The Midwest Regional Conference is sub-divided into 14 Sections.

Conference paper proposals should be targeted to one of these broad sections listed below. If you have any questions about whether your proposal is appropriate for a particular section, please contact that section’s chair. If you feel your proposal does not fit into any of our current sections, you may submit it to the Special Topics section

Please do NOT send proposals by email attachment to the section chairs. Instead, please submit your conference paper proposal using the online system linked from the call for papers page

The deadline for submissions for the 2014 conference is January 10, 2014.

Section Chairs serve a three year term, renewable by the Board for a second term.

If you are interested in serving as a Section Chair or proposing a new Section for the conference, please contact the regional President, Scott Paeth (

See the Policies and Procedures for more information on the duties of the Section Chairs.

Sections and Section Chairs

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that treat religion from anthropological or sociological perspectives.  Proposals can approach the study of religion as a social institution in relationship to other social institutions and/or belief systems of a given culture.  Proposals can also examine cross-cultural comparisons of formal and informal expressions of religion. This session will be newly formed for the 2014 MAAR meeting.

Jackie Rhoades, Drew University,


Ecology and Science in the Study of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that explore the interrelationships between religion and all aspects of the natural world (understood as nature, cosmos, creation, environment, ecology, etc.). Encompasses subject matters and theoretical perspectives generally associated with the scholarly subfields of religion and ecology, religion and science, and religion and animals. Papers and panels may have a theological orientation or be identified as work in the academic study of religion.

Harrison King, Missouri State University,

Nancy Menning, Ithaca College,


Ethics and Philosophy of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels dealing with ethical theory, applied ethics, moral theology, and other topics related to religion and morality, as well as papers dealing broadly with the philosophy of religion, such as questions of religious ontology, metaphysics, and epistemology.

Dustin Byrd, Olivet College,


Gender and Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that explore the intersections of religion, gender, and sexuality and how these meeting points create new places of exploration into the religious experiences of human beings as gendered and sexed beings.  Proposals addressing the intersectionality of race, class, and gender/sexuality and feminist approaches to the study of religion are especially encouraged.  

Sara Moslener, Western Michigan University,


History of Christianity

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that analyze any variety of Christianity from academic, historical, and social scientific perspectives. Proposals for papers that adopt theological, constructive, confessional, or faith-based perspectives should be submitted to either the Theology or the Ethics and Philosophy of Religion Section.

David Barbee, Arlington, OH,



Solicits proposals for papers and panels focusing on any aspect of the Islamic tradition, including its texts, history, or practices. Proposals may focus on any time period and be from any disciplinary approach, so long as the topic is capable of engaging scholars of Islam.

Lauren E. Osborne, University of Chicago,


Literature and Sacred Texts in the Study of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that examine the intersection of religion and the arts, with a focus on literature (broadly defined to include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and dramatic works), as well as sacred texts from global traditions. The call also extends to papers and panels that address the connections between religion, sacred and/or secular literature, and the arts, including film studies.

Tara Flanagan, Loyola University Chicago,
Mark Graham, College of Wooster,


Material and Sensory Cultures of Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels that explore the importance of materiality and sensory cultures as they are manifested in and encountered by religion and spirituality. This section welcomes submissions with an interest in religious art and iconography, embodiment, the visual arts, music and aural cultures, sensory encounters, architecture, and photography, with an emphasis on vernacular manifestations.  This session will be newly formed for the 2014 MAAR meeting.

Rachel Lindsey, Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in Saint Louis,
Sarah Riccardi, Missouri State University,

Religion and American Culture

Solicits proposals for papers and panels exploring social, cultural, and historical aspects of religion in the Americas, and of the United States in particular. Studies of religious traditions or ideas that are not specifically situated in, or related to, their manifestations in this geographical context are not accepted.

John Schmalzbauer, Missouri State University,


Religions of Asia

Solicits proposals for papers covering textual, ethnographic, or other historical and cultural studies of the religious traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, consisting primarily of (but not necessarily limited to) Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

Michael Nichols, Saint Joseph's College,


Special Topics

Solicits proposals for papers and panels not appropriate for other Sections. Preference will be given to those proposals that focus on the topic of the annual conference keynote. Amy Carr, Western Illinois University, .


Study of Judaism

Solicits proposals broadly inclusive of Judaism and Jewish tradition. Panels and proposals may address textual studies, history concerning any time period from the ancient to the modern, theology, sociology, or anthropology of Jewish subjects.

Sarah Imhoff, Indiana University,


Teaching Religion

Solicits proposals for papers and panels on teaching practices (syllabi, assignments, classroom activities), the use of innovative pedagogies, challenges relevant to teaching particular courses, advising and mentoring, or reflections on (the joys and challenges of) teaching in our field.

C. Hannah Schell, Monmouth College,



Solicits proposals for papers and panels in all areas of theology — broadly defined as critical reflections on the transcendent, the human relationship with the divine, and all related questions and issues.

Jason Mahn, Augustana College,


Undergraduate Students

Specifically designed for undergraduate students in the field of religious studies who wish to broaden their academic experience by presenting their research at a formal conference, this Section solicits proposals for papers by undergraduate students on any topic concerning religion.

Brian Smith, Ripon College,