Research in Religious Studies Conference 2014, University of Calgary

 In Call for Papers, News | Nouvelles, Uncategorized

Call for Papers
2014 Research in Religious Studies Conference
University of Calgary May 8-9 (Thursday to Friday), immediately before the Pacific Northwest regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature (May 9-11).

Click for CFP poster

The conference provides Undergraduates and Masters students from any educational institute with the opportunity to present papers on the history, belief, practices, cultural contexts, and artistic or literary expressions of any religious tradition. Proposals for papers from any discipline are welcome.

The RRS conference has been held in Lethbridge since its inception in 2003 but since the regional AAR/SBL is meeting in Calgary we are pleased to relocate for this one year. This will make travel to the conference much easier for students from other locales in and outside of Alberta. I will be working closely with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary and I will be the primary contact person; therefore, looking after the vetting of paper proposals, scheduling, and so forth.

The past four years have each seen between 45 and 50 papers presented and indications are that this year will be at least as large. In the past several years, less than half of the presenters come from Lethbridge with many journeying from institutions across Western Canada and some from Central and Eastern Canada. While we do not always get submissions from the United States but we have had participants from Stanford, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Rice universities in past years. Since the regional meeting will include many scholars from the Pacific Northwest states, we do expect a number of American submissions.

Our conference is clearly filling the need for students to find venues for their work outside of the classroom and to compare notes and make connections in the larger world of academia. It is a great opportunity for researchers at the beginning of their careers to learn from others, and since the AAR/SBL meeting follows in the same venue immediately afterward, to take in a professional conference as well. The variety and sophistication in topics and approaches on display at the RRSC clearly shows the depth of research conducted in undergraduate and Masters level programs.

We organize our conference on the model of professional Religious Studies conferences: each participant is given 30 minutes in which to make their presentation of ca. 20 minutes leaving some time for questions. Our website has some aids in preparing papers for presentation and dealing with the question-period. Unlike many professional conferences, however, question time tends to be very supportive and often amounts to a brainstorming session.

Unlike professional conferences, we do not pre-arranged session topics as this alienates potential contributors who may feel their research falls through the cracks in our topic selection. Rather, we make the sessions after all the paper proposals are in. It also allows us to accept as many papers as possible and in our experience; students enjoy the variety that sometimes ensues.

Although we cannot offer financial aid for travel or accommodation we do attempt to keep costs as low as possible. We would be grateful if you could recommend the conference to your students. Please contact me if you have questions.

Yours Sincerely

James Linville
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge AB
403 3292537

Bev Garnett
Assistant to the Department Chairs
University of Lethbridge
4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4
403-380-1894 (phone)
403-329-5109 (fax)

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