ASR News & Announcements

Rachel Kraus, Executive Officer

The theme for this year’s annual meeting is “Communicating Religion’s Relevance.” The meeting will be held August 7-9, 2020 at the Hotel Nikko San Francisco, located in Union Square and around the corner from the ASA hotel.  Our President, James C. Cavendish, and Program Chair, Brian Starks, have promised to make this year’s meeting unique in terms of both its intellectual content and social gatherings.  We can look forward to unique Presidential sessions, our Presidential and Furfey (Kelsey Burke) lectures, and receptions.  As usual, we will begin our meeting with an Opening Night Reception on Friday, August 7, and we are working with the ASA Religion Section on another joint reception for Sunday, August 11.  Our awards ceremony will recognize the winners of the McNamara Student Paper Award, Distinguished Article Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Be sure to check the website ( for submitting completed sessions, paper abstracts, and meeting registration.  Hotel reservations will also be available on the Annual Meeting page on the ASR website.  Please consider supporting our association by staying at the ASR hotel and making your reservations as early as possible so you can secure a room at the low ASR rate.  ASR has dedicated $10,000 for the Ralph A. Gallagher Travel Grants to help our faculty colleagues from outside the United States and graduate students to attend the ASR annual meeting.  If you qualify, please visit the Grants & Awards page on our website ( for more information and the application process.

Keep an eye out for the ASR elections.  As always, we will elect our next President-Elect and three new Council members.  The person elected as President-Elect will take office as President-Elect at the end of this year’s annual meeting in San Francisco, at which time our current President-Elect, James Spickard, assumes the duties of President.  The three new Council members elected will also begin their terms at the end of this year’s annual meeting and continue through the first Council meeting of 2023.  Just like last year, all members of ASR are eligible and encouraged to vote in the election through the Member Portal of the website (an email will be sent when the portal is available).


Please consider applying or nominating people for any of the following grants and awards:

Joseph H. Fichter Research Grants are available to ASR members involved in promising sociological research on women in religion or on the intersection between religion and gender or religion and sexualities.  For the 2019 competition, a total of $12,000 is available to be awarded.  Dissertation research qualifies for funding, as does postdoctoral research by junior and senior scholars.  See the Grants & Awards section of the website for instructions and details.

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to the Sociology of Religion is an award that recognizes a career or a long period of contribution – it is designed to consider an awardee’s corpus of work as a whole.  See the Grants & Awards section of the website for instructions and details.

Finally, the Robert J. McNamara Student Paper Award in the amount of $500 is given annually to recognize an outstanding graduate student member’s paper in the sociology of religion.  If the winner of this award agrees to attend the meeting to present the paper, s/he can receive an additional $500 toward the cost of a room at the conference hotel.  See the Grants & Awards section of the website for instructions and details.

Thank you for your participation in our organization and your interest in Sociology of Religion.  Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or concerns regarding our association.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and successful 2020!