2020–2021 Regional Development Grant Winners

September 1, 2020

The AAR is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020–2021 Regional Development Grants.

Corona Chronicles: An Oral History

Primary Researcher: Mary Wilson
Collaborative Researcher: Tiffany Puett

This proposal seeks to produce an oral history project that will gather stories from faith leaders in Texas about their experiences during the current pandemic and its impact in their religious communities. The interviews will probe how the pandemic has affected their ministries, teaching, budgets, and overall community well-being. Gathering oral history interviews from faith leaders during this time will be an invaluable resource for future students, historians, researchers, and religious leaders as a means to understanding current perceptions and the unfolding reality of the pandemic.

Bringing Back the NERDS: Relaunching the New England Religion Discussion Society (NERDS)

Allison L. Norton
Scott Thumma

This project would officially relaunch the NERDS (New England Religion Discussion Society) network, starting Fall 2020. NERDS will construct opportunities for cross-disciplinary discussion and research collaboration, fostering a vibrant and engaged community of religion scholars. The project includes creating a cross-disciplinary leadership team, a database of religion scholars in New England, a consistent virtual presence, and hosting two informal gatherings.

Scholars of American Religion in Iowa Workshop

Sarah Dees
Cara Burnidge
Michael Graziano
Jeffrey Wheatley

This grant will fund a workshop for Scholars of American Religion in Iowa (SOARIA) to strengthen our intellectual community, share insights and resources related to teaching and outreach, and plan future collaborations. Aligning with the mission of the American Academy of Religion, the primary aims of this workshop are to support the academic study of American religious history and culture at Iowa universities and to foster the public understanding of religion in Iowa. The workshop will accomplish these goals by hosting a forum to share research, discuss teaching, and collaborate on outreach opportunities in our local communities.