2nd IARG International Conference ‘Sexual and Gendered Moralities’

The international conference ‘Sexual and Gendered Moralities’ under the auspices of the International Association for the study of Religion and Gender (IARG) will take place in Ghent, Belgium, from 26-27 November 2018. This is the second biennial IARG conference after its founding in 2016.

Taking disciplinary diversity towards the religious and non-religious into account, this conference wishes to focus on the broadly conceived realm of contemporary gendered and sexual ethics and moralities.

Throughout the world, new moralities with regards to sexual, gender and reproductive rights, identities and expressions; alternative kinship forms and family arrangements; and creative post-patriarchal and anti-racial practices, life-ways and communities have emerged. Yet, in the wake of neo-conservative resistance that often appeals to religious (or religiously-sanctioned) moralizing discourses on gender and sexuality, these have shown to be fragile. Meanwhile, the daily ‘art of living together’ in conditions of growing cultural and ethnic diversity, social inequality and existential precariousness is also challenged by frictions between different moral frames and sensibilities. We conceive of ‘moralities’ in a very open and broad sense, as the expression of the values and affects characteristic of contemporary societies and relate to the question, ‘how to live a meaningful life?’. The conference aims to bring together scholars from different disciplines researching the relationship between sexuality, gender and ethical life in contemporary society. In particular, we aim to focus on theoretical and empirical approaches at the intersection of religion, non-religion and the secular.

The objective is to bring scholars from different disciplines together presenting and exchanging on their research results with regards to the conference theme. Interdisciplinary research on the relationship between sexuality, gender and morality is urgent because in contemporary multicultural and postcolonial societies, religious profiling, confrontation and (identity) politics at local, national and international levels often focus on themes of sexual difference, sexuality and reproduction (e.g. the recurrent heated debates over women’s veiling, abortion, homosexuality and similar issues). Gender and sexuality seem to have become the arenas or battle fields of religion/s in our modern world, not at least in Western Europe. In order to break new grounds in the understanding of these complex dynamics of religion and gender in our contemporary world, this conference aims to stimulate further exchange and cooperation to explore the current major challenges to the study of religion and gender, to identify the fundamental critical issues, and to address these in innovative ways and from an interdisciplinary perspective. By focussing on the realm of the moral and ethics, we believe this is a novel and timely area of study, that has not yet been addressed in relation to the relationship and interaction between religious, non-religious and secular norms and life domains.

The organizing committee is located within the Alliance research group ECSO (Ethics, Culture & Society) and brings together expertise between RHEA (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender (Universiteit Gent). ECSO was launched in 2017 and has drawn up a plan to cooperate, exchange, organize and stimulate research. Both research groups share an interest in the study of difference, diversity, identity and inequality – particularly in intersections of gender, ethnicity, religion and sexuality.

More information, conference programme and registration: https://ecso.be/


R&G Special Issue ‘Religion, Gender and Body Politics’

Religion and Gender has published issue 7:2 on https://www.religionandgender.org/. This special issue is an outcome of the first IARG international conference in 2015 with the title ‘Religion, Gender and Body Politics Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives’. The issue was guest edited by Mariecke van den Berg, Kathrine van den Bogert and Anne-Marie Korte. We invite you to review the articles of the special issue, the book reviews, and two open articles on our website.

Religion and Gender
Vol 7, No 2 (2017): Religion, Gender and Body Politics
Table of Contents

Articles (open section)
The Ghosts of Performance Past: Theatre, Gender, Religion and Cultural Memory (147-163)
Abimbola Adelakun

Transgender Identity, The Sex-Reassignment Surgery Fatwās and Islāmic Theology of A Third Gender (164-179)
M Alipour

Guest Editorial
Religion, Gender, and Body Politics (180-183)
Mariecke van den Berg, Kathrine van den Bogert, Anne-Marie Korte

Articles (special issue)
Unveiling Muslim Women in Socialist Yugoslavia: The Body Between Socialism, Secularism, and Colonialism (184-203)
Tea Hadziristic

A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance: Abortion Death Rituals in South Korea (204-223)
SeungGyeong Ji

The Body of Mary: Embodiment and Identity in Modern Apparitions (224-239)
Jill Krebs

The Body Politic(s) of the Jezebel Spirit (240-255)
S. Jonathon O’Donnell

Book Reviews
Review of Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesus, Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion, New York and Chichester, West Sussex: Columbia University Press 2015, xiv + 282 pp., ISBN 978-0231173162. By Louise Autar (256-258).

