Religious Studies and Race

The Wherefores of a Working Group


  • K. Merinda Simmons University of Alabama



race, religious studies, NAASR, Emily Crews, Merinda Simmons, Richard Newton


At the 2019 meeting of the AAR in San Diego, California, Richard Newton, Emily Crews, and Merinda Simmons led a workshop discussing the current state of race studies in academia, particularly in light of NAASR’s attempts to locate itself among other fields undergoing similar work. While highlighting work occurring outside our field, Simmons et. Al addressed the need for discussions in our field to become more proactive rather than reactive, urging scholars to move beyond debates that surround descriptive ethnographies and crypto-theologies and to instead use our skills to discuss more than the trouble spots we have located within our field.

Author Biography

K. Merinda Simmons, University of Alabama

K. Merinda Simmons is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama


Best, Stephen. 2018. None Like Us: Blackness, Belonging, Aesthetic Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. DOI:

Edwards, Brent Hayes. 2012. “The Taste of the Archive.” Callaloo 35 (4): 944–72. DOI:

Ellison, Ralph. 1978. “The Little Man at the Chehaw Station.” American Scholar 47: 24–48.

Lowe, Lisa. 2015. “History Hesitant.” Social Text 33 (4): 85–107. 10.1215/01642472-3315790. DOI:



How to Cite

Simmons, K. M. (2020). Religious Studies and Race: The Wherefores of a Working Group. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 49(1-2), 26–29.



The Conference