Seeking Respondents for the Religious Studies Project’s Podcast!

From Prof. Rebecca Barrett-Fox, Religious Studies Project Features co-editor:

The Religious Studies Project​<https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/>, a digital endeavor to promote religious studies, seeks respondents to write commentaries on our podcasts.

Respondents get to preview RSP interviews of high-profile religious studies scholars, then offer about 1000 words of commentary that can include critique, reflection, or connection between the podcast and other sources. They may but don’t have to include references to academic texts, but they will also include lots of hyperlinks and citations to any academic references. Images are welcome, as are suggestions for intriguing titles. Finally, we would need a short bio statement and photo of you to add to the podcast.​

About once per month, a features editor sends out an email to everyone in our pool of respondents listing all the podcasts we’ve recently recorded that are in need of respondents. If a podcast interests you, you’ll email me or co-editor Marek Sullivan to let us know you’d like it assigned to you. After listening to the audio/reading the transcript, you will craft a response of about 1000 words. While we are happy to work with your schedule, turnaround time is typically two weeks.

I have listed podcasts-in-process that are in need of a respondent below; if you see something of interest, please email me at rbarrettfox (at) astate.edu.  If you don’t see something of interest now but would like to be included in future calls for respondents, please let me know. Additionally, if you know of someone you think would be a thoughtful respondent, please share this with them or forward their name to me so I can add them to our list of potential respondents.

Looking forward to bringing you some great podcasts soon!
Rebecca Barrett-Fox, RSP Features co-editor
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Arkansas State University
rbarrettfox (at) astate.edu

1. Slenderman and online mythology, with Vivian Asimos by Ross Downing

Ross Downing discusses personal and communal narratives, online mythology and the grey areas between religion and media with Vivian Asimos, whose work has investigated the potentiality of video games as contemporary mythology in popular culture. In the broader context of BASR 2018, the overall theme of boundaries and categories is explored, as is the possible insights online movements can yield in the perception and application of theories of religion. ​

2. A Global Study on Government Restrictions and Social Hostilities Related to Religion with Katayoun Kishi by Benjamin P Marcus

In this podcast, we speak with Dr. Katayoun Kishi, who oversaw the ninth in a series of reports by Pew Research Center analyzing the extent to which governments and societies around the world impinge on religious beliefs and practices. The share of countries with “high” or “very high” levels of government restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose, but the share of countries with “high” or “very high” levels of social hostilities involving religion remained stable. In total in 2016, 83 countries (42%) had high or very high levels of overall restrictions on religion – whether resulting from government actions or from hostile acts by private individuals, organizations and social groups–up from 80 (40%) in 2015 and 58 (29%) in 2007. We discuss the findings of the report as well as methodology for collecting and analyzing data. Dr. Kishi summarizes findings for different regions of the world–including the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa–and explains long-term trends evident from Pew’s reports.

3. Preserving identity and empowering women. How do Canadian Muslim schools affect their students? with Jasmine Zine by Mariia Alekseevskaia

In this interview, Dr. Jasmin Zine talks about Muslim schools in Canada and their impact on their students’ identity development and integration in the society. Having served for decades as a tool to preserve a particular religious identity, Islamic schooling also plays a crucial role in empowering female students. In some cases, Muslim schools have become a safe haven, especially for women, “a place where their identity is not in question, where they can feel safe and comfortable.” Also, Dr. Zine describes to Mariia Alekseevkaia the challenges that Canadian Muslim schools face today, including a difficulty to promote critical thinking and “the spirit of debate” while teaching about religion as well as maintaining patriarchal religious cultures. Lastly, Prof. Zine discusses academic colonialism and shares her personal story of what it means to be Muslim woman in academia.

4. Negotiating Gender in Contemporary Occultism with Manon Hedenborg White by Sammy Bishop

In this interview conducted at the 2018 EASR conference in Bern, Sammy Bishop speaks to Manon Hedenborg White about the development of Western esotericism, charting the influence of the infamous Aleister Crowley and his philosophy of Thelema. They explore Crowley’s somewhat ambiguous view of gender, before brining the research into the present day, on how gender roles in contemporary Thelema can be contested and negotiated. Finally, Hedenborg White delves into the important but often overlooked role of women in the development of contemporary Occultism.

