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.

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

Job Posting: Postdoctoral Fellowships at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics

Postdoctoral Research Associates in Religion and Politics

 

The John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics seeks applications from junior scholars and recent Ph.D. graduates for up to four postdoctoral fellowships in residence at Washington University in St. Louis. The appointment is for one year, renewable for a second year. Eligible applicants must complete the Ph.D. by July 1, 2020, and have completed it no earlier than January 1, 2015. In exceptional cases a qualified applicant holding a J.D., without the Ph.D., may be considered. Research associates will spend most of their time pursuing research and writing for their own projects. They will also serve the intellectual life of the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics through participation in its biweekly interdisciplinary seminar and events hosted by the Center. Their teaching responsibilities will include: 1) developing one course per year to complement and contribute to the Center’s curricular offerings, and 2) possibly assisting in one additional course each year (depending on the particular teaching needs of the Center). Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer and especially encourages members of underrepresented groups to apply.

 

Required Qualifications: Applicants should hold a doctorate in religious studies, politics, anthropology, law, philosophy, theology, American studies, history, area studies, sociology, or another relevant field. Scholars should be engaged in projects centrally concerned with religion and politics in the United States, historically or in the present day.

 

Application Instructions: Applicants must send all of the following information as a single pdf file to the Center at rap@wustl.edu:

 

  • Cover letter including an overview of the postdoctoral research project
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Relevant writing sample (25-35 pages)
  • Two undergraduate course proposals (a summary paragraph for each will suffice)

 

Applicants should also arrange to have three letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf to rap@wustl.edu.

 

Applications are due in full by December 1, 2019. Applicants will be notified of fellowship decisions by March 2, 2020. For more information, contact the Center at (314) 935-9345 or via e-mail at rap@wustl.edu.

 

Salary: $50,000

 

 

(For full disclosure: Fannie Bialek is both an editor of this site and the director of fellows at the Danforth Center.)

Call for Applicants: Book Review Editor for Body and Religion

We are seeking applicants for the role of Book Review Editor for the journal, Body and Religion, published since 2017 by Equinox. Two issues a year are published with approximately 4-6 book reviews each. Reviews should be 1000-2000 words in length and refrain from notes. They are published “open access” on the Equinox site. The book review editor is responsible for maintaining a list of newly published books relevant to our readership, soliciting and maintaining communication with reviewers, editing reviews, and serving as a liaison between the press and the journal to ask for review copies to be mailed to reviewers and sending follow up copies of reviews once published to the marketing division of publication houses. Coordination between the editorial team, board members and Equinox is expected.

 

This important opportunity to shape scholarly discourse about religious embodiment is open to all tenure-track and independent scholarly ranks. We are seeking an applicant to serve at minimum for 2-3 years with clear communication skills, editing expertise, and organizational capacities for maintaining logistics around review cycles between editors and reviewers. Applicant should be familiar with the field of body and religion in order to know whom to contact about writing book reviews. They may also be asked to review regular article submissions in alignment with their expertise.

 

The book review editor receives a free subscription to the journal and an Equinox author discount of 35% on other titles. Their affiliated university library would also receive an institutional discount for their subscription to the journal. While most books are sent directly to reviewers from the press, postage costs for books sent by the editor are covered by Equinox.

 

All interested applicants may send a letter of interest and C.V. to Dr. Katherine Zubko, Editor of Body and Religion, by July 30, 2019. Position will remain open until filled. Please direct any inquiries to Dr. Zubko at kzubko@unca.edu. More information about the journal may be found below.

 

Body and Religion is an internationally peer reviewed, interdisciplinary journal devoted to all issues of body and religion. We welcome English-language submissions from scholars who use diverse methodologies and approaches, ranging from traditional to innovative, to explore issues of “body” as a fundamental analytical category in the study of religion. We seek to publish the widest possible diversity of critical inquiry into the relationships between all manner of bodies; concepts of “body,” and both traditional and alternative religious traditions, popular culture, literature, the arts, psychology, philosophy, the natural sciences, national and social movements, gender and sexuality, modification and transformation, underground/alternative culture, time periods, and regions.

The journal provides a forum for the study of all manner of ancient and contemporary practices, concerns, ideals, and connections or disconnections between body and religion. Essays and analyses are capable of being delivered on a multi-media platform, assisting in examining performances, rituals, and other topics that are not easily captured in print. However, alternate and innovative presentations must include a significant written portion for print, while corresponding extra color art, video, and other media will be included on the journal website and in other electronic forms.