Review of Susannah Cornwall (ed.), Intersex, Theology and the Bible: Troubling Bodies in Church, Text and Society, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, v + 241 pp., ISBN 978-1-137-36615-3. By Jenny Daggers (259-261).

Review of Azza Basarudin, Humanizing the Sacred: Sisters in Islam and the Struggle for Gender Justice in Malaysia, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2016, 330 pp., ISBN 978-0-295-99531-1. By Çağdaş Dedeoğlu (262-264).

Review of Donna Bowman, Prayer Shawl Ministries and Women’s Theological Imagination, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books 2016, 352 pp., ISBN 978-0-7391-7971-0. By Katherine Dugan (265-267).

Review of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017, 484 pp., ISBN 9780307594907. By Daniel Gullotta (268-270).

Review of Wendy Urban-Mead, The Gender of Piety: Family, Faith, and Colonial Rule in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press 2015, xiv + 324 pp, ISBN 9-780821-421581. By Romina Istratii (271-273).

Review of Erin E. Stiles, Katrina Daly Thompson (eds.), Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean: Islam, Marriage, and Sexuality on the Swahili Coast (Indian Ocean Studies Series), Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press 2015, 406 pp., ISBN-13 978-0-8214-21. By Marzia Mauriello (274-277).

Review of Leah Payne, Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century (CHARIS: Christianity and Renewal—Interdisciplinary Studies), New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. ISBN: 1137494670. By Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović (278-280).

Review of Marion Holmes Katz, Women in the Mosque: A History of Legal Thought and Social Practice, New York: Columbia University Press, 2014, viii + 417 pp., ISBN 978-0-231-16266-1. By Ruth Roded (281-283).

Review of Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Mulki Al-Sharmani and Jana Rumminger, Men in Charge? Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition, London: Oneworld Publications 2015, 286 pp., ISBN 978-1-78074-716-3. By Diego García Rodríguez (284-286).

Review of Diane D’Souza, Partners of Zaynab: A Gendered Perspective of Shia Muslim Faith, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014, 240 pp., ISBN 9781611173772. By Robert Logan Sparks (287-289).

Review of Jeanette Jouili, Pious Practice and Secular Constraints: Women in the Islamic Revival in Europe, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press 2015, xiii + 258 pp., ISBN: 9780804794664. By Nella van den Brandt (290-292).

Journal Religion and Gender

Programme summer school and conference day

International Summer School

“Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives”

17-21 May 2017

Wednesday, 17.5.17
17:00-17:30 Registration & Tour at the faculty buildings

Grote Gracht 80-82, Spiegelzaal

17:30-18:00 Welcome:

Lana Sirri- IARG & CGD board member

Lies Wesseling- director of CGD

Ulrike Auga- Vice president of IARG

18:00-19:30 Keynote lecture: Ulrike Auga

Title: On the Performativity of Tattoos, Textiles and Islam in Mali. Creating Archives of Agency Photography after the Post-secular Turn.

Thursday, 18.5.17
09:30-12:30 Masterclass (with coffee break): Ulrike Auga

Subject: Why Theory Matters. Achievements of Postcolonial, Post-secular and Critical Gender/Queer Theory.

12:30-13:30 Lunch (catering at the faculty)
13:30-16:30 Masterclass (with coffee break): Lana Sirri

Subject: Theorizing Islamic feminisms- Intersectionality, Multiple-Critique and Islamic Feminism

16:30-18:00 Break (walk in the city, get refreshed in the hostel/hotel)
18:00-19:30 Keynote lecture 2: Kristin Aune

Title: Domestic Abuse in the UK Church

Friday, 19.5.17
09:30-12:30 Masterclass (with coffee break): Kristin Aune

Subject: Is secularism bad for women?

