A pdf of the conference programme can be downloaded here

Religion, Gender and Body Politics
Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives

International conference on behalf of the international research project “Interdisciplinary Innovations in the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives”, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, 12-14 February 2015.

Day 1               Thursday 12 February (Opening Session)

19:00 – 19:45     Registration
19:45 – 20:00     Welcome and opening of the conference by the organizers: Prof. Anne-Marie Korte and Dr. Adriaan                                        van Klinken.
20:00 – 20:45     ‘Sensorial Visuality and Material Cultures of Shia Islam’
Keynote lecture 1 by Prof. Minoo Moallem, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of                                        California, Berkeley.
20:45 – 21:30     ‘The “Hagaramic” as a provocation for Euro-American, “Judeo-Christian” Parochialism: Surrogate,                                           Rogue, Resident Alien, Foreign Body’
                                 Keynote lecture 2 by Prof. Yvonne Sherwood, Professor of Biblical Studies and Politics, University of                                       Kent.
21:30 – 21:45     Response by Prof. Birgit Meyer, Professor of Religious Studies, Utrecht University.
21:45 – 22:15     Plenary Discussion

Day 2               Friday 13 February

8:00 – 8:45           Registration
8:45 – 9:00           Kick-off day two by Prof. Jorunn Økland (Oslo).
During the second plenary session of the conference, we aim to discuss the conference theme in the context of conceptual, international and institutional developments of feminist theology and the study of religion and gender in the recent past. We envision a genealogical, evaluative and critical discussion regarding the interest in ‘the body’ in these disciplinary fields.
9:00 – 9:45           ‘Confessions of the Flesh. The Performative and the Material Body in the Documentary Fake Orgasm’
Keynote lecture 3 by Prof. Ulrike Auga, Professor of Theology and Gender Studies, Humboldt                                                    University, Berlin.
9:45 – 10:30       ‘A Nonsovereign Subject and her Body: Thinking Piety, Gender, and Embodiment’
Keynote lecture 4 by Prof. Sarah Bracke, Associate Professor Sociology Ghent University, Senior                                              Researcher RHEA Gender and Diversity VUB Brussels, and Visiting Fellow, Minda de Gunzburg Center                                  for European Studies, Harvard University.
10:30 – 10:45     Response by Prof. Anne-Marie Korte, Professor of Religion, Gender and Modernity, Utrecht University.
10:45 – 11:15     Plenary discussion
11:15 – 11:30     Coffee break
11:30 – 13:00     Panel sessions (first round)

Panel 1 Queer Sexualities, “Other” Bodies, and Islam in the Netherlands: From Post-colonial to Post-human Perspectives. Chair: Kathrine van den Bogert Location:t.b.a.
Complex co-imbrications of religion and sexuality – Towards post-secular and de-colonizing approach Suhraiya Jivraj University of Kent, United Kingdom
From a cultural vice to a self-fashioning device. Conceptual transformations of homosexuality in Iranian (Dutch) discourses on modernity Rahil Roodsaz Atria, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Female converts to Islam as “ambassadors” of their religion Margreet van Es University of Oslo, Norway
Panel 2 Ethnographies of Queer Interpretations, Appropriations and Negotiations in Lebanon and Indonesia Chair: Marco Derks Location:t.b.a.
A queen on his throne: National concerns and the embodiment of ambiguity by drag queens Elsien van Pinxteren Harvard University, U.S.A.
“Under the eyes of God”. Gender, body and social impact of Islamic faith among waria Néstor Nuño Martínez Rovira i Virgili University, Spain
Crossing margins of gender and space – Notions on the fluidity of (Butchi) gender expressionsin Yogyakarta, Indonesia Kristina Schneider University of Göttingen, Germany
Panel 3 Gendering and Embodying the State: Law and Human Rights in Secular/Religious Contexts. Chair: Peter Nynäs Location:t.b.a.
“Your Daddy’s Rich and Your Mama’s Good-lookin’ ” – Thoughts on Bodies, Religion and Sovereignty Naomi Goldenberg University of Ottawa, Canada
Legal and Religious Decision-Making: Negotiating Boundaries and Challenging Binaries Raadhika Gupta Jindal Global University, India
Body Politics and the Notion of “Harmful Cultural Practices:” A Post-colonial, Post-secular Analysis Chia Longman Ghent University, Belgium
Panel 4 Embodied Expressions: Religion, Activism and Gendered Voices. Chair: Sarah Bracke Location: t.b.a.
Religion, Gender and Body Politics. Lesbian and Queer Human Rights Activism in Costa Rica Christina Schramm Independent researcher, San José, Costa Rica
The Voices in My Head: Silence, Semantics, and the Ethics of Embodied Dialogue in Religion and Gender Sîan Hawthorne SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom
Islamic Body Politics and Fundamentalism Nina Hoel University of Oslo, Norway


