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
Inspired by this year's Presidential Theme, “Religion, Poverty and Inequality: Contemplating Our Collective Futures,” we invite submissions around the following themes:
• Labor and Women of Color (WOC) in the academy and beyond: In what ways are women of color expected to do certain kinds of labor in the academy that are not rewarded—either with merit or money?
• The disproportionate number of WOC who are contingent faculty—what paths/alternatives to viable employment and thriving are WOC choosing in the academy or other fields?
• How might WOC distinctly and creatively contribute to different models of labor and intellectual exchange beyond the current models of our guild and higher education in general?
• Collective responsibility: how might women of color in the academy take greater responsibility for offering and facilitating alternative models of flourishing outside of the models and priorities of capitalism that dominate higher education?
Additionally, we invite submissions around the following themes:
• Love, rage and embodiment: historically, both religious traditions and prescribed roles for women suggest that the expression of rage is antithetical both to notions of womanhood and spiritual maturity. In the present moment, this false binary has been replaced by a celebration of expressions of love and rage. In what ways are women of color finding energy, agency and generative strategies for individual and communal transformation by mining spiritual traditions toward an embodiment of love and rage.
• Celebrating women who broke barriers—mentors, models, firsts, trailblazers—especially women who have not been celebrated, honored, etc. for their work. (again, themes of what qualifies as ‘work’ toward tenure and promotion). Who is doing the interdisciplinary work of unearthing and celebrating the intellectual and communal work of these ‘hidden sheroes?’
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Christine Hong, Columbia Theological Seminary1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Cona Marshall, University of Rochester1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Oluwatomisin Oredein, Brite Divinity School1/1/2015 - 12/31/2020
Lorena Parrish, WESLEY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
JungJa Joy Yu, Claremont Graduate University1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024