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Women of Color Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

WOCSTA welcomes submissions of individual presentations, organized panels, and roundtable discussions that are in keeping with the Unit’s purpose. We encourage non-traditional formats that foster conversation and engagement. In keeping with the Presidential Theme “Violence, Non-violence, and the Margin,” possible topics may include:

Self-care, Softness, and Systems: Subverting Violence by Centering Self

We welcome papers that address self-care, the soft life, and/or critical responses to systems and the violences they accommodate.

  • Self care: How should minoritized women imagine embodied pedagogies of care, self-compassion, self-generosity and self-love that are generative? How can we teach and bring care into our practice of teaching? How can we address the dissonance between articulated ethics of care that we teach and what we actually model?
  • Softness: What can minoritized women gain from the wisdom of the soft life? There is wisdom from Gen. Z and Gen. A that can speak to older generational women What might a cross-generational conversation between these women sound like? What might intergenerational mentorship look like?
  • Systems: What does it look like to disrupt the practice/habits of minoritized women reinscribing violence against each other that allows systems of discrimination and violence to be perpetuated? How are we perpetuating harm and violence towards each other while using language of solidarity and self-care? What is needed/required to resist such perpetuation?


Making a Home in the Margins

We welcome papers that speak to the following areas concerning marginality or beyond.

  • bell hooks' notion of the margin as a space of openness and possibility
  • What possibilities does chosen marginality offer for addressing violence?


Violence and its Multiforms

We welcome papers that speak to violence and its multiforms including but not limited to:

  • Rage and its appropriateness as a response to what minoritized women and marginalized people experience;
  • Constructive violence - violence towards justice/righteousness;
  • Religious responses to violence against minoritized women;
  • Women and violence in the academy - breaking the cycle of institutional violence;
  • Gendered violence and institutional responsibility and rescue;
  • Finding other language - countering how violence is situated and normalized (how does violence not beget violence?);
  • Pushing back against/resisting violence that shapes our world and thinking;
  • Interrogating the evolution of violence in our culture and what it has done to us;
  • Naming and calling out the international/global impact of violence;
  • Asking what are the rhetorics of non-violence and passivity that are deployed onto women, especially minoritized women (docility, domesticity, etc.)?
  • Violence and reproductive justice;
  • Violence and collapse: how to speak about and speak to systems of violence collapsing in on themselves?


Borders, Violence, and the Margin

Keeping in mind our location in San Diego, we invite papers that consider the following:

Margins as site of violence and the legality of bodies

  • The popular saying "we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" reminds us of the porousness of borders and demarcation. What are sites of resistance when borders cross people and how is it a countermeasure to the legality/illegality of people crossing borders?

Call for Proposals for Online June Meeting

We invite papers and presentations that consider the following (with priority given to international voices, graduate students/PhDs, etc.):

Proposals that lend themselves to the format of an online meeting and reflect the priorities of WOCSTA as outlined in our statement of purpose.

We especially encourage submissions of vlogs or other formats that reflect diverse modalities for sharing the work that Women Of Color are doing in the academy and the community (including religious communities).

Statement of Purpose

This Unit fosters intellectual exchange in the fields of religious studies and theology as they are developing in diverse communities of color from a gendered analysis. While the AAR features Program Units from diverse communities of color, we provide a space for conversation between communities of color. This Unit does not assume a prior “women of color” identity, but centers a woman of color analytic that deconstructs the intersecting logics of gender and race. At the same time, we do not hold to a “post-identity” framework and are also concerned with the status of women of color in the academy, the politics of pedagogy, and the relationship between women-of-color-centered activism and scholarship. Understanding identity as performative and shifting, we make the very category of “women of color” itself a site for political and intellectual engagement.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members