5. The Hugging Guru: Amma and Transnationalism with Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger by Sammy Bishop

In this interview conducted at the 2018 EASR conference in Bern, Marianne Ovortrup Fibiger speaks to Sammy Bishop about Amma, a guru who has become world famous for her healing hugs—apparently giving more than 33 millions hugs over the past 30 years. They discuss the ways in which different audiences can interrupt Amma’s message and how she reconnects Hindus in diaspora with their traditions. Focusing particularly on the guru’s global reach, Fibiger discusses her fieldwork in Amma’s Kerala ashram and how Western devotees in India or influencing developments here.

6. The Therwil Affair: Handshakes in Swiss Schools with Philipp Hetmancyzk and Martin Bürgin, by Thomas White

In this podcast, recorded at the Annual EASR Conference in Bern, Dr. Philipp Hetmanczyk and Martin Bürgin of Zurich University talk to Thomas White about the Therwil Affair, a controversy that emerged in 2016 after two Swiss Muslim schoolboys declined to shake hands with their female teacher. The seemingly rather local, minor incident escalated into a major national debate and received global media attention. As the issue moved from one of school governance, to public values, to law and later immigration, the Therwil Affair became a focal point for national discussions on religious freedom, gender equality, civic duties, multi-ethnic integration and cultural identity in Switzerland. Following an explanation of the historical backdrop to contemporary Swiss ‘culture wars’ that the Therwil Affair spoke so clearly to, the discussion moves to how Swiss educational law has shifted subsequent to the Therwil Affair, with schools now expected to report to Swiss Immigration similar instances of supposed integration failure. Since schools are not merely centres for education but also sites for the teaching and reproduction of standardised norms and values, in countries of religious, ethnic and cultural diversity, those values and norms are contested. Perhaps what may be better, as Dr. Hetmanczyk suggests, is for schools to resist expectations that they should be cultivating a cultural homogeneity and instead focus on preparing pupils for moments of cultural difference.​​​

Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in LGBT Studies – Queer Studies and Religion Doctoral Dissertation Workshop

Call for Proposal
Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in LGBT Studies – 
Queer Studies and Religion
2019 Doctoral Dissertation Workshop with Kathryn Lofton and Linn Tonstad
May 13-17, 2019 at Yale University

Yale LGBT Studies is pleased to announce that the Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in Lesbian Studies at Yale University is welcoming applications for a biennial dissertation-writing workshop for a cohort of doctoral fellows. The 2019 Yale Pettit Doctoral Fellowship Workshop will take place May 13-17, 2019 in New Haven, CT and will focus on scholarship at the intersection of queer studies, LGBT studies, and religious studies.
Fellows will convene for a three-day intensive workshop at Yale University where they will present and engage with each other’s work. They will meet with and receive feedback from the workshop’s two faculty mentors, Professors Kathryn Lofton and Linn Tonstad. Following the three-day workshop, fellows will stay in New Haven for an additional two days to write and to take advantage of Yale University libraries and resources. Selected fellows will receive small stipends and travel funding in addition to room and board for the week of the workshop. Application deadline is Friday, February 19, 2019.
For more information and to apply, visit: https://lgbts.yale.edu/pettit

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has been proud to support more than 22,000 Fellows who collectively have an impressive record of scholarship, teaching, service, and public influence. We hope that you will give your students the opportunity to join this impressive network by sharing the following information about the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s 2019 doctoral dissertation fellowships:

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships
woodrow.org/newcombe
The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of religious and ethical values in all areas of human endeavor. Eligible proposals have religious or ethical values as a central concern, and come from fields within the humanities and social sciences. Ph.D. and Th.D. candidates who will be in the final year of dissertation writing during the 2019-2020 academic year may apply.  The competition deadline is November 15, 2018.

Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowships in Women’s Studies
woodrow.org/womens-studies
The Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies encourages original and significant research about women that crosses disciplinary, regional, or cultural boundaries. Previous Fellows have explored such topics as transnational religious education for Muslim women, feminist technology design, the complex gender dynamics of transidentity management, women’s electoral success across racial and institutional contexts, women’s sports, and militarism and the education of American women. The competition deadline is October 15, 2018.

