PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Gay Men and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The Gay Men and Religion Unit:
• provides scholarly reflection and writing on the intersections of gay male experience, including sexual experiences, with religious traditions and spiritual practices;
• fosters ongoing contributions by gay men to religious scholarship in all its forms;
• critically challenges homophobic scholarship and religious teaching, on the one hand, and aspects of the LGBTQI equality movement that promote assimilation and normalization, on the other;
• engages a variety of theoretical and political discourses, which critique essentialist notions of gay male identity; and,
• promotes recognition of the diversity of men-who-have-sex-with-men across time and throughout the world and investigates both the common and the particular among such persons—including their discourses around sexuality and around religion.

Call for Papers: 

Call for Papers 2018
The Gay Men in Religion Group presents our 2018 Call for Papers that addresses the following questions/themes:

AAR Theme: The theme for the 2018 Annual Meeting is “Religious Studies in Public: The Civic Responsibilities, Opportunities, and Risks Facing Scholars of Religion.” In keeping with the theme, we invite papers that address the intersections of gay men’s religious and sexual lives and how we construe and navigate various “publics.”

Religious Exemptions/Freedom
We invite paper proposals that continue to explore the challenges posed by religious exemption laws and how they affect LGBT persons. We also welcome papers that explore conservative organizations’ (e.g., Focus on the Family, or the American Family Association) representations of homosexuality—particularly gay male sexuality—as a threat to religious freedom—and how gay male conceptions of freedom/liberty might compare and contrast with queer conceptions of liberty.

The rise of conservatism, homonationalism and Islamophobia among LGBTs
We invite paper proposals that explore the global emergence of conservatism, nationalism and/or Islamophobia among LGBTs. In the United States, we are seeing a surge in white gay men openly embracing forms of racist behaviour. We also think of author and former Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, leader of Germany’s right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland Alice Weidel, and—although already more than fifteen years ago—Dutch right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn (assassinated in 2002), and other LGBT politicians or activists that combine conservatism, nationalism and/or Islamophobia.
Papers could respond to questions such as: How do conservatism, nationalism and Islamophobia interrelate? Do we see these developments among LGBTs more broadly or only/mainly among certain white gay men—and how can we make sense of this? How do these developments relate to how radical Islamists take sexual freedom and diversity as a major symptom of western liberalism that they condemn? Do these movements point to the bankruptcy of progressive/left, globalist LGBT policies? How are (LGBT) theologians and scholars of religion to respond?

“Moonlight” in the spotlights (to be co-sponsored with Religion, Film and Visual Culture Unit)
The movie “Moonlight” won rave reviews and awards for its complex presentation of Black male sexuality. We invite papers that would situate “Moonlight” and its representations of Black male sexuality in religious contexts.

African American and Afro-Latin gay male Diva Worship: Black Divas as Religious Text
We invite papers that explore the religious or quasi-religious relationship between African diasporic gay men (particularly African American and Afro-Latin gay men) and “Black Divas” (e.g., Beyoncé, Rihanna, RuPaul etc.).

Religion and Indigenous Gay Sexualities
We welcome papers that address the intersection of gay sexualities (dissident, non-normative, non-conforming) and religious identity or subjectivity in indigenous cultures/societies—past and present—and how the meaning of subjects that engage in heterodox or antinomian acts is constructed, negotiated, and contested by hegemonic religious discourses, or by its connection to indigeneity.

BDSM as theology?
We welcome papers that explore how BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Domination & Submission & Sadism & Masochism) can be used as a lens to analyze theological concepts or religious practices and/or vice-versa.

Book panel session on Susannah Cornwall’s Un/familiar Theology: Reconceiving Sex, Reproduction and Generativity (co-sponsored with the Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction Unit)
We invite paper proposals responding to Susannah Cornwall, Un/familiar Theology: Reconceiving Sex, Reproduction and Generativity (T&T Clark 2017), focusing, for example, on how gay men reconceive reproduction and generativity.

The Future of Gay Male Studies in Religion
We welcome paper proposals that respond to the question, “What is the future of Gay Male Studies in Religion?” We also welcome papers that propose future directions in gay male studies in religion.

Open Call
In addition, we are invite paper or panel proposals that fit within the mission of the Gay Men and Religion Group.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee