Amplifying Voices & Visibility
Advocating effectively for the study of religion and the humanities requires a multi-pronged approach: Helping religion departments sustain themselves means highlighting things that are working well and things that need to change. Identifying opportunities religion scholars have outside the traditional model also helps make the case for continued investment in the academic study of religion. And connecting with other advocates will provide stronger protection against program elimination than any one organization could accomplish on its own.
Advocate for the study of religion and the humanities and those who undertake it
Strategy A: Support the maintenance and enhancement of religious studies programs
Strategy B: Collaborate with the humanities advocacy community
Strategy C: Strengthen relationships with religious studies professionals working outside the academy
issues in the field
The AAR recognizes the importance of representation, which is one of the reasons it proposed dedicating a director position on its board to challenges faced by the growing number of adjunct and contract faculty. The AAR membership voted overwhelmingly in favor of that change, making the AAR a leader among its peer societies. Giving voice to issues in the field is one of the many ways the AAR will continue advocating for its members.
applicability of studying religion
The academic study of religion, like the humanities more broadly, can prepare students excellently for a wide variety of careers. By identifying the paths undergraduate and graduate students take after completing their degrees and gathering other relevant data, the AAR can help increase visibility of the field overall and the diverse options available to religion scholars, and it can provide valuable resources to departments looking to promote religion-related majors and programs.
partnerships with allies
When advocacy is collaborative, its potential grows exponentially. The AAR is one of many learned societies pushing for recognition and change, and each one has unique strengths and perspectives. By joining together, the AAR and other scholarly organizations can amplify the voices of their respective constituents, demonstrate the value of humanities disciplines, and make the problems in current education systems more difficult to ignore.
Spotlight on Volunteer Leadership
Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Committee
The Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Committee supports the efforts of the AAR to address a wide range of issues connected to institutions’ heavy reliance on contingent faculty, including those working on a part-time basis as well as single or multi-year contracts. The committee advocates cultural and structural change to ensure just work conditions, pay, and collective bargaining rights in order to foster equity, labor justice, and the common good in the academy. Contingent faculty chair the working group.