Consider the following course that the Global Center for Advanced Studies is offering!
Professors Beatriz Preciado (Testo Junkie) and J. Jack Halberstam (Gaga Feminism) will be teaching a seminar entitled, “We Have Never Been Queer: The Highs and Lows of Theories of Bodies, Subjects and Desire” (PARIS, France–September, 2014) [This seminar can also be taken live and on-line in our fully interactive classroom] DESCRIPTION: “Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer. We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality. We have never been queer, yet queerness exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future.” José Ésteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia, 2009 In this seminar, Beatriz Preciado and Jack Halberstam take Jose’s Munoz provocative idea of “Queerness as something that is not yet here,” and his queer formulation of time and space—“the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality”—to expand upon contemporary forms of resistance to somatic, sexual and colonial normalization. Thinking with and through contemporary body regimes that locate both resistance and compliance at the level of the molecular, the pharmaceutical and the fleshly, Preciado and Halberstam explore the highs and lows of an understanding of embodiment that is simultaneously emergent, already here and still to come. Leading discussions, debates and inquiries of both high and low theory, political histories of the body and social constructions of subjectivities, Halberstam and Preciado will cruise the utopian, the subaltern and the subjugated for insights into the queerness that has never arrived and that spins possibility out of the art worlds and fantasies given over to calling it into being. Rather than respecting the binary of a high/low split, this seminar will soar and cruise, crash and burn, fly and fail while investigating contemporary relations between bodies and power, pleasure and pharmaceuticals, pain and aesthetics. Building on Susan Buck Morss’s rereading of Benjamin in “Aesthetics and Anaesthetics” where she characterizes the realm of the “anaesthetic” as a buffer to contemporary shock and awe, we will discuss the function of the aesthetic in what Preciado calls the “pharmacopornographic” era. If, as Buck Morss proposes, “drug addiction is characteristic of modernity,” and reality itself becomes a “phantasmagoria” in the 20th century, what are the functions of drugs, art, intoxication within this project of rehearsing a queerness of some future world and time? What understandings of self, life, death and pleasure lace new combinations of drugs, spectacle and performance? This seminar asks students to suspend their understandings of queerness, time and space on behalf of the project of newly imagining the future that Muñoz implied lies buried in our collective blasted, ruined, abject past.
I’m lecturing at the University of San Francisco next month and I’ve been thinking about preparing my lecture–what things should be a part of it, what things shouldn’t, and what method the lecture should be delivered. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about presentation and delivery before I actually sit down to write. I like to write at a bar or coffee shop and have a pint of my favorite IPA on hand when I’m writing and tweezing out ideas. Today, I’m at my favorite coffee shop in Denver (Hooked on Colfax) and am drinking a Macadamia French Soda (an Italian soda w/ the cream).
As I think about the intersection of philosophy and poetry, my mind is drawn to several different thinkers: Deleuze, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Gloria Anzaldúa. The lecturing I’m preparing targets Anzaldúa’s philosophy-poetry/poetry-philosophy. I love working at this intersection of the critical “I” and the creation of theories that are mobilized through difference. I also think about the issue of becoming different, and the event of difference that takes place as poetry becomes philosophy–see, even there in that sentence, there is an event of becoming. I’m eager to deliver this lecture, and excited about being in conversation with both students and faculty next month.
Back to thinking…
Here’s my Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium paper as a Wordle. I present the paper next month at Drew Theological School. I’m very excited about this opportunity to be a part of the TTC, the papers I will hear, and the new collegial relationships that will be formed! I am also grateful that I have continued to become a theological nomad, materializing along the plane of borderlands.
Call for Papers| 19-20 November 2014, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA
EXPLAINING NONRELIGION AND SECULARITY IN THE U.S. AND BEYOND
Professor Darren Sherkat (Sociology, Southern Illinois University)
Professor Lori Beaman (Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottowa)
The study of nonreligion and secularity, long neglected by religion researchers, has recently become a growing field of inquiry. The NSRN is an international, interdisciplinary association of scholars from various fields (religious studies, sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology, history, etc.) who are interested in nonreligion, atheism, secularity, secularism, secularization – and related issues. Since the NSRN convened its first international conference in 2009 at the University of Oxford, UK, research and publications dealing with nonreligion and secularity have continued to increase and diversify. The third NSRN conference will reflect upon accumulated and newly emerging empirical work and focus attention on how these diverse phenomena can be explained. To what extent do they fit into existing theoretical frameworks, such as secularization theories, ‘desecularization’ theories and pluralist or ‘postsecular’ models? Do we need to refine these models, or even generate new theories altogether in order to understand the occurrence and nature of contemporary secular populations and nonreligious cultures?
The conference welcomes papers that further expand our understanding of nonreligion and secularity, including topics such as:
- Theoretical development in the study of secularity and nonreligion
- The explosion of the so-called “Nones” in the United States in the last two decades
- Nonreligion and secularity in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
- Cross-cultural comparisons/contrasts of nonreligion and secularity
- Secularism and politics in the USA and around the world
- Intersections of non-religion and secularity with race, class, and gender
- The varieties of nonreligious experience
- Typological development in the analysis of secular people and secular movements
- Neurological and emotional aspects of secularity
- Secularity and sexuality
- Prospects for the further development of secular studies
- Ritual and community within secular culture
- Secular-religious conflict and cooperation
- Apostasy and religious rejection
Abstracts for panels and presentations should be submitted to Ryan Cragun at firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 June 2014. Abstracts should be 250 words long and accompanied by a short biographical note.
