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.
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Women of Color Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism Unit
Call for Proposals
As we anticipate our time in Boston, our annual meeting will take place shortly after the 2020 presidential election in the United States. We invite submissions related to the election around the following themes:
In light of an anticipated yet unknown future, we invite papers that explore strategies for flourishing that women of color Scholars/Teachers/Activists might employ in times of flourishing or times of oppression. Might joy be such a strategy? How does one cultivate joy as a means of resistance and without dependence on external system(s) to receive/maintain that joy? What does joy look like in scholarship; in teaching; in activism? How do we understand joy as a site of power? What does it mean for women of color to be bearers of joy that is just for our flourishing? Considerations might include: joy as resistance, joy as pedagogical tool, joy as justice affiliated, and joy as intellectual catalyst.
Responding to the election as scholars/activists/teachers – how do we as women of color hold the guild and our communities to account? What does it mean to recognize the centers of power that we actually have as opposed to those where our access is managed or controlled by others? As women of color scholars, what are our responsibilities to name and steward our centers of power for the common good? Pedagogically, what does it mean to "teach the election" given people's various categories of vulnerability (presenting a particular gender, being from an ethnically marginalized community, being affiliated with a particular religious tradition, etc)?
Inspired by this year's Presidential Theme, “The AAR as a Scholarly Guild,” we invite submissions around the following themes:
Decolonizing our fields as women of color scholars: How do we define our collective work and collaborative strategies for ourselves? Additionally, how might we unpack the notion of being "of color?" How does one relate to the notion of color given the impact of whiteness upon or its working within respective communities?
What are the responsibilities of women of color scholars, teachers, and activists for creating/fostering spaces within the guild for trans and non-binary persons of color to flourish?
Finally, we invite submissions around themes:
How do women of color share, collaborate, and invite each other into, shared practices of spirituality and activism? How do women of color author/create their own spaces of "belonging?" What strategies might women of color employ that facilitate wellness and longevity of body, mind and spirit and allow for continued work for justice and the interdependent flourishing of communities, individuals and eco-systems?
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Christine Hong, Columbia Theological SeminaryMember Since: 2019
Cona Marshall, Lebanon Valley CollegeMember Since: 2018
Oluwatomisin Oredein, Brite Divinity SchoolMember Since: 2015
Lorena Parrish, WESLEY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARYMember Since: 2019
JungJa Joy Yu, Claremont Graduate UniversityMember Since: 2019
Theresa A. Yugar, California State University, Los AngelesMember Since: 2015