Baha’i Studies conference invites proposals for 2019 presentations

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March 7, 2019
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Moving toward even-more participatory methods of learning for its 2019 conference, the Association for Baha’i Studies-North America is inviting proposals for presentations and discussions on original learning about applying the Baha’i teachings to issues facing humanity.  

“Beyond Critique: Laying the Groundwork for Social Transformation” is the theme of the 43rd annual conference, Aug. 8–11 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The conference will include dozens of breakout sessions on a variety of topics to complement the main presentations. At past conferences, most breakout sessions have brought in about 80–120 participants.

Participatory learning will be a prominent feature of breakout sessions in the 2019 Association for Baha’i Studies Conference (this photo is from the 2018 conference). Photo by Leila/Navid Yavari

Proposals for breakouts from all disciplines and professions are welcome, including the sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Youth, young adults, and first-time presenters are particularly encouraged to apply. Deadline is March 24, 2019.

While proposals focusing on any element of Baha’i scholarship will be welcomed, this year’s theme encourages the following lines of thought:

  • How can we explore fundamental defects in present knowledge systems while at the same time advancing our understanding and generating spiritually grounded alternatives?
  • How can we engage in a critique of the underlying ideologies of knowledge systems without being limited by relativist, postmodern and materialistic modes of thinking?
  • Through Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation, how can we ensure that our contribution to discourse includes both a deep understanding of what is, but also informed insights of what could be?
  • How can Bahá’í scholarship contribute to knowledge that seeks to lay the groundwork for new social structures built on principles of justice and oneness?

Sessions may be 60-minute sessions by a single presenter, or 120-minute panels involving up to four presenters.

They do not need to follow the format of a traditional academic presentation, but presenters should be well-grounded in the subject on which they are speaking.

To make these sessions as participatory as possible, presenters will be required to devote ample time to each of three segments: a presentation, small-group study and discussion, and a question-and-answer session. See the complete theme statement and call for proposals for more details.

New this year: Artists wishing to present or perform at the ABS Conference may submit a proposal using a separate form.

The ABS website has more details on registration, hotel and travel, conference fees and available financial assistance.

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