We are in the process of determining the status of all our 2020 Annual Meeting workshops. We will update this page with new information as it becomes available.

You must preregister for these workshops. If you have already registered, you can go back into your confirmation record and modify your registration to add a workshop. 


Motherhood and Religion Workshop

A Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Matricentric, Feminist Approach

Sunday, November 29, 1:00–4:00 p.m. 

The intersection of motherhood and religion remains rarely studied even within research on gender in religious studies. Yet, under the influence of matricentric feminism, topics on motherhood and mothering (as institution and experience) or parenting are being brought to the foreground in religious studies and in theology, with references to contemporary maternal theory and recent developments in motherhood studies. This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to discuss their on-going work and to network with other researchers in religious studies or theology who focus on common research themes such as alternative forms of motherhood and mothering in religion, divine and human mothers, or (non-religious) feminist perspectives that consider both the patriarchal institution of motherhood and religion as oppressive. Designed from a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, this workshop will also give an opportunity for networking to scholars, including emerging researchers, specializing in a variety of religious contexts and using different methodologies. For more information, view the workshop flyer.


Pascale Engelmajer, Carrol University, and Florence Pasche Guignard, Universite Laval

Oliver Freiberger, University of Texas
Margaret Kamitsuka, Oberlin College

Pandemic Ritual Workshop

Sunday, November 29, 1:30–5:30 p.m.

This workshop will be concerned with rituals or ritualized practices linked with the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown. Some new ritual practices, such as the daily 8 o’clock PM applause for health workers in France, are easy to identify. Others, consisting in subtle yet systematic shifts in behavior that reconfigure social relations (disinfecting, handwashing, masking, social distancing, the accelerated circulation of jokes and videos on the Internet, etc.), or in new forms of collective interaction (“virtual” classes or meetings), are more difficult to pin down. One of the theoretical issues raised by these new practices has to do with the differences that are worth making (or not) between habits and rituals, and more generally, between ceremonial performance and equally conventional everyday activity. How can taking these recently introduced Covid 19 related practices into consideration shed light on these questions and others? Panelists will provide detailed accounts of such practices from their own observations and self-observations, and offer speculative interpretations. All participants will be expected to contribute material of their own and to get involved in discussions.

Sarah M. Pike, California State University, Chico, and Michael Houseman, École Pratique des Hautes Études

Ronald Grimes, Wilfird Laurier University
Barry Stephenson, Memorial University
Marika Moisseeff, The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)/Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale, Université Paris Sciences & Lettres
Tyson Herberger, Inland Norway University 

American Association for the Advancement of Science / Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Workshop

Racism and Antiracism in Science and Theology

Sunday, November 29, 3:30–5:00 p.m.

The Dialogue on the Science, Ethics, and Religion Program (DoSER) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) invites religious scholars to join us in discussing the role of racism in the past and present of science and theology. How have racist ideas affected the development of both scientific and theological thought, and how does that history affect how the intersection of the two subjects is discussed today? After presentations by several scholars on the topic, the panel will open a moderated discussion about pedagogies, practices, and goals for moving forward. Topics will include climate change, evolution, and public health. We hope to see you there!

Agustín Fuentes, Princeton University
Sharon Grant, Hood Theological Seminary
Melanie Harris, Texas Christian University
Terence Keel, UCLA

Centers for Religion and Public Life Workshop

Continuing Collaborations

Sunday, November 29, 2:00–5:00 p.m.

This annual gathering of leaders and members of our global network of centers working, in some capacity, on religion and public life seeks to find common cause, share best practices (and pitfalls), and discuss the future of our work and build strategic collaborations. The meeting is open to everyone who is involved in the leadership, management or support of one of these centers.

Andrew Davies, University of Birmingham

Public Scholarship and Practical Impacts Workshop

Media Training and Work outside the Academy

Sunday, November 29, 1:00–5:00 p.m. 

Join the Applied Religious Studies Committee for this half-day workshop that will empower scholars of religion to communicate about their work in the public sphere. The afternoon will begin with a panel conversation about the ways that several scholars of religion are engaging with the general public, emphasizing social impact. Finally, panelists will join registrants in small groups to discuss registrants’ current projects. This workshop is designed for those seeking basic, professional training on reaching general audiences through various media. We will pay particular attention to challenges faced by scholars off the tenure track and outside the academy who are committed to communicating about the relevance of religious studies scholarship to interdisciplinary and general audiences.


Cristine Hutchison-Jones, Harvard University

Brad Braxton, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Lauren Taylor, Harvard University
Vanessa Zoltan, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast