DSR Participation at the 2023 AAR-SBL and AAA Conferences

DSR & Friends @ 2023 AAR/SBL


American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) / American Anthropological Association Conferences

Hosted by the AAR and the SBL, and constituting the world's largest gathering of scholars interested in the study of religion, these organizations' 2023 Annual Meetings took place in San Antonio, Texas, November 18–21. The annual meeting of the Dharma Academy of North America (DANAM) also took place under the umbrella of the AAR gathering. Overlapping these was the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Anthropology Society/Société canadienne d’anthropologie (AAA/CASCA), which took place in Toronto.

The DSR once again had a fine showing at these gatherings, and we are pleased to provide a summary here of our department's participation and contribution to the ever-evolving conversations in these fascinating fields.


  • SBL. Ronald Charles.
    • Presented “Slave Religiosity in the Pauline assemblies,” in the section 'Slavery, Resistance and Freedom'
    • Presented “Identity Construction in the Letter of Aristeas,” in the section 'Race and ethnicity in the Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature'
  • AAA, Simon Coleman.
    • Presented "Knowing Looks: Seeing and Being Seen On the Move", panel 'Mobilities and Migration: Between Visuality and (In)visibility'
    • Chaired panel 'Pilgrimage and Community: Spaces in Transition’
    • Panelist on 'Temporalities of Conversion: Pace, Directions, and Contexts'
    • Co-organizer and co-chair of 'Fiction Salon'
    • Panelist on 'Transitions in the Anthropology of Global Christianity: The Next Generation?'
  • AAR. Arti Dhand.
    • Presided and participated in two roundtables of the Mahabharata and Classical Hinduism Seminar
    • Co-organized and addressed a special session of the Mahabharata and Classical Hinduism Seminar to celebrate the life and work of the premier scholar of Mahabharata Studies, the late Alf Hiltebeitel
  • AAR. Alessandro Graheli.
    • Panelist, Hindu philosophy, 'On the Nature of Poetic Language: A Philosophical Roundtable'
  • AAR. Alexander Hampton.
    • Presided, roundtable 'The Platonic Tradition, Nature and the Environment'
  • AAR. Pamela Klassen.
    • Presided, roundtable 'Women's Health and Religion'
    • Panelist, 'The Labour of Interpretation: Theory and History in Religious Studies'
  • DANAM. Reid Locklin.
    • Panelist, roundtable 'The Dharma of the Scholar-Practitioner: Pedagogy, History, Philosophy, and Controversies'
  • AAA. Amira Mittermaier.
    • Respondent, panel 'Activism Through Submission? On the Question of Foregrounding Piety in Political Work'
    • Respondent, panel 'Repurposing Relief: Islamic Networks of Care and Everyday Aid'
    • Panelist, roundtable 'Unknowing and the Everyday: Aesthetics, Indeterminacy, and Subjectivity'
  • SBL. Judith Newman.
    • Presented "On the Malleability of History: Contesting Ancestral Memory in the Book of Judith," Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures section
  • AAA. J. Barton Scott.
    • Panelist, Author-Meets-Critic Roundtable, Trust Matters: Parsi Endowments in Mumbai and the Horoscope of a City (Leilah Vevaina)
  • AAR. J. Barton Scott.
    • Author-Meets-Critic Roundtable, Slandering the Sacred: Blasphemy Law and Religious Affect in Colonial India (J. Barton Scott, 2023)
    • Presided, Author Meets Critics Roundtable. Perilous Intimacies: Debating Hindu-Muslim Friendship After Empire (Sher Ali Tareen. 2023)
    • Respondent, panel 'Transnational Politics and Global Pop Cultures'


  • SBL. Brigidda Bell (PhD, 2021, now Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary)
    • Presented "Thinking with the Body: Towards a Revised Model of Credibility for New Testament Studies."
    • Respondent, panel on the Historical Paul
  • AAR. Arun Brahmbhatt  (PhD, 2018, now University of California, Riverside)
    • Panelist, Religions in South Asia/South Asian Religions 40th Anniversary Roundtable
    • Presided, "Queer Religion in South and Southeast Asia: Identity, Community, and Textual Traditions"
  • AAR. Judith Ellen Brunton (PhD, 2021, now Harvard University)
    • Panelist, "Dwelling with Pedagogy: Religion, Ecology, and the Craft of Teaching."
    • Panelist, "Roundtable on Terra Rowe's Of Modern Extraction: Experiments in Critical Petro-theology."
  • SBL. Gregory Fewster (PhD, 2020, now MF Norwegian School of Theology)
    • Presented ""Reading Ancient Letter Collections, between Document and Literature: Insights from the Papyri."
  • AAR. Matthew King (PhD, 2014, now University of California, Riverside)
    • Presented "Excavating the Present from the More-Than-Human Gobi Desert."
  • AAR. Rebekka King (PhD, 2012, now Middle Tennessee State University)
    • Author-Meets-Critic Roundtable, The New Heretics: Skepticism, Secularism, and Progressive Christianity (Rebekka King, 2023)
  • SBL. Richard Last (PhD, 2013, now Trent University)
    • Presented "Visiting Gods and Idolatry in 1 Corinthians."
    • Panelist, "Book Review Panel: Richard S. Ascough, Christ Groups and Associations: Foundational Essays (2022); Bruce W. Longenecker, Greco-Roman Associations, Deities, and Early Christianity (2022)."
  • AAR, Justin B. Stein (PhD, 2017, now Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
    • Author-Meets-Critic Roundtable, Alternate Currents: Reiki's Circulation in the Twentieth-Century North Pacific (Justin B. Stein, 2023)

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • AAR. Isaiah Ellis.
    • Panelist, roundtable 'Retelling U.S. Religious History: A Roundtable Discussion'
    • Co-organized and presented on roundtable 'The Labor of Interpretation: Theory and History in Religious Studies'
  • AAA/CASCA. Sophia Omokanye.
    • Presented "Exploring Christian Heterogeneity and Place-making strategies of Nigerian Pentecostals"
  • AAA/CASCA. Alana Sa Leitao Braga De Souza.
    • Presented "Global Christianity? The challenges of the comparative study of contemporary Christian churches" at, and organized the panel on 'Transitions in the Anthropology of Global Christianity: The Next Generation?'

Graduate Students

  • AAR. Mohannad Abusarah.
    • Presented "From Embodied to Autonomous Self: The Modern Departure in the Concept of Selfhood in the Law of Jihād"
  • SBL. Rachel Al Rubai.
    • Presented “Father of the Fatherless: Widows and Orphans in Early Ascetic Communities,” on the panel 'Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs'
  • AAA. Carolyn Beard.
    • Presented "Bread and Wine, Matzah and Manischewitz: Jewish-Christian Translation in the Christian Passover Seder" 
  • SBL. Christina Gousopoulos.
    • Presented "Matthew, Luke, and... James? The Reconstruction of Q and the Epistle of James"
  • AAR. Amy Jemmett.
    • Presented "The E-Meter From a Child's Perspective" on the panel 'New Religions Compendium: Ethnography, Media, Mind Control, and Second Generation Studies'
  • AAR. Christina Pasqua. 
    • Panelist, 'The Lives and Afterlives of The Exorcist'
  • SBL. Jon-Philippe Ruhumuliza.
    • Presented "Ingredients as Spatial Memory: PGM XII.401-444 as a Geographical Fragmentary Record," in 'Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds'
  • AAR. Ridhima Sharma.
    • "Debts amidst Danger: Researching the Far Right in Contemporary North India," on the roundtable 'Spinning, Gathering, Weaving: Negotiating Ethnographic Entanglements'
  • AAR. Jeizelle Solitario.
    • Presented "Good Servants are Good Citizens: Religion and Filipino Subject Formation"