Body and Religion considers submissions from both established scholars and research students. All articles are refereed.

 

CfP: Feminism and Classics 2020, “body/language”

FemClas 2020, the eighth quadrennial conference of its kind, takes place on May 21–24, 2020, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the invitation of the Wake Forest University Department of Classics and Department of Philosophy.  The conference theme is “body/language,” broadly construed, and papers on all topics related to feminism, Classics, Philosophy, and related fields are welcome.
This conference focuses on the use of the body and/or language to gain, lose, contest, or express power and agency in the ancient Mediterranean world.  Bodies and words, at both the physical and the conceptual levels, can exert disproportionate, oppositional, or complementary forces.  Both have the power to transform their surrounding environments significantly.  Yet there is a problematic dichotomy between body/physicality and language/reason, a problem long noted by philosophers, literary theorists, and social historians.  FemClas 2020 seeks to contest, blur, and even eradicate these boundaries through papers, panels, and other programming that promotes interdisciplinary exploration of the ancient world.
We invite contributions that use the lens of bodies, languages, or their intersections to address any aspect of the ancient world, modern encounters with ancient cultures, or the academic practices of Classics, Philosophy, and related fields.  Participants might explore how voices engender movement(s) and transform bodies, or how movement(s) in turn can stimulate recognition of unheard or otherwise suppressed voices and lead to change.  These can be voices and movements within the ancient world, within the university, or within our modern disciplines.  The study of agency, expressed through the problematic body/language dichotomy, addresses critical questions not only in scholarly work but also in the governance, makeup, and power dynamics of our fields, currently and historically.  Now, perhaps more than ever, is a critical time for us to consider ourselves as students of bodies past and present, as embodied scholars, and to interrogate the repercussions of body normativity — from race and gender to neurodiversity, dis/ability, and body types — on our work and our profession.
All submissions are due September 1, 2019.  FemClas 2020 welcomes individual papers, organized panels, workshops, roundtables, posters, author-meets-critic sessions, and other, innovative forms of programming.  We encourage submissions from the widest possible range of perspectives, addressing all areas of the ancient world and its legacies.  We also welcome proposals especially from related interest groups (such as Mountaintop, Eos Africana, the Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus, MRECC, Classics & Social Justice, the Lambda Classical Caucus, the Women’s Classical Caucus, and EuGeSta) and from allied disciplines (e.g., English, comparative literature, media studies, environmental humanities, animal studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies).
Proposals should aim for an abstract of approximately 300 words (not counting works cited), and should be anonymous where possible.  To submit a proposal for an individual paper or poster, visit:
To submit a proposal for any other type of session, visit:
We are enthusiastic about developing a program that will work toward making our intellectual community more welcoming and accessible to all. For this reason, we invite with special emphasis proposals for workshops, roundtables, and the like (creative formats welcome!) that will offer practical training about e.g. implicit bias, sexual harassment, racism, accessibility, developing diversity statements, and so forth.
The organizers (T. H. M. Gellar-Goad and Emily Austin) and the Program Committee of FemClas 2020 are committed to an inclusive, welcoming, and accommodating conference.  Submissions from graduate students, contingent and underemployed faculty, and independent scholars are especially welcome.  Submissions from undergraduate students are also welcome and will be considered separately for a dedicated panel.  We will be able to provide reduced conference fees and some travel assistance for attendance by participants who cannot obtain institutional support.
As part of submission, registration, and attendance at the conference, we will ask you to agree to our conference Code of Conduct & Anti-Harassment Policy, which prohibits harassment and discrimination of any kind.  A trained, experienced Anti-Harassment Administrator who is not a member of the discipline will receive and address or refer complaints about harassment and violations of the code of conduct.  The Code of Conduct & Anti-Harassment Policy is available here:
FemClas 2020 will take place partially on the downtown campus of Wake Forest University and partially at a nearby hotel.  Each site is fully accessible for all forms of mobility.  At each site there will be all-gender bathrooms, a lactation room, a quiet room, and on-site childcare (which we hope to offer at no extra cost).
Some states prohibit using state funds to travel to North Carolina, despite the partial repeal of NC HB-2.  Wake Forest University, as a private institution, is not subject to NC state legislative regulations of public universities, and Wake Forest has a non-discrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression:
Please contact T. H. M. Gellar-Goad at thmgg@wfu.edu with questions.