Allocco will serve for a five-year term alongside Milda Ališauskienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania) and lead a women's mentoring initiative among members of the Women Scholars Network.
Amy Allocco was recently named the Co-Coordinator of the International Association for the History of Religion (IAHR) Women Scholars Network (WSN). Allocco, associate professor of religious studies and director of Elon’s Multifaith Scholars program, will serve a five-year term alongside Milda Ališauskienė of Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.
Allocco first began attending WSN meetings through the South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion in 2011 and has served as a Steering Committee Member of the organization since 2014. She worked closely with liaisons from the IAHR during the seven years that she chaired the International Connections Committee of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and administered its Collaborative International Research Grants program. In 2015 she served as one of two delegates from the AAR to the IAHR World Congress in Erfurt, Germany.
Allocco and Ališauskienė were set to be named as co-coordinators of the WSN at the IAHR World Congress in New Zealand in August, but this conference was canceled due to COVID-19. Allocco was also scheduled to present a paper titled “The Goddess among the Ashes: Ritual and Marginality in Chennai’s Mayāṉa Koḷḷai Festival” there, at what would have been the 22nd Quinquennial IAHR World Congress. This paper draws on fieldwork on the Hindu Mayana Kollai (“Looting of the Burial/Burning Ground”) festival that she conducted in South India 2006, 2016, and 2019.
In order to keep members of the WSN connected and provide venues for dialogue on topics of mutual academic and professional interest during the pandemic, the WSN has launched a series of webinars. Allocco presented during the first webinar in September and will host the second one with Ališauskienė later this month. During their five-year term leading the WSN, the pair’s primary initiative will be to develop a more formalized women’s mentoring initiative within the organization.
The WSN network was founded in 2006 by IAHR Past President Dr. Rosalind I. J. Hackett (University of Tennessee at Knoxville) and former IAHR Executive Committee member Dr. Morny Joy (University of Calgary) to provide a forum for women in Religious Studies throughout the world to form scholarly collaborations and exchanges. Dr. Jenny Berglund (Stockholm University) and Dr. Jay Johnston (University of Sydney) have led the network for the past five years. The IAHR was founded in 1950 and now boasts more than 50 national and regional member associations and affiliated societies globally.