Southwest Commission on Religious Studies

2024 Call for Papers


The annual meeting will be held on March 1-3, 2024 at the Marriott Dallas Las Colinas. Proposals should be submitted per the instructions of each organization. Please indicate if the proposal is being submitted to more than one section. Proposals may be submitted to more than one section, but in order to accommodate as many people as possible, papers may not be read more than once during the meeting. Unless otherwise indicated, the deadline for paper proposal submission has been extended to  November 1, 2023.

A response to your proposal will be sent within one month of the deadline. If your proposal is accepted, you should confirm in writing your participation in the session with the program chair. In addition, you must register for the meeting through the Eventbrite site for SWCRS. All presenters and presiders must register at least one month prior to the meeting.



The Southwest region of the AAR invites proposals on the theme of “Religion at Work and at Play,” or on any topic related to the field of Religious Studies. Proposals may be submitted online through this link: The submission deadline has been extended to November 1, 2023. For questions about the CFP or the conference, contact Cindy Dawson, AAR Regionally Elected Coordinator at or Lora J. Walsh, AAR President at

Paper or roundtable proposals related to the conference theme might address the following questions: How can we evaluate the “work” religion does socially, politically, economically, artistically, or in other fields of impact? How have past and present communities understood the specialized, professionalized, or remunerated “work” of religious leaders?  What is the place of religion at work and how do we make sense of new institutions and roles that have developed in response to religion in the workplace, such as corporate chaplaincy? Presentations that acknowledge the working conditions of scholars in our field and region and that explore new strategies for building solidarity and increasing opportunity are especially welcome.

In the spirit of play, presenters can share games that are helpful for teaching, describe the playfulness of religious practices and celebrations, examine gameplay as a form of immanent religion, and more. What playful images appear in texts, rituals, festivals, or religious arts, and how does this playfulness function in the larger context of a religious tradition? Suggestions for games to play at a religion-themed game night are also welcome!

In addition to proposing a paper, panel, or roundtable, the submission form invites several other forms of participation:

  • As a respondent for book-club sessions on books connected to our conference them;
  • As a participant in roundtables on using games in pedagogy, on contingent and adjunct faculty, on monographs in progress or in print by scholars in our region, or on the best of religious studies journalism
  • As a table-discussion leader for a professional development lunch; and / or as chair of a panel or roundtable


Book Club Respondents

Conference participants can apply to raise questions and prompt discussion about a book selection related to our conference theme. To apply, describe in 250-500 words how the selected book aligns with your teaching, research, or other interests, and how you would invite others to discuss the book. Book choices include:

  • Meatpacking America: How Migration, Work, and Faith Unite and Divide the Heartland, by Kristy Nabhan-Warren (UNC, 2021).
  • Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game: At the Center of Ceremony and Identity, by Michael J. Zogry (UNC, 2010).
  • God Laughs & Plays, by David James Duncan (Triad, 2006).


Roundtable Participants

To apply for one of these roundtables, summarize your expected contribution to the topic in 250-500 words.

“Games for Teaching Religion”: Do you have a favorite game for teaching religious studies concepts or content? Presenters can describe the game and / or guide conference participants in playing all or a portion of the game.

“Making It Work?: A Caucus for Adjunct and Contingent Faculty”: Participants will identify the conditions and circumstances of their current academic labor and suggest ways to support the wide variety of religious studies scholars in our region.

“Meet My Monograph: In Print or In Progress”: Roundtable participants will share struggles, obstacles, and strategies for completing book-length publications and will celebrate books by AAR-SW scholars.

“My Favorite Religion Journalism”: Have a favorite piece of long-form investigative reporting, podcast, or other journalistic medium on a religious studies topic? This roundtable will promote journalism that has proven most useful for sparking interest and sharing religious studies topics with students, family and friends, or other public audiences.

Past participants in this regional conference have valued the flexible and non-traditional session formats, the analogue (low- or no-tech) nature of most presentations and interactions, the opportunity to meet colleagues who work with similar student populations, the relative affordability of the conference location and venue, and the ease of making personal connections. Ideas for session formats and ways to connect conference participants are always welcome at (Lora Walsh, President of AAR-Southwest).



The Association for the Scientific Study of Religion invites paper proposals on any topic concerning the scientific study of religion, to include those dealing with the sociological, philosophical, economic, historical, psychological, and political considerations of religion in society. The ASSR welcomes proposals from members of other SWCRS affiliates. Proposals may be submitted to more than one SWCRS affiliate; but, in order to accommodate as many participants as possible, papers may not be read more than once during the SWCRS meeting.

Upon acceptance of a proposal, ASSR admin will send a membership invoice; members with PayPal accounts can directly submit dues through the PayPal link on the ASSR website. All ASSR presenters must be members of ASSR and must ensure payment of dues as outlined above. Participants must also register for the annual meeting through the SWCRS website and pay the applicable cost of registration and book with the conference hotel.

IMPORTANT: ASSR dues are separate from and not included in any payments made in connection with the SWCRS.

