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Confronting Gender and Faith

Dec 10-11, 2015

Despite generations of feminist and queer deconstructions of gender and sexual binarisms in diverse disciplines, the modern/colonial belief in the heteronormative sexual (and thus gender) binary between ‘man’ and ‘woman’ seems to still be strongly held in contemporary society. In this conference, we ask if the binary gender system works as a kind of belief, a question that leads us to explore the relationship between ‘gender’ and systems of ‘faith’ by focusing on three different relations between the two: ‘gender as faith’, ‘gender against faith’, and ‘gender in faith’. The convergences and conflicts between gender and faith also ask us to look more closely at the complex and diverse articulations of gender within different religious “faiths”.

Questions to be addressed by the conference include the following: Is the analogy of gender heteornormativity and “faith” still relevant in a cultural and religious context not focused on faith?  Are “queerness” and “faith” compatible? How do actual non-heteronormative gender positions within religious traditions contradict conservative religious demonisations of gender theory as “gender ideology”?

Keynote: Catherine Keller (Professor of Constructive Theology at the Theological School of Drew University)


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Introduction: Zairong Xiang and Gero Bauer

15:15 – 16:00   
Roundtable I: Conversation Among Participants

16:00 – 16:30    
Coffee break

16:30 – 19:00   
Panel I: Gender in / against Faith
Chair: Regina Ammicht Quinn

Marcin Sroczynski (Warsaw): A Year of Conflict - The ‘War on Gender Ideology’ Discourse of the Polish Catholic Church, and the Liberal Backlash

Azeezah Kanji (Toronto and London): Queering Identity, Querying the State: A Critique of the Discourse on Sexual Minorities in Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

Aurica Nutt (Cologne): The 'Queering of Nature' as a Challenge for a Roman Catholic 'Ökologie des Menschen’

19:00 – 19:30   
Coffee break

Introduction: Zairong Xiang

Keynote: Catherine Keller (Madison): The Queer Multiplicity of Becoming: a Feminist Theology of Entangled Difference

Friday 11, December 2015

Introduction: Zairong Xiang and Gero Bauer

10:30 – 13:00
Panel II: Contesting Heteronormativity from Within
Chair: Whitney Bauman

Willem Flinterman (Amsterdam): Going Medieval? Jihad and Heteronormativity
Keri Day (Fort Worth): ‘Queering’ Faith in U.S. Black Christianity: Black Feminist and Womanist Perspectives

11:30 – 12:00
Coffee break

Piro Rexhepi (New York): Regulating Faith through Sexual Representation: Balkan Islam (after) Homonationalism?
Blossom Stefaniw (Mainz): Queer Fathers in the Egyptian Desert: Four Stories of Masculinity Beyond Maleness

13:00 – 14:30   
Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:00 
Panel III: Queer Politics in Faith
Chair: Gero Bauer

Surat Shaan Rathgeber Knan (London): Twilight People: Stories of Faith & Gender Beyond the Binary
David K. Seitz (Toronto): Repairing Faith, Repairing Citizenship? The Work of World-Building in Queer Church
Maheshvari Naidu (Kwa-Zulu Natal): Faith and the Lesbian Body: Narratives of Contested Belief

16:00 – 16:30 
Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:30   
Panel IV: Theorizing Gender and Faith
Chair: Ingrid Hotz-Davies

Ayse Güc-Isik (Ankara): The Construction of Femininity and Masculinity in Islamic Thought
Nina Cvar / Jasmina Sepetavc (Ljubljana): The Transcendence of the Momentary: Queering Sex, Gender, and Temporality

17:30 – 18:00 
Coffee Break

Roundtable II: Final Discussion

Programm (PDF)

Organized by
Zairong Xiang (ICI Berlin) and Gero Bauer (ZGD Tübingen)

Time: 10 – 11 December 2015
Venue: ICI Berlin
In English

In collaboration with the Zentrum für Gender- und Diversitätsforschung of the University of Tübingen (ZGD Tübingen)

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