This Unit examines, through systematic study and reflection, the social locations, religious beliefs, and practices of the rich and diverse multicultural backgrounds of Latinas/os in the United States and Canada. The Unit recognizes that this is an interdisciplinary enterprise in view of the cultural and religious roots and sources of Latinos/as, including heritages from Europe, indigenous nations of the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The traditions emerging out of the mixture of these cultures throughout the Americas continue to undergo further development and innovation in the North American context, producing the distinct phenomena of Latino/a theologies and religions. It is this rich and deep religious/theological-cultural-social-political complex that is the focus of this Unit.
You are here
Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit
Call for Proposals
We solicit papers in the following 4 areas of study...
• Together, the Religion & Ecology and Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Units invite papers engaging ecowomanism, ecofeminism, and ecofeminismo from religious, indigenous or theological perspectives. Rooted in both independent and overlapping streams of influence, ecowomanism, ecofeminism, and ecofeminismo are reemerging with renewed interest, energy, and relevance. In light of amplifying calls for decolonization, anti-racism, climate justice and gender justice, it is increasingly clear why we must insist on intersectional analysis. Papers’ proposals might include, but are not limited to, the intersections of gender, race, class, nature, species, and religion. Presentations may address these topics broadly, or they may consider the following questions:
1. In what ways have current environmental and climate justice issues challenged ecowomanism, ecofeminism, or ecofeminismo?
2. What important contributions have religion, spirituality, or indigenous lifeways made to the development of ecowomanism, ecofeminism, and/or ecofeminismo? Why do commonly expressed accusations of essentialism and/or universalism towards ecofeminism persist?
3. What unique insights do these perspectives bring to analyzing and protesting police brutality, colonialism, and/or exploitative extraction?
4. What blindspots of exclusion or privilege persist in recent expressions of ecowomanism, ecofeminism, and/or ecofeminismo?
5. Proposals that highlight current ground-level movements or important actors, such as Berta Caceres, are especially welcome.
Title: Fifty years of Teología de la Liberación – Examining Gustavo Gutiérrez’s influence and the task of the liberation of theology
(co-sponsored roundtable by Black Theology Unit, Class, Religion, and Theology Unit, Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit, Religion and Economy Unity, Religion in the Latina/o Americas Unit.
Description: In 1971 Gustavo Gutiérrez published the article “Hacia Una Teología de la Liberación”, followed by one of the most influential books of the 20th century, Teología de la Liberación: Perspectivas. To mark this year of celebrations, reflections, and conversations on this important anniversary we invite proposals that creatively engage Gutiérrez’s work from a variety of interdisciplinary lenses and contexts. We especially invite proposals that bring Gutiérrez’s contributions in contact with current challenges and future visions of the liberation of theology and theologies that seek to liberate, including problematizing the meaning(s) and praxis of liberation across the theological disciplines.
• In this co-sponsored session titled Off this Border Called My Back: Towards a New Politics of Solidarity the Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society and the Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion program units invite proposals that constructively engage the legacy of the queer Chicana scholar Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004). Anzaldúa’s work grapples with the legacies of colonial violence and seeks to deconstruct oppressive gender norms. She invites readers to explore these critical questions by tapping into their body as a source of sacred knowledge. Drawing from various fields, Anzaldúa’s scholarship represents an intersectional approach that, we believe, can guide our cross-disciplinary conversations and critical interventions as scholars of religion. Reflecting on Anzaldúa’s corpus, we invite proposals that address one of the following questions:
1. In what ways can Anzaldúa inform the contemporary study of religion in light of the economic, environmental, technological, or geopolitical challenges of the 21st century?
2. How can Anzaldúa’s legacy help scholars, activists, and practitioners envision and enact networks of belonging?
3. What intellectual or political role should feminists of color play in the academy and/or in society at large in a post-Trump era?
4. How can Anzaldúa’s critical thought inform our understanding of social protests?
5. What insights can we glean from Anzaldúa’s work to address issues of poverty and other social justice concerns?
6. Given that religious texts, practices and ethical debates can function both to encourage individuals and/or governments in redressing social inequality and to justify a stance of ignoring it, how might we as scholars of religion draw on Anzaldúa to communicate the role of religion in shaping the public sphere?
Papers can focus on, but are not limited to, the following themes: decolonial aesthetics, borderlands, epistemology, sexuality, or spirituality.
• Our unit invites papers that highlight Latina/o/x community-based groups whose work in some way addresses religion, poverty and social inequality for the communities they reach. Over the past several years, the field of Latina/o religion has experienced growth methodologically, owing in large part to the increase of ethnographic scholarship, oral history, and art. This panel will offer scholars in the field a forum to reflect on ethnographic scholarship with Latina/o/x community partners, with particular attention to how direct engagement with organizers/activists impacts research questions and outcomes. What insights does one glean from working with minoritized ethnic and religious communities? How does fieldwork with communities expand definitions of Latinidad? We especially encourage scholars who have performed work with communities in Texas or the greater Southwest.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Wendy Arce, University of San Francisco1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Lloyd Barba, Amherst College1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Yara González-Justiniano, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Jacqueline Hidalgo, Williams College1/1/2016 - 12/31/2021
Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, Methodist Theological School in Ohio1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Grace Vargas, Southern Methodist University1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024