Please see the website for further information: woodrow.org

Questions about the Fellowships may be sent to:
Newcombe Fellowship: newcombe@woodrow.org
Women’s Studies Fellowship: ws@woodrow.org

2019-20 Harvard Divinity School/Women’s Studies in Religion Program Research Associate

Harvard Divinity School announces five full-time positions as Research Associate and Visiting Faculty for 2019-20 in its Women’s Studies in Religion Program. Proposals for book-length research projects utilizing both religion and gender as central categories of analysis and focusing on any religion are welcomed. Salary for 2019-20 will be $60,000. Completed applications are due online by October 15, 2018. Applicants must have received their PhD by October 1, 2018. Please see the website (http://wsrp.hds.harvard.edu/apply) for more information.

CFP: Thinking Gender 2019: Feminists Confronting the Carceral State

Thinking Gender 2019: Feminists Confronting the Carceral State

Date: February 22, 2019

Location: Luskin Conference Center, UCLA

Call for Proposals

Deadline: Sunday, October 28 at 11:59 PM (PDT)

The UCLA Center for the Study of Women invites submissions of graduate student paper, roundtable presentation, and poster proposals, and undergraduate student poster proposals for our 29th Annual Thinking Gender Graduate Student Research Conference.

This year’s conference theme, Feminists Confronting the Carceral State, will focus on gendered regimes of captivity, state violence, and incarceration, emphasizing feminist, queer, trans, abolitionist, and intersectional interventions. The conference will feature a keynote panel of scholars and activists, including:

  • Beth Richie, Professor of African American Studies and Criminology, Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Alisa Bierria, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside
  • Colby Lenz, Organizer, Survived and Punished and California Coalition of Women Prisoners; and PhD Student, American Studies and Ethnicity, USC
  • Romarilyn Ralston, Program Coordinator, Project Rebound, California State University Fullerton

Much of the policy and research on punishment in the United States has focused on men. Yet, the history and contemporary reality of women’s subjugation to systems of punishment also runs deep and warrants further exploration. Many young women and girls, especially Black, Brown, and Native girls, are ensnared in the carceral state where they are criminalized and surveilled in schools, foster systems, and in their communities. Moreover, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals are particularly vulnerable to policing and incarceration and state-sanctioned violence.

Feminist abolitionist Angela Davis has illuminated the carceral state’s gendered structure, elaborating the numerous ways that women and LGBTQ communities are made vulnerable to violence, oppression, and harm. In addition to examining the complex range of regimes that constitute the carceral state, and the modes of violence therein, Feminists Confronting the Carceral State heeds Davis’s call for abolition democracy, including broad societal change: the “demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all, and a justice system based on reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance” (Davis, 2003, pg. 107). This begs the question: how do feminists lead this modern abolitionist movement and rebuild a society deeply scarred by its own criminal justice system?

Feminists Confronting the Carceral State invites presenters to think through approaches that consider the social contexts in which the carceral state operates in feminist, queer, intersectional, and critical ways. Given recent re-commitments to “tough on crime” beliefs and policies, feminists must be at the forefront of resisting and dismantling the carceral state in all areas of society.

We invite proposals for papers, roundtable presentations, and posters from graduate students, and posters from undergraduate students. Successful submissions will center analyses of sexuality, gender, and/or feminism. This is an interdisciplinary conference and we encourage submissions from all fields of study. Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  • State-sponsored violence
  • Racialized policing and surveillance
  • Studies of specific institutional modes of power, such as prisons, jails, and detention centers
  • Processes of carceral expansion
  • Immigration and detention
  • Anti-carceral art
  • Transformative justice
  • Cultural logics of white supremacy, settler colonialism, and xenophobia
  • Cultural/media representations of incarceration
  • Historical and contemporary abolitionist, feminist, and queer anti-carceral activism/organizing
  • Histories of captivity and imprisonment
  • Youth/Girlhood
  • Political repression
  • “Gender responsive” punishment and carceral feminism
  • Prisons, toxicity, and the environment
  • Reproductive justice
  • Criminalization of gender and sexual nonconformity
  • Political economies of punishment
  • Social institutions and carceral control (i.e. education, foster care, mental health, housing, health care)
  • Transnational and diasporic analyses

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Eligibility

Registered graduate students from any institution are eligible to submit paper, roundtable presentation, and poster proposals.