13:00 – 14:00     Lunch

14:00 – 16:00     Panel sessions (second round)

Panel 5 Male Circumcision, a Contested Practice: Ancient Sources and Current Debates    Chair: Lieve Teugels Location: t.b.a.
Male Circumcision, a contested practice: Ancient Sources and Current Debates: Introduction. Lieve Teugels Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Circumcision in Post-Exilic Yehud: Uncontested Marker, Unrelated to Masculinity? Anne Mareike Wetter Leiden University, the Netherlands
Circumcision: The Bodily Politics of Ritual Failure in Emergent Christianity Peter Ben Smit Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Male circumcision. The body in Christian/secular discourses on Judaism and IslamResponse to the papers of Peter Ben Smit and Anne-Mareike Wetter and Matthea Westerduin Matthea WesterduinRuard Ganzevoort VU University Amsterdam, the NetherlandsVU University Amsterdam,the Netherlands
Panel 6 Representations and Regulations of Gendered Bodies in/through Popular Religion, Arts and Media Chair: Marco Derks Location: t.b.a
Body Orders – Political Representations of the Laestadian Religious Community Sandra Wallenius-Korkalo University of Lapland, Finland
Proper Dress and proper sex: the ambiguity of Islam/Gender in American evangelical Christian imagination Alfons H Teipen Furman University, U.S.A.
Representation of Gendered Body in Contemporary Islamic Children’s Literature in English Kana Oyabu Kanazawa University, Japan
“I Fainted Because my Corset was too Tight”. Shaping the Gender of Intellectuals from Anna Maria Van Schurmann to Mary Wollstonecraft Sonia Maria Melchiorre University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
Panel 7 The Female Body Un/Veiled: Christian and Muslim Performances and Representations in Ireland, Yugoslavia and Kenya Chair: Adriaan van Klinken Location: t.b.a.
Unveiling Muslim Women in Socialist Yugoslavia: Untangling gender, socialism, secularism, and post-colonialism Tea Hadziristic Independent researcher, Toronto, Canada
Christian womanhood and the body at the Young Women’s Christian Association in Kenya. Eleanor Tiplady Higgs SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom
Claiming the female body in postcolonial Ireland Jill O’Mahony Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland
Panel 8 Re/Claiming Bodies: Perspectives on Education, Disease, Disability, Diets, and Body Politics Chair: Mariecke van den Berg Location: Huiskamer
Getting it Straight: When HIV-AIDS Meets Iran’s Government Morality Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi Leiden University, the Netherlands
Ethicalizing Foods and Bodies: Gendered Ethnic Politics in the Tibetan Buddhist Revival in Post-Mao China Yasmin Cho Duke University, U.S.A.
Reinforcing Normalcy: Christian Othering of Disabled People Naomi Lawson Jacobs SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom
Polish Catholic women’s mental-corporal strategies of constructing modern pious womanhood at the turn of the XIX and XX centuries Dominika Gruziel Central European University, Hungary

16:00 – 17:00     Poster session (with drinks and snacks)


Preserving the Heteronormative Status Quo: Public Morality, Evangelical Christians and the State in Singapore Matthias Deininger Heidelberg University, Germany
Women’s configuration of sexuality in public space Laura Mora Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Body politics in between the public and the private. Two case studies from the Netherlands on care, sports and politics. Kathrine van den Bogert and Nathashe Lemos Dekker Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Same- Sex Desires and Acts in Tolerance of Islamic Scriptures and Cultures Mehrdad Ali Poor Kalaei VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The Colonial Desires of the Turkish State: The Love Houses Project Hazal Ilgaz Dolek Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
“Flourishing Guinea Pigs:” Exploring Intersectionality and Interdisciplinarity in a Masters Programme on Gender, Religion and Health at two South African Universities. Sarasvathie Reddy University of KwaZulu-Natal, South-Africa

