PAPERS Resources

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

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Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

For over twenty-five years, this Unit has employed feminist perspectives to explore the multiple dimensions of lesbian interaction with religion, providing one of the few consistent academic settings where discussions on lesbian issues in religion and feminist perspectives on lesbian issues take place. Whether pursued through religious studies, social-scientific, historical, or theological methods during the approach to the academic study of religion, lesbian-feminist scholarship challenges hegemonic discourse within gay, lesbian, and queer movements that function to privilege queer theory as capable of eclipsing theories and methodologies that are explicitly feminist in the face of entrenched patriarchy and self-consciously lesbian in the face of persistent maleness and heteronormativity. Along with the obvious concern for both historical and contemporary issues pertaining to gender and sexuality, a longstanding feature of the scholarship of this Unit has been analysis of race/class/postcolonial critiques. The Unit handles important, diverse, and timely themes, providing a theoretical space for probing and further developing the openings and opportunities afforded by changing sociopolitical and theoretical contexts.

Call for Papers: 

We invite papers on the following topics:

• The Digital and Lived Lesbian Feminist: Erasure, Solidarity, and the Sacred
The Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion Unit seeks papers that consider the intersection of the digital world and the sacred in the lives of women. How are lesbians, feminists, and lesbian-feminists finding home and spaces of solidarity on the internet? How is the digital used as a space of activism? How are they encountering harassment in digital spaces? Where are points of erasure? How can the sacred be created in digital spaces and how do lesbian-feminists contribute to its creation? How is lesbian-feminist identity cultivated and taught digitally? Additional thematic papers on lesbian-feminisms will also be considered.

• Methodologies, Epistemologies, and Ontologies: Doing Womanist Theory and Praxis
With the growth of disciplines and our changing world, this session questions how identities, philosophies, and methodologies continue to develop over time, giving voice to the intersectional experiences of women with particular attention to the role of womanist thought. Moving from binary gender constructs is emerging as part of many conversations in women and religious studies. How do we unearth different ways of knowing and locations of doing womanist engagement in its multiple iterations in the academy and the world? What are options regarding directions that womanist thought, theory, and praxis is moving? What is the nature of the various methodologies, and intersections, and what are the parameters for who gets to use this vocabulary. This session invites persons to propose a round table or panel. Papers will be posted prior to the meeting, with presenters offering a summary of their paper to allow time for greater dialog. Joint paper session with the Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion Unit and the Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Unit.

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection
ChairSteering Committee