Amy Allocco presents at American Academy of Religion conference and assumes new leadership positions
Amy L. Allocco, assistant professor of religious studies, presented a paper titled “The Blemish of “Modern Times”: Snakes, Planets, and the Kaliyugam” on Nov. 19, 2012, during the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Allocco’s paper focused on the ways that the Kali Yuga, the fourth and most degenerate age in Hindu cosmology, is invoked and discussed in discourses surrounding naga dosham (“snake blemish;” a negative horoscopic condition), and suggested that these concepts work in tandem as indigenous frameworks for categorizing and accounting for the many changes and dislocations that characterize “modern” times. It was part of a paper session in the Hinduism Group of the AAR Annual Meeting titled “‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’: Contemporary Understandings of the Kali Yuga" that Allocco organized and that brought together colleagues from Israel, India, and New York to discuss new ethnographic research on how the Kali Yuga is described in four contemporary contexts.
Allocco began her term as Chair of the International Connections Committee (ICC), one of the AAR’s Standing Committees, following her appointment by President Otto A. Maduro, Professor of World Christianity at Drew University. According to its charge, “The International Connections Committee fosters attention to the worldwide scope of scholarship in religion and the international composition of the Academy's membership.” Allocco presided at a breakfast for international members of the AAR and is working with the ICC on the protocol for a new collaborative international grant competition.
While in Chicago Allocco also participated in sessions sponsored by The Society for Hindu-Christian Studies (SHCS), for which she serves on the Board of Directors, and chaired its Nominations Committee to elect new Board members for the Society. She was appointed to the SHCS’ Book Award Committee, which will work over the course of the next year to select the “Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies” published in the category of History/Ethnography between 2009 and 2013. During the Annual Meeting Allocco was also involved in the sessions and Business Meeting of the Comparative Studies in Hinduisms and Judaisms Group, for which she serves as a member of the Steering Committee.