CFP: Religion, Health, and the Body in North America

CALL FOR PAPERS: Religion, Health, and the Body in North America

Conference to be held at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 15, 16, 17, 2014

We are now soliciting abstracts for papers for a conference entitled “Religion, Health, and the Body in North America” to be held on May 15, 16, 17th, 2014 on the campus of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. The conference is a joint project between Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, and Kalamazoo College. Funding for the conference is being provided by these institutions, as well as through an AAR regional grant. We are hoping to make this conference a biennial event with the long-term goal of creating a scholarly community to foster future collaborative research and publication in this area.

In light of the growing interest on the intersection of religion, health, and the body, what the organizers are hoping to achieve with this conference is a greater awareness among interested scholars of the wide range of research now being done in this field. To that end, we invite Religious Studies scholars, both faculty and graduate students, working in all periods of American history, from a variety of theoretical perspectives, and dealing with the concepts of “health” and “the body” broadly construed to participate. We anticipate some 30 participants, both presenters and attendees.

Our keynote speaker for the conference will be Pamela Klassen, Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, whose most recent book, /Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing & Liberal Christianity /(2011), won the 2012 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion. Another highlight of the conference will be a tour to the Battle Creek Sanitarium in nearby Battle Creek. Founded shortly after the Civil War and eventually placed under the management of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the Sanitarium became one of the most influential centers of Christian health reform in this country and a significant landmark in the history of 19^th and early 20^th -century approaches to holistic health.

If you would like to be considered for one of the panels, please submit the title of your paper, an abstract of not more than 100 words, and a one-page c.v. to Amy DeRogatis ( by December 15, 2013. Those selected to participate will be notified by e-mail by January 15, 2014.

Conference Organizers:

Brian C. Wilson, Amy DeRogatis,  Shreena Gandhi,  Comparative Religion Religious Studies, Western Michigan University, Michigan State University & Kalamazoo College