Deadline Extended: Asian American Religious Studies Unit AAR Western Region

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
American Academy of Religion Western Region
contact email: 

American Academy of Religion - Western Region Annual Meeting 2023

University of California, Davis March 24-26, 2023

Call for Papers: The Role of Religion in Asian American Civil Rights Discourses

Panel: Asian American Religious Studies Unit

In recent years, we have seen how Asian Americans’ civil rights continue to be threatened. Such events include the resurgence of Asian American hate since the pandemic, as well as the ongoing court case against affirmative action: “Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.” It is a mistake to assume, however, that Asians have been passive agents in these events. Many Asian Americans have taken part in activism—but have their voices been loud enough to be heard or have they been muffled amidst the magnitude of Asian American hate that renders racism against them invisible? Adding more layers to these issues is the way that the civil rights struggle creates solidarity within the Asian American community and other minoritized communities, but at the same time it has also fostered divisiveness both within Asian American communities and outside. How have ideas about immigration, stereotypes, and boundaries been both embraced and challenged by Asian Americans?

Needless to say, the problem of defending the civil rights of Asian Americans is a complex matter, one in which religion struggles to find its place. For this year’s conference, we ask what role religion holds in communicating and addressing these social and political issues? How do religious discourses, rituals, doctrines, and teachings serve Asian Americans in terms of defending their civil rights, as well as fostering group solidarity amidst the plurality of Asian American religious traditions? As scholars of Asian American religion, what is our role in this political discourse? How do we see Asian American civil rights movements and scholarship moving forward?

Scholars of all levels are invited to participate in this dialogue. Interested parties may send abstracts (250 words) to Shannon Toribio ( or Laura Snell ( The deadline for submission is November 15, 2022. All participants must submit a Program Participant Form (attached and also available on the AAR/WR website). Participants at AARWR must be members of the AAR. The AAR membership information is found at