17:00 – 18:00     Body politics: disability in the field of religion and gender
18:00 – 19:00     Political forum:
In this Forum we will explore and discuss current socio-political cases of conflict or controversy in which religion, gender and body politics are central. In an exciting session two cases will be under investigation, on stage, with various speakers, presenters, and you! The innovative setting will force you to think anew about contemporary body politics and its religious and gendered aspects.
19:00 – 19:30     Drinks and ceremony for the official founding of the ‘International Association for the study of                                                  Religion and Gender’ (IARG). Festive speech by prof. Anne-Marie Korte, including prize-giving                                                  ceremony for the best poster presentation.
20:00                      Buffet



Day 3              Saturday 14 February

8:45 – 9:00           Kick-off day three by Prof. Chia Longman (Ghent)

9:00 – 9:45           ‘Islamic reflections about the body beyond heteronormativity’

Keynote lecture 5 by Prof. Scott Kugle, Associate Professor of South Asian and Islamic Studies, Emory University, Atlanta.

9:45 – 10:30        ‘Negotiating the “F-words” in Academia: “Faith” and “Feminism” within Contexts of Gender-Based Violence’

Keynote lecture 6 by Prof. Sarojini Nadar, Professor of Gender and Religion, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

10:30 – 10:45     Response by Dr. Adriaan van Klinken, Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Leeds.

10:45 – 11:15     Plenary discussion

11:15 – 11:30     Coffee break


11:30 – 13:00     Panel sessions (third round)



Panel 9 Queer Prophetic Performances: Theology, Capitalism and the Transgressive Nature of Bodies Chair: Marco Derks  Location: t.b.a.
Touching across time: performance as queer prophetic practice Linn Marie Tonstad Yale Divinity School, U.S.A
The Power of Poverty: How Medieval Beguines Can Inspire Queer Theology Today Kristien Justaert Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
“You Dirty, Dirty Girl!”: Abjection and the Queer, Naked Bodies of Thecla and Eve Amy Clanfield University of Toronto, Canada
Panel 10 Goddesses and Saints in a post-secular world. Understanding the body and new spirituality from a feminist perspective. Chair: Peter Nynäs Location: t.b.a.
Female Religious Agents In Morocco: Old Practices and New Perspectives Aziza Ouguir The municipal council, Khemisset, Morocco
Engendering Difference: The (Post)colonial Politics of Goddess Spirituality Kavita Maya SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom
Feminist Spirituality as Lived Religion: towards a new understanding of feminists’ religio-spiritual practices Kristin Jane Aune Coventry University, United Kingdom
Panel 11 Online/offline Bodies: Discourses and Campaigns about Muslim and Queer Young Women in Every Day Public Life. Chair: Kathrine van den Bogert Location: t.b.a.
Religious Practices Online throughout Different Generations Eva Midden Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Negotiating online and offline discourses among Zanzibari women Marloes Hamelink Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Queer Youth, Facebook, and Faith: Facebook Methodologies and Online Identities Yvette Taylor London South Bank University, United Kingdom
Panel 12 Public Pain and Shared Identities: Discursive Struggles over the Suffering Body Chair: Ruard Ganzevoort Location: t.b.a.
Acts of Clericalization and Cover-Up Strategies: Catholic Official Propaganda in Italy on Clergy Abuses and Its Representation of the Abused Body Tommaso Dell’Era Tuscia University of Viterbo, Italy
Mourning Abortions: Abortion Debates in Post-Colonial South Korea SeungGyeong Ji University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
“The Nation is Hurt”: the role of the body in the construction of Dutch national identity in public responses to the crash of flight MH17 Mariecke van den Berg VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

13:00 – 14:00     Lunch

14:00 – 15:00     Conference closing session with evaluation reports by two observers; dr. Susannah Cornwall (Exeter) and Prof. Peter Nynäs (Turku).

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