AAR Mission in the Regions: AAR fosters its mission through energetic cultivation of accessible regional intellectual networks and identities to serve members where they live and work, and to respond to local publics and concerns.
Essential purposes of the American Academy of Religion
as a learned society and a professional association are carried out at
both Academy-wide and regional levels. Activities designed to implement
these tasks at either level reinforce and supplement the work of the
other. At present the annual Academy-wide meeting is augmented and
expanded by ten geographically distinct regional meetings.
Regional meetings of the Academy often incorporate
patterns of organization and presentation similar to those followed at
the Academy-wide meetings: section meetings, giving and responding to
papers, plenary speeches. Regional meetings, however, offer unique and
distinct opportunities for members. Regions have developed a distinct
character of their own, providing the following opportunities:
Greater personal contact among members than is possible at the AAR Annual Meeting.
Greater local accessibility for members.
More opportunity for academic exchange across sub-field specializations.
Occasions for cooperative research projects.
Flexible and accessible programming.
Experimentation within annual meeting programming, as well as programming for regionally specific issues.
Higher local visibility of professional development efforts through
mentoring, workshops, and programs to enhance teaching skills.
Ready access to graduate students for presentation of their work.
Contact for job opportunities opening late in the academic year.
Networks for sharing of research among local scholars.
While the Board of Directors has supervision of the whole, regional
officers have direct responsibility for the regions. The Regionally Elected Coordinators provide a natural link between the interests and concerns
of regions and those of the entire Academy.