Registered undergraduate students from any institution are eligible to submit proposals for poster presentations only.

Individuals may present in only one capacity at the conference, although you may submit an application to be considered in all presentation categories.

Unpublished papers are preferred for submission. Recently published and forthcoming papers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Registration Fee

To participate in Thinking Gender, successful applicants will be required to pay a registration fee of $50, the entirety of which will go towards covering conference costs.

Deadline for Proposal Submissions

Deadline for Paper and Poster Proposals: Sunday, October 28, 2018, at 11:59PM PDT

Once submissions are reviewed and accepted, all participants in the paper panel sessions will be required to submit a draft of their paper by January 28, 2019, for pre-circulation among their co-panelists and faculty moderator.

Online Application Form

All proposals must be submitted using the online application form: https://csw.ucla.edu/tg19-app

MODES OF RESEARCH PARTICIPATION

**GRADUATE STUDENT APPLICANTS ONLY: If you would like your application to be considered for more than one type of presentation, please follow the submission guidelines for Paper Panel Presentations.**

Graduate Paper Panel Presentations:

Paper Panels will be comprised of graduate student paper presenters and a faculty moderator who will read and provide detailed feedback and questions on each paper. Paper presentations will be 12 minutes long. Panelists will be required to submit their paper drafts by January 28, 2019, for pre-circulation among their co-panelists and faculty moderator.

Panel Presentation application requirements:

  1. Paper proposal (2-3 double-spaced page maximum) that includes a thesis/research question, discussion of methodology and theoretical framework, explanation of your argument and supporting data, and conclusions or anticipated conclusions
  2. Works Cited or Reference List (1 page maximum)
  3. CV (2 page maximum)

Graduate Roundtable Sessions:

Roundtable sessions will provide presenters and attendees the opportunity to interact and engage with one another’s scholarship in a less formal setting than a Paper Panel. Graduate students with papers in development who are not yet ready to present on a paper panel are encouraged to apply for a roundtable presentation. Presenters will each have 5 minutes to present their work and 5 minutes for feedback, to be followed by general discussion with roundtable participants. Accepted proposals will be grouped by shared themes and interests, and assigned to a roundtable chair who will facilitate the discussion.

Roundtable application requirements:

  1. Proposal abstract (200 words maximum) that includes a thesis/research question, discussion of your argument, and anticipated conclusions
  2. Works Cited or Reference List (1 page maximum)
  3. CV (2 page maximum)

Graduate and Undergraduate Poster Session:

Graduate and Undergraduate students will present visually compelling research posters. During the poster session, each presenter will be present with their poster for discussions and questions with circulating attendees. Posters will remain on display throughout the conference.

Poster Session application requirements:

  1. Poster proposal (1-2 double-spaced page maximum) that includes a thesis/research question, discussion of methodology and theoretical framework, explanation of your argument and supporting data, and conclusions or anticipated conclusions
  2. Works Cited or Reference List (1 page maximum)
  3. CV (2 page maximum)

All materials must be submitted online: https://csw.ucla/edu/tg19-app

Deadline for Paper and Poster Proposals: Sunday, October 28, 2018, at 11:59PM PDT

Only complete submissions received by the deadline will be considered.

Questions? Contact Shena Sanchez, 2019 Thinking Gender Conference Coordinator, thinkinggender (at) women.ucla.edu

Visit: https://csw.ucla.edu/tg19-cfp

CFP: Sexuality and Borders – Symposium

Call for Papers

Sexuality and Borders

Symposium, 4-5 April 2019
Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University, NYC

In her path-breaking work Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), Gloria E. Anzaldúa parsed out the relationship between heteronormativity and the stretching of the border into various borderlands, subjectivities, and temporalities. In the context of growing migration and the accompanying intensification of border regimes, this formative thesis on the relationship between borders and sexuality needs renewed attention and consideration. How do sexuality and borders intersect? What role does sexuality play in the production, maintenance and disruption of contemporary border regimes? How do borders as features of racial capitalism multiply inequalities via sexuality and, conversely, how is sexuality mediated through racialized border regimes? While people continue to move across borders, sexuality becomes a dominant frame through which such movement is attempted to be captured, framed, and contained. At the same time, the border becomes understood, organized, and contested through sexuality and sexual discourse.

