Call for Papers: The Independent Scholar

The editorial team of the The Independent Scholar (TIS) invites all members of NCIS and its affiliate organizations to submit material for TIS volume 2.

The Independent Scholar (TIS) is the NCIS open access, interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal. We ask you to submit your abstract using the Abstract Submission Form: the abstract deadline for Volume 2 (2016) is March 15, 2016.

We will contact you with the editors' decision within a week or two. If your abstract is approved, we will ask you to submit the full manuscript no later than May 15, 2016, for peer review.

Read the full Call for Papers.

Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions Seeks Authors

The new reference work, Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions by ABC-CLIO, is seeking scholars to write one or more of the 300 entries that will comprise this work.

The Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions will provide a much-needed resource for undergraduate and upper level high school students researching women and the feminine in the world's religions.

The two volume encyclopedia will focus on women in world religions in the following areas:

  1. Ways in which women live and have lived their faith – their activities, movements, leadership, and contributions
  2. Expectations, perceptions, and images of women according to scripture, tradition, and organizational structures
  3. Ways that religions view and have viewed women’s bodies as exemplifying divine or ideal attributes, and conversely, ways that religions view and have viewed women’s bodies as seductive, polluting, exemplifying evil or lower nature, etc.

Author-Scholars are needed for approximately 300 entries of 500 to 2,000 words each, and these will be organized A to Z within the following religions: African Religions, Ancient Greek and Roman Religions, Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American, New Age Religions, Prehistoric Religions, Shinto, Sikhism. Sample entry titles include CHRISTIANITY: Abortion, Ascetics, Education, Eve, Homosexuality, Jesus Movement, Ministers, Saints, Sophia; ISLAM: Fatimah, Hagar, Muslim Brotherhood, Purdah, Reform; NEW AGE RELIGION: Art, Astrology, Dance, Internet, Karma, Ritual, Yoga.

Deadline for current round of entries: April 1, 2016.

Please provide your CV or a brief summary of your academic credentials in related disciplines to Susan de Gaia, Ph.D., General Editor, Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions at The encyclopedia title should appear in the subject line of your message. A list of available entry titles will be sent to you upon request. 

2016 Evental Aesthetics

Call for Papers

The Editors of Evental Aestheticsa peer reviewed journal of philosophical perspectives on aesthetic practice and experience, are pleased to announce the following call for papers for 2016. The journal is completely open-access: we charge no fees to either our authors or our readers. We are also completely independent: the journal is unaffiliated with any institution.  We welcome submissions in English from independent and institutionally affiliated scholars worldwide.

Summer & Fall 2016 – Aesthetic Inquiries:

All issues of EA include a section called “Aesthetic Inquiries,” which features a selection of articles from outside the current theme.  Contributions to this section may address philosophical matters pertaining to any aesthetic practice or experience, including but not limited to art and everyday aesthetics.  In 2016, we will invite submissions for two theme-free issues entitled “Aesthetic Inquiries.”

Deadline for consideration in Summer 2016 issue: 28 February, 2016.

Deadline for consideration in Fall 2016 issue: 30 June, 2016.
Winter 2016 – Sound Art and Environment:  Deadline: 31 October, 2016
Guest Editor: Gascia Ouzounian
Suggested topics:

  • Sound art and ontologies of space, place, and/or sociality
  • Sound art and landscape, environment, geography, urban and public space
  • Sound art and experimental approaches to architecture, planning, and mapping
  • Sound art in remote or contested places, including conflict or post-conflict zones and under-served communities
  • Sound art and biopolitics; new approaches to ecology and acoustic ecology; sound art and environmental activism
  • Sound art and the non-human world

Topics may be freely interpreted.  However, all submissions must address philosophical matters.

The Winter issue will also include an "Aesthetic Inquiries" section (see above).

We welcome articles (4000-8000 words), Collisions (1000-2500 words), and proposals for our Reading section.  Please visit for submission requirements and instructions, including details on Collisions and Reading proposals.  For questions not covered by the site, contact the Editors at

The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians

Call for Papers

The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians is holding its 17th conference, Difficult Conversations: Thinking and Talking about Women, Genders, and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y., June 1–4, 2017.

The Berkshire Conference interprets this overarching theme broadly, inviting submissions for an array of engaging and interactive presentations intended to generate conversations across time, fields, methodologies, and geographic borders; across races, classes, sexualities and gender identities; between academic and public historians, activists, artists and performers. Berkshire is especially keen to attract participants from around the globe and scholars of time periods and geographic fields that have been underrepresented at the Berkshire Conference.

Conference organizers want to bring special attention to Track 14, which focuses on work and working conditions as well as research:

14. Work Cultures/Work Realities: The Academy and Beyond

This track seeks individual papers, panels, or roundtable sessions on issues or themes relevant to the work (broadly defined) we do. We hope to generate informed conversation about pedagogy, but also working conditions—for those working in any capacity in higher educational institutions as well as those in other settings. Given the service burdens in the academy that fall particularly heavily on women and people of color, how do we see that such contributions are valued? Do we need to redefine teaching and service as intellectual endeavors? Is it necessary to change dominant understandings of scholarship?  How would we set about doing these tasks? These issues are particularly timely given attacks on university employees and the questions raised by politicians, parents, and students about the “value” or “utility” of history?

They are also important in light of those scholars, including public historians, public intellectuals, and digital humanists whose contributions often cannot be measured by “traditional” categories.

Other difficult conversations are to be had on how historians in various settings (schools, universities, non-profits, for-hire) can work together. We also seek to address how scholarship and work are married beyond the academy. How can one be a historian and work, for example, in non-academic settings? What does it mean to be an Alt-Ac, public historian, or history-informed activist in 2017?

Proposal deadline: Jan 15, 2016

Can't Access JSTOR? Here's Why

Several NCIS members have reported problems accessing JSTOR using their JPASS, for which NCIS members benefit from a massive 50% discount. We have chased this up, and have received the following advice from JSTOR: "We’re happy to work with NCIS to offer a JPASS discount to members! The current URL[still works, but] we’re currently experiencing intermittent, site-wide problems, which impacts the JPASS purchase workflow and JSTOR access. We’re working to restore stable access as quickly as possible."

JSTOR staff have promised to update us as soon as they resolve the problem, so watch this space!

Alexandra Wimberly Wins Dorbrecht Grant for Scientific Research

Alexandra Wimberly, NCIS member, was awarded $1,800 from the Dorbrecht Grant of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund for her research project, Yoga Intervention for Substance Use and Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in Community Reentry. The randomized controlled trial will explore yoga’s impact on the well-being of people in reentry from prison or jail with HIV and substance use problems. Findings will inform the development of substance use interventions for this population.

Alexandra is a doctoral student in Social Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.

SPARC Advocates Open Access for Scholarly Resources

"SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC believes that faster and wider sharing of the outputs of the scholarly research process increases the impact of research, fuels the advancement of knowledge, and increases the return on research investments. SPARC focuses on taking action in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – to build on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship.

See more.

GRANT Slavic Studies May 2015

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the Mary Zirin Prize in recognition of an independent scholar in the field of Slavic Studies. The award of $500 is named for Mary Zirin, the founder of Women East-West.

Working as an independent scholar, Zirin produced and encouraged fundamental works in Slavic/East European Women's Studies and has been instrumental in the development of the AWSS. The Prize aims to recognize the achievements of independent scholars and to encourage their continued scholarship and service in the fields of Slavic or Central and Eastern European Women's Studies.

The Committee encourages the nomination of candidates at all career stages. For the purpose of this award, an independent scholar is defined as a scholar who is not employed at an institution of higher learning, or an employee of a university or college who is not eligible to compete for institutional support for research (for example, those teaching under short-term contracts or working in administrative posts). We welcome nominations from CIS and Central and Eastern Europe.

The Zirin Prize Committee will accept nominations (including self-nominations) until September 1, 2015. Nominations must include: (1) a nomination letter of be no more than two-pages double-spaced; (2) the nominee's current curriculum vitae; and (3) a sample publication (e.g., article or book chapter). The nomination letter must describe the scholar's contribution to the field, as well as work in progress.

Nominations should be sent to Marilyn Smith at, or by postal mail to

Marilyn Schwinn Smith, 14 Allen Street, Amherst, MA 01002


Dorbrecht Grant Recipient Publishes Research

Edith Brotman has recently published Mussar Yoga: Blending an Ancient Jewish Spiritual Practice with Yoga to Transform Body and Soul (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2014), using research funded by the Dorbrecht grant.  

Book abstract

While there are no statistics on the number of Jews participating in so-called Eastern religious practices, yoga and Buddhism anecdotally appear popular among liberal Jews in North America and even in Israel. According to Rodger Kamemetz, author of The Jew and the Lotus, the first known American convert to Buddhism in the late 19th century was a Jew named Charles Strauss. In the 1960s and 70s the term Jubu (or interchangeably, Buju) emerged as a way to refer to a person of Jewish religious and ethnic heritage who practices Buddhism in some manner or degree. The term is sometimes ironically used to refer to Jews who simply have a lifestyle that is highly infused with Eastern traditions such as yoga or meditation.

With the seeming rise of interest in yoga, there is growing curiosity and acceptance of spiritual parallels between Judaism and yoga’s philosophy and practices. Mussar Yoga draws on my own research into the similarities of the Jewish tradition of Mussar and yoga to offer a blended practice which draws on the similarities and strengths of the two.

Both Mussar and yoga are products of both the ancient and contemporary worlds. The yoga sutras date from around the Fourth Century CE, but yoga as we know it today is a likely outgrowth of the creation of the modern Indian nation-state. About the same time that the yoga sutras were written, Mussar, which means “instruction” was a recognized ethical discipline. In late nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, the Mussar Movement headed by Rabbi Israel Salantar developed as a community and yeshiva based approach to Mussar study. For many decades Mussar appeared to be another victim of the Holocaust. Currently, however, the practice is experiencing a revival.

The concurrent resurgence of both Mussar and yoga spotlights parallels between the two.  One parallel is the ethical principles—such as truth, zeal, loving kindness, order and moderation.  Another are the methods. Both practices work as conversations between the behaviors of every day life and the precepts of sacred texts. And, meditation, mantras and chanting are employed by both Mussar and yoga. The spotlight also reveals differences as well such a yoga’s greater use of the physical body as template for change, and the Jewish emphasis on action rather than intention.

The book, Mussar Yoga, works as an approachable “how to” manual with a discussion of the two traditions and how together they can facilitate transformation of body and soul.  The book offers insight into thirteen different middot (ethical precepts) from both Jewish and yogic perspectives and includes photos and instructions for yoga poses, suggested mantras and questions for daily journalling.


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