PAPER PROPOSALS   Send proposals via email to: David Holcomb, ( The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to the end of the day, Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

PAPER SUBMISSIONS   Please submit the completed paper to Your paper must be received by end of the day, Friday, February 19, 2024, in order to be considered for inclusion in the annual Proceedings of the Association for the Scientific Study of Religion, and/or to be considered for the Frank P. Forwood Award. Graduate and Undergraduate students are encouraged to submit paper proposals. Accepted proposals will be eligible to compete for the Harry Hale Prize for graduate and undergraduate research with an honorarium for selected papers. All papers must adhere to the ASSR Style Guide for Paper Submissions located on the ASSR website.


Scholars of Biblical and Related Literature

In 2022, the Society of Biblical Literature discontinued its regional identities and meetings. Former SBL-SW scholars decided to maintain an unincorporated identity as “Scholars of Biblical and Related Literature” (SBRL) in order to continue organizing and running sessions at the annual SWCRS conference. We identify as scholars who reside within the southwest region (Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri) whose main focus of study is the bible and related literature.

Please use this form to submit your proposal. Specific questions can be addressed to the program chairs identified below.


Important notes for the 2024 meeting:

Please note our newest program unit, Christian Literature Beyond the Bible, and consider it as a forum for your research.

Early career scholars should consider applying for the Presidential Scholar of Promise Award (details below).

Proposals for cross-disciplinary papers or panels are welcome; please just select “consider the program unit with best thematic fit” on the proposal form.


Presidential Scholar of Promise Award

This award recognizes early career scholars—those engaged in doctoral studies or within five years of earning their PhD—in ancient Mediterranean or Near Eastern traditions, biblical and related literature, or allied fields. The award acknowledges excellence in scholarship and encourages the next generation of scholars in our discipline in their research and its dissemination.

Early career scholars who meet these criteria should note their intent to apply on the proposal form and submit a polished but unpublished paper (one not yet under consideration for publication) of 5000–7000 words via email to the executive coordinator Joseph McDonald ( by the deadline for the Call for Papers. To be eligible, the applicant must register for and attend the meeting of SBRL at SWCRS. A panel composed of the President of SBRL and two other SBRL members who are not eligible for the award will evaluate the applications. The winner will be invited to present their research in a special session featuring responses from senior scholars, and other applicants will be considered for appropriate sessions elsewhere in the program.


In addition to individual paper presentations, we encourage and look forward to receiving your fully-planned panel proposals to consider for the 2024 program. Themed panels may be proposed that fit within any of the SBRL program units, or that take up issues that run across or stretch the boundaries of one or more program units. Please address any questions to the relevant co-chairs, listed below, or to the executive coordinator Joseph McDonald (

Program Units

Hebrew Bible / Old Testament

We invite proposals on a variety of topics related to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Apocrypha, and the Pseudepigrapha. Proposals may focus on specific exegetical problems, biblical theology, biblical hermeneutics, methodological studies, the Dead Sea Scrolls, race, ethnicity, gender, pedagogy, and reception history. These approaches include cultural studies, film studies, and other media studies. This list is intended to be suggestive rather than exhaustive.

Please address any questions to unit co-chairs Rebecca Poe Hays ( and Mark Sneed (

Second Temple and Late Antique Judaism

We invite proposals for papers on any topic related to the study of early Jewish ideas, texts, religious, social, or political practices, ranging from the Hellenistic to the Greco-Roman world and beyond. Particularly welcome are proposals that analyze this material using new methodologies (e.g., feminist studies, disability studies, childhood studies, post-colonial studies). Proposals which expand on traditional scholarship are also welcome, including social-scientific criticism, form criticism, reader response criticism, ideological criticism, cultural criticism, or film studies.

Please address any questions to unit co-chairs David Schones ( and Deirdre Fulton (

New Testament and Early Christianity

We invite proposals for papers on any topic related to the study of the New Testament or early Christianity in its diversity of forms. Paper proposals may also treat such subjects as pedagogy or reception history. Particularly welcome are proposals that include critical reflection on traditional topics in New Testament studies (e.g., biblical theology, biblical hermeneutics) and/or that approach the material with new critical methodologies (e.g., feminist, liberationist, post-colonial). These approaches include, for example, cultural studies, film studies, and other media studies.

Please address any questions to unit co-chairs Lidija Novakovic ( and Jeehei Park (

Christian Literature Beyond the Bible

We invite proposals for papers on any topic related to the study of early Christian literature, including the reuse of early Christian literature by later authors/artists.  Papers should focus on literature from the Christian apocrypha/pseudepigrapha; or Nag Hammadi/other Gnostic codices; or Apostolic Fathers/Patristic literature; or monastic sources; or Christian magical texts/spells; or documentary/other papyri; or writing on other material objects. We encourage methodological diversity and are open to any critical approach.

Please address any questions to unit co-chairs April DeConick ( and Matt Calhoun (

The form for submitting proposals is located here.