In response to these phenomena, this symposium conceptualizes sexuality as a method of bordering and thinks sexuality beyond identity towards its multifarious entanglements with contemporary border regimes. From sexual panics about migrant sexuality, the pornotropic gaze of surveillance technologies, to media discourses about reproduction and contagion, sexuality can be said to play a key role in how borders are policed and managed. At the same time, intimacy, desire, and sexuality have become rallying points in challenging borders as seen in queer activism against deportations, critiques of homonationalism and imaginations of different sexual futures and political horizons. Bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplinary and regional contexts, this symposium aims to show how sexuality matters for the study of and struggles around borders.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Intimacy of border control, touch, and the haptic
  • Sexual transmission, deviancy, and national health
  • Family, state and, national reproduction
  • Sexual panics and the intensification of border regimes
  • Trans perspectives on gendered and sexualised border regimes
  • Sexual violence, detention, and state violence
  • Sex work, discourses of trafficking, and migrant sex work activism
  • Digital borders, pornography, mediation
  • Homonationalism(s)
  • Technologies of border control and sexuality
  • Surveillance, voyeurism, pornotropics
  • Entanglement of anti-migrant and anti-queer/feminist politics
  • Virality, sexuality, and contagion across borders
  • Queer of colour critique and critical migration studies
  • Affect, desire, and queer/no border futurities
  • Biopolitical borders, demography, and population
  • Queer temporalities, archives, and histories of migration
  • LGBTQ refugees and migrants
  • Queer and feminist activism around/against borders

Sexuality and Borders is a two day symposium hosted and funded by New York University’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. It is co-sponsored by NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the DFG-funded research training group “Minor Cosmopolitanisms” (University of Potsdam, Germany) and is supported by LSE’s Department of Gender Studies.

Confirmed Keynotes:

  • Radha Hegde (Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU)
  • Miriam Ticktin (Associate Professor of Anthropology, New School for Social Research)
  • Alyosxa Tudor (Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, SOAS University of London)

Applications

Please send proposals for papers (no longer than 350 words) and a short bio (150 words) by November 1st, 2018 to sexualityandborders@tutanota.com. As an interdisciplinary symposium, we encourage applications that engage a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches and focus on different geopolitical contexts. We aim to enable discussions across academic, artistic and activist debates and also welcome applications from participants outside the academy.

Organizing team

  • Michelle Pfeifer (NYU, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication Department)
  • Billy Holzberg (London School of Economics, Gender Institute)
  • Anouk Madörin (University of Potsdam, RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms).

For questions please contact sexualityandborders@tutanota.com

Visit https://sexualityandborders.wordpress.com/

Patriarchy & Political Theology: Call for Participants

Patriarchy & Political Theology: Call for Participants

We invite applications for a two-day workshop on patriarchy and political theology. What can scholars of political theology learn from gender studies? Why has political theology been so resistant to addressing questions of sex, gender, and sexuality in any serious way? Are there any intersections between queer feminist criticism and political theology, and what would it look like if the two methods were brought together? This workshop will gather a selected group of scholars for two days of focused engagement around the above themes, with the hope that new methods for thinking about and beyond patriarchy and political theology will emerge.

Untenured scholars, alt-academics, and graduate students who have advanced to candidacy are welcome to apply. We are looking for participants coming from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including religious studies, political theory, women’s and gender studies, LGBT studies, ethnic studies, anthropology, history, literature, and theology. The workshop will be held on the campus of Villanova University, March 30-31, 2019. Travel and accommodation costs for selected participants will be covered; support for childcare will be available.

We are particularly interested in applications that move outside the usual boundaries of political theology. To apply, please send a one-page description (up to 300 words) of a question that a workshop of this kind should or could investigate, a list of 3-5 key texts that inform your thinking around these issues, and a CV of no more than two pages. Applications are due by October 30; selections will be made by late November.

Please send application materials or questions to Linn Tonstad (linn.tonstad (at) yale.edu) and Vincent Lloyd (vincent.lloyd (at) villanova.edu).

Sponsored by the Villanova Political Theology Project and the Political Theology Network.