaism, Islam, or Indigenous traditions. We are also interested in thematic projects that engage critical race theory, ethnic studies, trauma studies, childhood studies, gender and sexuality, religion and violence, or religion and law. We strongly encourage applications from scholars of color, and junior or contingent faculty.

All grant proposals should include the following:

  • Complete contact information and Abbreviated CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Project Narrative (max 500 words): A narrative description of the project detailing how the project promises to benefit the scholarly study of religion and sexual abuse.
  • Timeline (max 200 words): A clear timeline for the completion of the grant. Please note that projects are to be completed within four years of award announcement.
  • Two-page Budget and Budget Justification: A detailed budget, including office expenses, travel expenses, honoraria, stipend, and other expenses. Please note that institutional overhead costs may not be included in this budget.

 

The Religion and Sexual Abuse Project is a collaboration between scholars of religion with a range of expertise. We aim to further scholarly understandings of the dynamics of sexual abuse and misconduct in religious communities. Project leaders acknowledge the deep harm that sexual abuse causes as well as the importance of situating sexual abuse in broader cultural, historical, and social contexts. This project aims to support conversations between different stakeholders in a range of domains, including academia, religious communities, the media, and advocacy platforms. The Religion and Sexual Abuse Project is funded at the level of $550,000 by the Henry Luce Foundation. These funds support the academic projects of the leadership team, additional grants, conferences, collaborations with advocacy organizations, pedagogical resources, and an online resource hub. Members of the leadership team all have PhDs and hold positions at the rank of associate professor at colleges or universities. Some are members of religious communities. Others have no personal relationship to the communities they study. Participants in this project are committed to transparency regarding their positionalities.

Please contact Amanda Lucia, amanda.lucia@ucr.edu, with questions regarding the project, suggestions for potential collaborators, or assistance in constructing a budget. All grant applications must be submitted by email to Kent Brintnall, kbrintna@uncc.edu by no later than February 1, 2020. Grant awardees will be announced on April 14, 2020.

 

Funding for the grants provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

2020 Liberation Theology and Decolonialism Summer Institute

Applications for the 2020 Liberation Theology and Decolonialism Summer Institute in Santiago de Compostela are now open! See http://www.dialogoglobal.com/compostela/ .

 

The Institute runs from June 1-5, 2020. Application deadline March 1, 2020.

 

All Seminars will be in English. Topics include: Modernity/Coloniality and Christendom; Womanist Theology; Interreligious Decoloniality; Liberation and Corporeality; Ecofeminism; Transmodernity; Native Cosmologies; Religion and Epistemological Disobedience; and More.

 

See below for pictures and reflections from the 2019 institute:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1209843582536724/

https://kellogg.nd.edu/kellogg-institute-professionalization-grants-14

Call for Nominations for Associate Editors, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy

Hypatia has completed a transition to a new Editorial Team (See the Editorial Team’s statement, “The Promise of Feminist Philosophy,” Hypatia vol. 34, no. 3 (Summer 2019); also see ‘New Editorial Team Chosen for Hypatia’, the revision of its governance structure, and is in the process of transferring its publishing home to Cambridge University Press (transition will be finalized on January 1, 2020). Hypatia is now ready to form a new group of Associate Editors.  We welcome nominations for these positions. Self-nominations are welcome. A description of the responsibilities can be found below.

Please send a CV and a letter of no more than one page speaking to the nominee’s qualifications.  If possible, please secure the nominee’s willingness to serve prior to nomination.  The board of 8-10 Associate Editors will be elected from the pool of nominees.

Send nominations to Bonnie Mann, bmann (at) uoregon.edu.

Nominations due by Friday, October 18th, 2019.

Responsibilities

  • To assist the Editorial Team, including the HRO Editor(s), in maintaining the journal’s health, advising on editorial policy, soliciting submissions and special issues, clusters, and musings, reviewing reports from the Editorial Team and the Treasurer of the Nonprofit Board, and providing feedback on those reports.
  • To occasionally assume editorial responsibilities in cases in which the Editorial Team has a conflict of interest related to a specific submission (i.e. when a submission is from a student or close colleague of an Editorial Team member or members).
  • To review new editorial initiatives and submissions for special issues, forwarded to the AEs from the Editorial Team, and vote on which to accept.
  • To maintain communication as needed with the Nonprofit Board, the Facilitation and Communication Committee, and the Outreach and Ethics Committee.
  • To assist in the formation and the work of the Diversity Essay Prize Committee and the assessment of Diversity Grant proposals; they will provide members to both committees, which in turn make final decisions on awards.
  • To serve in an advisory capacity to the Editorial Team regarding editorial issues that may arise; for example, individual Associate Editors can be asked to suggest reviewers or provide advice about conflicting referee reports in their areas of expertise.
  • To commit individually to perform at least 2 reviews per year of submissions in their areas of expertise.
  • To form and chair a Search Committee for a new Editorial Team at least 18 months in advance of the completion of the term of the current team.
  • To choose a Facilitator who will convene meetings at least twice a year, circulate the agenda and any necessary documents for their decisions. This person will serve a 2-3 year term. Either the Facilitator or an appointed Secretary will take minutes of meetings and keep a decision log.

The criteria for determining good nominees for Associate Editor shall include their ability to contribute to the diversity of philosophical areas, methods, and topics, their experience, and their ability to represent international feminist communities.