Roundtable Concerning Religious Affections

Panel Organizer: Caroline Wigginton, ACLS New Faculty Fellow, Department of American Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


Theories of sympathy and affection have revolutionized studies of early America.  Sensibility was a key tactic in nation formation, and foundational texts and events like the U.S. Constitution, as Sarah Knott argues in Sensibility in the American Revolution (2008), evince a “sentimental project.”  Yet republican deftness with the tactic of sensibility may have been acquired (and countered) through experience with other affective projects, and the religious cultures of colonial America evince a long history of using religious affections to imagine communal constructions.  This interdisciplinary roundtable seeks to extend scholarly conversations about early American affect and affections through attentiveness to religious and spiritual practices.  The ideal roundtable would include a diverse group of scholars at various points in their careers and incorporate a range of methodologies and primary materials.  We especially seek panelists whose approaches are non-literary, though we welcome all submissions.


Please send 250-word abstracts to Caroline Wigginton at by Friday, September 7, 2012.