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Queer Studies in Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

We invite paper and session proposals on the themes of:

Queer studies and secularism (ie, queering secularism, queering as a secular project, decolonizing queer secularisms, etc.)

Queer temporalities and the "end the of the world" (ie rethinking the temporality of "endings"; apocalypticism ; escatology; climate change; worlds past; fugitivity, Afropessism, and Afrofuturity

Proposals for a prearranged session on the book, Melissa Sanchez, Queer Faith: Reading Promiscuity and Race in the Secular Love Tradition

With the Gay Men and Religion Program Unit, the Men and Masculinities Program Unit, and the Queer Studies in Religion Unit, we invite papers and session proposals for a potential joint session on the theme of Trans* and Female Masculinities, with the aim of interrogating and exploring trans* studies and religious studies. We invite contributions with different approaches (ie, theoretical, empirical, discourse-analytical, historical); that decenter Christianity and/or Global North-based expressions of trans* and religion; and engage or respond to recent issues in Transgender Studies Quarterly (2019) and Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (2018). Possible paper topics might include: transpessimism; transphobia in religious traditions and politics; disability and crip theory; ritual, materiality, and aesthetics of trans and female masculinities; trans theologies and the divine; "transing religious studies"; futures and provocations for the field.

With the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) unit on LGBT Studies: individual papers and/or sessions on the theme of Queer Studies in Religion and the work of Hortense Spillers, scholar of African American studies and American Literature.

With the Religion in Premodern Europe and the Mediterranean Unit: paper and/or session proposals that address the theme of deconstructing premodern gender roles and/or gender binaries.

With the Ecclesiological Investigations Unit and the Queer Studies Unit: LGBTQ+ Experience as an Ecclesial Issue--The reality of LGBTQ+ experience is a complex phenomenon among churches on local, regional, national, and global levels, within Methodist and Wesleyan communities as well as other denominations and church families. That complexity has impacted the pastoral reality of churches and their self-understanding on all these levels. We invite papers that consider how LGBTQ+ people and their experiences impact churches' experiences and ecclesiologies, particularly in Wesleyan and holiness traditions but also in other churches and traditions. How are LGBTQ+ Christians changing the way we think about the church? How are LGBTQ+ experiences challenging local churches, denominational bodies, and ecumenical relationships? When it comes to tensions and even schisms, what are the competing rationales and forms of ethical discernment underlying opposing visions? What are the differing hermeneutical, historical, narrative, scriptural, traditional, social, and cultural dimensions at work? Are divisions inevitable or are new forms of understanding yet possible? In what ways have LGBTQ+ Christians functioned as a gift, an opportunity, or a challenge to envision or understand the church? What resources in Methodist and Wesleyan theology and ecclesiology, and those of other communities, might assist churches in their responses to LGBTQ+ experiences?

The unit is also exploring the possibility of a roundtable discussion among panelists invited by a diverse group of units to respond to the 2020 US election. Persons interested in being considered for this panel should contact the unit's co-chairs.

Statement of Purpose

The core goals of this Unit are as follows:

• Foster the application of queer theory and gender theory to the study of religion
• Encourage comparative study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in religion
• Support the growth of bisexual studies and transgender studies in the field

We actively seek to explore the connections between queer theory in religion and complementary or overlapping fields of inquiry, such as postcolonial theory, critical race theory, disability theory, feminist theory, and cultural studies, among others.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection

Review Process Comments

In the past, we have kept the entire review process anonymous, but it has been changed this year to allow chairs to review presenter's identities prior to acceptance or rejection. This will allow co-chairs to make final decisions that take into consideration the demographic, professional, and intellectual diversity of session participants.