Call for Papers for Special Issue on African Diaspora Religion:
Submission Deadline September 30, 2012
Aims and Scope:
This special issue aims to explore the social, political, and cultural meanings and functions of African diaspora religions. From the beginning of anthropological study, Africana religion has been at the forefront of anthropological inquiry. Africana Religion (African and African diaspora religion, also including those religions influenced by the diversity of African cultural heritage) has provided a space in which anthropologists have been able to explore concepts about kinship (both fictive and non-fictive), ritual, embodiment, identity, transnationalism, diversity, etc. This inquiry has continued up to the present day as African diaspora religions have become transnational and are networks through which ideas about spirituality, community, authenticity, origins, body and space circulate.
In addition, this special issue will examine the latest work on African diaspora religious practice, its contribution to the field of anthropology, and a discussion of its trajectory and where scholars hope to see it go in the future. This edition will discuss and examine the different ways of viewing and analyzing the African diaspora in and through religious practice, and the accompanying complications that occur in social, political, cultural and material life. This special issue will seek to explore how African diaspora religious tradition intersects with and enhances discussions of a wide array of topics such as the environment, globalization, spatialization, urbanization, immigration, etc.
We seek to bring together a diverse range of scholars working on different aspects of African diaspora religion. We will only accept original scholarly submissions from undergraduate and graduate students worldwide. Below are a list of possible areas of inquiry, but please do not feel limited to these questions only.
Possible questions and areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to:
- The contribution of African diaspora religions to the study of anthropology
- How do African diaspora religions intersect with music, film, performance, visual arts, media studies, history, philosophy, sociology, gender studies, political science, economics, education, geography, environmental science, legal studies, and public health?
- How do complex concepts such as “blackness” and “Africanness” inform each other and shape individual and group/community religious identities? And what do they ultimately mean, especially given the temporal and spatial distance from the African continent?
- How do lived and imagined experiences of religious diasporic spaces differ between individual and group?
- How do different diaspora communities relate to each other across boundaries of time, space and historical context?
- How is “Africa” (re)imagined in different ways within these African diasporic religions?
Any student currently enrolled in a BA, MA, or PhD program is welcome to submit original research to be considered for publication. While this is an anthropology journal, students do not need to be enrolled in an anthropology program.
All submissions should be under 6,000 words in length and are subject to a peer review process. All submissions should be sent in a single document as an attachment and saved in Microsoft Office Word (.doc or .docx) or Mac Pages (.pages) format and conform to AAA style (http://www.aaanet.org/publications/style_guide.pdf). Submissions should be double spaced and adhere to the word limits outlined in this CFP. Rarely, we consider longer submissions or those of an irregular nature.
Please remove all identifying information from the manuscript and include a coverpage including name, institution, student status, up to five keywords describing the paper, and an 250 word abstract. Please save the document with your last name in the title.
Send submissions, as well as any questions, to the Special Issue Guest Editor, Lisanne C Norman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Issue Guest Editor Bio: Lisanne C Norman is currently in the fifth year of her PhD at Harvard University. Her research focus is African Americans who practice Yoruba religion from 1959-present. Her work is an analysis of the expansion of this predominantly Afro-Cuba religious community to include the numerous African Americans who converted during the 1960s and 1970s. The work will also analyze the role that African diaspora civil rights and geopolitical movements played in the transmission and adaptation of this religious practice and how that has come to define its current practice. Through participation-observation and semi-structured interviews, Lisanne hopes to understand how global forces have come to shape this transnational religious practice and how emerging African diaspora networks have worked to change the dynamics of religious practice not only for African Americans, but for Afro-Cubans and Nigerian practitioners as well. Lisanne is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.