Call for Papers – Brown Religious Studies Graduate Student Conference

This conference seeks to explore and bridge the surprising gap between “genealogy” and “family” in the study of
religion. Developments in contemporary scholarship include elaborations and critiques of genealogy, new approaches to the identification and mapping of known genealogies (including digital and graphic representations), and a growing interest in the ritual and narrative construction of lineages.

Simultaneously, increased attention has been given to the materiality of religion practiced in the home and the role
of the family as a locus for individual and communal formation. Conversations about genealogy and family often
appear disengaged from one another and can become embedded in problematic dichotomies. Genealogy implies patrilineal descent, while “domestic religion” is often used synonymously with “women’s religion.” Similarly, genealogy is associated with science, history, and rationality; family with emotion, daily life, and nature. Why have “family” and “genealogy” been bifurcated in religious studies? What can we learn from bringing them back together?

By approaching these topics in tandem, we hope to engender critical reflection about the subtle relationships between “families” and “genealogies,” and to interrogate the prevailing split that seems to separate the two. We welcome papers on the topics listed below, as well as contributions on related issues. Papers might approach these topics through a variety of theoretical lenses: affect theory, feminist and queer theory, spatial theory, materialist approaches, political theory,  theology, critical race theory, ethics, etc.