Request for Proposals

The American Religious Sounds Project (ARSP) and the Center for the Study of Religion at Ohio State University, with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, invites proposals for research grants of $10,000 each from scholars across the academic disciplines who are pursuing innovative research projects related to the study of religion and sound.


The American Religious Sounds Project is a collaborative scholarly initiative to document and interpret North American religious diversity by attending to its varied sonic cultures. Joining vibrant academic conversations about lived religion, materiality and the senses, and sound studies, our project is animated by several key questions: What does religion in North America sound like, and where should one go to listen for it? What are the different ways that religious individuals and communities learn to listen and make themselves audible--to each other, to their gods, and to others? How are the plurality of North American religions reshaping the sounds of civic life, and the hopes and fears transmitted along collective frequencies? How might we re-conceptualize religion and its place in North American life if we begin by using auditory perception as a source of knowledge, thinking with categories such as music, speech, noise, reception, eavesdropping, silencing, and mis-hearing? And how might this knowledge be represented and transformed through the use of new digital media?

Grant Goals

The goal of this research grant is to promote innovative scholarship that incorporates sound into our understanding of North American religious life, particularly with reference to the ARSP’s interpretive questions listed in the overview. Four scholars will receive grants of $10,000 each to pursue their own research projects and to share the findings of their research via a multimedia digital exhibit hosted on the American Religious Sounds Project website. Grantees will receive mentoring from the ARSP Interpretive Scholarship advisory board and will work with the ARSP web development team on the design of their exhibit. Exhibits will undergo editorial oversight and peer review. The deadline for the submission of application materials is September 1, 2019.

Eligibility Requirements

We invite proposals for projects related to the ARSP goals from scholars who earned a PhD or are ABD in any academic discipline. Grantees are expected to complete their proposed projects by Spring 2021. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals related to projects that are already underway. Proposed products may be pieces of a larger ongoing research project. In addition, grantees will be expected to attend a meeting with the ARSP Interpretive Scholarship advisory board and web development team in Spring 2020 and to present at an ARSP academic conference in Spring 2021. Travel and accommodations will be covered for both events.

Application Requirements


  • 200 word abstract
  • 5-page narrative that describes the project and explains how a multimedia exhibit would advance the research (include links to supplemental audio material, if available).
  • Timeline
  • CV (2 pages)
  • Name and contact information for one reference; for ABDs, this must be dissertation advisor.
  • In the case of collaborative projects, please designate a PI who will represent the project at ASRP gatherings
  • For projects dependent on community engagement, evidence of ethics review (e.g. IRB) or formalized community agreement


Application Procedure


  • Submit by September 1, 2019
  • Compile all written materials into a single PDF and email it as an attachment to with “Grant Application” in the subject line.


Selection Criteria

A successful project proposal will be one that:

  • Pursues a project that advances our understanding of religious diversity and civic life in North America
  • Engages the study of sound and religion in an innovative way
  • Advances one or more of the interpretive questions listed in the overview, with strong evidence of engagement with critical literature on religion and diversity in North America
  • Benefits from presentation on a multimedia platform
  • Demonstrates the feasibility of completion in grant cycle


Selection Committee

Pamela E. Klassen (U Toronto), Chair
Lerone A. Martin (Washington U)
Tracy Fessenden (Arizona State)

The American Religious Sounds Project is co-directed by Amy DeRogatis (Michigan State University) and Isaac Weiner (Ohio State University).