12:30-13:30 Lunch (catering at the faculty)
13:30-16:30 Workshop (with coffee break): Academic Writing, by John Harbord
16:30-18:00 Break (walk in the city, get refreshed in the hostel/hotel)
18:00-19:30 Keynote lecture 3: Ulrike Brunotte

Title: Orientalist and Anti-Semitic Genealogies of Sexual Nationalism. Some Remarks on Cultural Othering and Religion

Saturday, 20.5.17 Conference Day
09:00-09:30 Coffee
09:30-11:00 Workshop: Publishing in peer-review journals, by Mariecke van den Berg & Nella van den Brandt
11:00-11:15 IARG annual meeting
11:15-11:45 Coffee break
11:45-13:15 2 parallel Panel sessions. In each panel, 3 participants will present their work (max 15-20 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes questions/discussion).

Panel 1 (moderated by Ulrike Auga): Queer bodies, cisnormativity and colonialism in religious sites and literature

Manuela Riboldi: Body, sacred and otherness in Alda Merini and Pier Vittorio Tondelli

Amy Franks: Deconstructing colonialism, patriarchy, and cis-heteronormativity in the scholarship of pre-Christian Nordic religion(s)

Vanessa Rau: title tba (Jews in Berlin, queer and embodied practices)

Panel 2 (moderated by Kathrine van den Bogert): Gendered and religious discourses, violence and resistance in postcolonial contexts.

Elisaveta Dvorakk: The Hashem el Madani Collection at the Arab Image Foundation. Agency and human flourishing in a visual counter discourse

Arpita Chakraborty: Creation of the myth of ‘manliness’: Interrogating the link between masculinity and violence in India.

Jeane Peracullo: Sally Haslanger and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on the possibility of a mataphysics of resistance and its implications to postcolonial feminist theologizing

13:15-14:15 Lunch break
14:15-16:15 2 parallel Panel sessions. In each panel, 4 participants will present their work (max 15-20 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes questions/discussion).

Panel 3 (moderated by Kristin Aune): Women and gender in faith, spirituality and ritual

Helen Patricia Santos: A Spirituality of Flourishing at the Margins: Beyond empowerment models towards a relevant practical prophetic praxis of life in abundance with marginalized women in India

Suzanne Vernon-Yorke: Interfaith work as an act of violence against women: a Bradford case study

Heleen Joziasse: Kenyan women’s lived-Christologies and their quest for liberative relations and gender justice

Sweta Chakraborty: Understanding the ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’: Exploring indigenous analytical categories of superstitions and rituals in Hinduism

Panel 4 (moderated by Lana Sirri): Sexuality, citizenship, and Muslims in Europe

Aisha-Nusrat Ahmad: Man*-Muslim – Gay. A study on the life situations of Muslim gay and bisexual men living in Germany

Sydney Sheedy: title tba (homonationalism, queer Muslims, sexual citizenship, ethnography)

Laura Zambelli: Sexual Citizenship in Europe. A study on Polyamory, Polygyny, and Marriage Laws.

Emanuela Naclerio:From converted to Muslim: the experience of Italian women who converted to Islam

16:15-16:45 Coffee/drinks and snack break
16:45-18:30 2 parallel Panel sessions. In each panel, 3/4 participants will present their work (max 15-20 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes questions/discussion).

Panel 5 (moderated by Kathrine van den Bogert): Faith, sexuality and sexual health in transnational contexts

Christina Schramm: Welcome to Queer Limbo: The living paradox of a migrant researcher

Gala Rexer: Reproducing bodies in times of crisis. Body politics of assisted reproduction in Uk, Germany and Israel/Palestine

Tinka Bastiaens: Oocyte cryopreservation and female Muslim attitudes

Panel 6 (moderated by Lieke Schrijvers): Female religious agency, sexuality and belonging in religious traditions

Carolina Falcao: Is disruptive belonging a matter of gender? Observing women agency from the perspective of the discourses production

An van Raemdonck: title tba (Copts in Egypt and Europe, gender, sexuality, pious women)

Giuliana Arnone: It’s all about reconciliation: homosexual Christian movements in Italy. Some reflections from ethnographic fieldwork

Ute Hüsken: Changing patterns of female religious and ritual agency

18:30-18:45 Short coffee break
18:45-19:30 Plenary meeting
Sunday, 21.5.17
09:30-10:00 Coffee
10:00-11:30 World Cafe*
12:00 Departure