This Unit examines religion and sexuality, broadly conceptualized, and focuses on questions of why and how sex matters for particular religious persons, communities, or traditions. We welcome collaboration with other Program Units doing work in some area of sexuality. Distinguishing this Unit from other Program Units are an emphasis on empirical research and analysis and an intentionally multidisciplinary and comparative religious focus. We especially encourage interdisciplinary approaches, interest in gender (broadly defined), and strong attention to methodological issues. This unit is committed to diversity and inclusivity; pre-arranged panels should reflect gender and racial/ethnic diversity as well as diversity of field, method, context, and scholarly rank as appropriate.
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Religion and Sexuality Unit
Call for Proposals
This year we are particularly interested in papers addressing and analyzing the following themes:
- The intersections of religion and sexuality with race. We are particularly interested in proposals that explore the deployment of discourses of sexual and/or racial impurity and contamination in religious rhetoric (past and/or present) and proposals for papers addressing the connections between race, religion, and sexuality in NRMs and minority religions.
- The intersection of religion and sexuality and nation, particularly the current use of ‘gender-critical’ discourse to promote transphobia in certain religious and political contexts; or the deployment of discourse of (involuntary) celibacy within constructions of religious and racial nationalism.
- Decolonial and/or queer pedagogical approaches to religion and sexuality
- The intersection of religion and sexuality with the ‘arts’ (broadly defined) in particular as sites of agency and activism.
We seek papers that thematize reproductive labor, which encompasses both biological and social reproduction, in both past and present contexts. We welcome papers that help define and/or queer reproductive labor in multifaceted yet clear ways and show how it interlocks classed, gendered, raced, sexualized, and many other inequalities. Some possible points of focus include but are not limited to
- recent theorizations and analyses of reproductive labor in feminist/queer studies
- how capitalism intertwines the exploitation of reproductive labor and productive labor; COVID-19 as a crisis of reproductive labor and/or essential labor as reproductive labor
- debt, poverty, and reproductive labor; enslaved or coerced reproductive practices (including obstetric violence/birth injustice)
- reproductive labor as religious practice (or vice-versa); religious regulation of reproductive labor
- connections between theories and practices of reproductive decision-making and religious, racial, and/or nationalist ideologies; relationships between the exploitation of reproductive labor and the restriction of reproductive freedom
- practices and ethics of surrogacy or sex work
Proposals addressing the AAR Theme of religion and catastrophe in so far as they engage religion and sexuality are welcome.
Other proposals for papers, sessions, panels and/or book sessions in keeping with the general mission of the Unit are always welcome.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Benae Beamon, Bucknell University1/1/2017 - 12/31/2022
Susannah Cornwall,1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Ash (Aisha) Geissinger, Carleton University1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Ahmad Greene-Hayes, Northwestern University1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Megan Robertson, Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026