Registration will open in April 2014. Full conference (includes all meals, does not include accommodations) is $155.
For hotel options, go to: https://www.pitzer.edu/about/visiting/lodging.asp
Please see the following message about an MLA panel on “Queer Ethics.”
I am seeking participants for a 2015 MLA panel “Queer Ethics.” Exciting news: Lynne Huffer has agreed to be a respondent if the panel is accepted! Here is the CFP:
In “Mad for Foucault” (2010) and “Are the Lips a Grave?”” (2013) Lynne Huffer challenges Queer Theory’s founding assumptions and calls for a revitalizing “ethic of eros.” This panel seeks papers that explore the contemporary promise of Huffer’s provocations around ethics and pleasure across a range of fields such as English Studies, Queer Studies, and Feminist Scholarship. Please send a 250-word abstract and CV to email@example.com by 3/15/2014. The 2015 MLA will occur in Vancouver, Canada from January 8-11.
Meridith Kruse, PhD
Eugene Lang College
The New School for Liberal Arts
With the turn of the new year and recent depictions of religion in the media, many are asking where religion is heading in 2014. The Rise of the Nones, the recent Pew Study on Religious Hostility, Pope Francis, and current issues in Religious Freedom, have shown the changing and dynamic landscape of religion in the United States and worldwide. Issues of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, the portrayal of Muslims and atheists in the media, and the rising interest in different forms of Buddhism, make this conversation pertinent and cutting-edge. In this interfaith conversation, we have an atheist (Kile Jones, Founder of Interview an Atheist at Church Day), an Ahmadi Muslim (Qasim Rashid, Author of “The Wrong Kind of Muslim”), a Queer-Mestizaje-Agnostic (Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Researcher at Iliff School of Theology), and a Buddhist (Justin Whitaker, Blogger at American Buddhist Perspective) talking about where we see religion going in 2014. So come join us for a lively discussion with a diverse group of people!
If you’re looking for a great interview, please consider this one! My friend, mentor, and thinking comadre Dr. AnaLouise Keating, talks about post-oppositional politics, among other things! It’s very good! Keating talks about this bridge called my back, this bridge we call home, and her latest book: Transformation Now!: Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change.
I have been busy working on the dissertation & a few other writing projects. These things have kept me away from blogging on a regular basis. I remember when I first started my Ph.D. program & I would blog on a regular basis. I would blog about what I was reading or thinking. That has come to a halt! I now keep an idea book in my bag & log my thoughts every chance I get. Right now I’m working on a definition of materiality that reflects both my interests in the new materialism movement & Gloria Anzaldúa! The digital space of a blog is still appropriate, but I’ve taken to pen & paper these days, logging thoughts & ideas, or books I find interesting. I miss the ongoing conversation that blogging creates & sustains. Perhaps I will return to blogging after the dissertation. But for now! I’ll use blogging to announce things in which I’m involved & the things with which my friends are involved. I can see how this blog can be a point where folks visit to learn about a wide variety of scholarly & social justice events. I’m hoping this blog provides some traction in finding other sources that are creating radical social change.
WATER’s Feminist Conversations in Religion Series Presents
An hour-long teleconference with
Robyn Henderson Espinoza
Enuma C. Okoro
Wednesday, January 8, 2013
1 pm – 2 pm EST
The book, Talking Taboo, edited by Erin Lane and Enuma Okoro, is creating lots of conversation. WATER is excited to feature two teleconferences to start 2014 by looking at the issues many people consider taboo. Join editors Erin Lane and Enuma C. Okoro, and author Robyn Henderson-Espinoza and let’s “talk taboo.”
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (una Tejana y queermeztiz@) is currently finishing a PhD in philosophical ethics. She identifies as a Christian Agnostic. Robyn’s research interests reside in interrogating the Mestizaje Body, particularly its materiality. Robyn uses Critical Spatiality, Queer Theories, and the Thought & Theories of Gloria Anzaldúa to conceive of a much more robust notion of bodies. Robyn’s website is www.iespinoza.com and she blogs at www.irobyn.com.
Erin Lane, MTS, is a communication strategist for faith-based authors and organizations. She combines her background as a book publicist with broader marketing consultation and program development for clergy and congregational leaders. She is an active board member of the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South. She blogs about the intersection of her faith and feminism at www.holyhellions.com.
Enuma C. Okoro is a writer, communications consultant and an award-winning author of three books on the call and challenge to the spiritual life. With a professional background in Communications, Psychology and Theology, and her uniquely diverse global and cultural experience, Enuma’s work embraces the dynamics of effective communication, the classic spiritual traditions, and the contemporary arts. Her work has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, The Washington Post, CNN, The Huffington Post, NPR, and The Michael Eric Dyson Show. Enuma’s website is www.enumaokoro.com.
A recommended resource is the book Talking Taboo, in particular the following chapters:
- “Naughty by Nature, Hopeful by Grace,” by Enuma C. Okoro, pp. 13-18
- “Married without Children,” by Erin Lane, pp. 27-34
- “Tattooing My Faith,” by Robyn Henderson Espinoza, pp. 158-162
Email “Register Me Teleconference” to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, January 7, 2013 in order to receive dial-in information.
“Talking Taboo” Part Two with Gina Messina-Dysert, Tara Woodard-Lehman, and Katey Zeh will be on February 5th at 1:00PM EST.