This conference seeks to bring current research in religion and media studies into conversation with current scholarship on gender and sexuality in order to explore a rich and understudied range of issues relating to the intersection of religion, media and gender studies, broadly considered. During the past three decades, the fields of feminist and gender studies, queer theory, ethnic studies and sexuality studies have generated a tremendous amount of critical, historical and theoretical analysis of the categories of ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality,’ broadening our understanding of these categories well beyond binary models. Scholars working in these areas have explored the myriad ways that cultural, religious, historical, political, legal, psychological, linguistic, and literary contexts shape gender and sexual expressions, identities, norms, and practices. This conference will provide opportunities for careful and focused discussion of these and many more related issues. Papers and panels may address, but should not be limited to, questions such as:
• Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of media, gender, religion and culture: gender as a category of analysis, feminist theory, queer theory, intersectionality, LGBTQIA analyses, postcolonial feminist perspectives, etc.
• Comparative analyses of religion, gender and sexuality in the media
• Historical approaches to media, gender, and religion
• Global and transnational discourses of religion, gender, and media
• Gender, secularism, and media
• Discourses of sexuality, power, gender and desire
• Religion, gender violence, and media
• Gender, sexuality and the senses, material and visual culture, aesthetics, affect and embodiment
• Neoliberalism, labor, consumption, branding, and marketing gender and religion
• Representations of gender and sexuality in journalism and news media
• Gender, religion and media stereotypes
• Gender, media and religious authority
• Religion and gendered media spaces
• Gender, religion and mediatization
• Gender, religion, and race/ethnicity
• Gender, sexuality, and politics
• Role and impact of new technologies on gender and sexuality
• Popular culture, entertainment media and portrayals of gender and sexuality
• Interactions and shifting boundaries of religion and gender in social media
• Religion, gender, and gaming
• Social movements, social and religious activism, and issues of gender and sexuality
• Religion and gender bullying and harassment in media spaces
Abstracts must be 300 words in length and submitted as an attachment in PDF format to the conference email address firstname.lastname@example.org by August 1, 2015.
Sarah Banet-Weiser is Director of the School of Communication at USC Annenberg. She is also a Professor in the School of Communication at USC Annenberg, and in the department of American Studies and Ethnicity. Her teaching and research interests include feminist theory, race and the media, youth culture, popular and consumer culture, and citizenship and national identity. She teaches courses in culture and communication, gender and media, youth culture, feminist theory and cultural studies.
Her book, Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture(New York University Press, 2012), explores brand culture and political possibility through an investigation of self-branding, creativity, politics, and religion. It was the winner of the 2012 International Communication Association’s Outstanding Book Award. Also published in 2012 was Commodity Activism: Cultural Resistance in Neoliberal Times (New York University Press), co-edited with Roopali Muhkerjee.
Her first book, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity (University of California Press, 1999), explores a popular cultural ritual, the beauty pageant, as a space in which national identities, desires, and anxieties about race and gender are played out. She has also authored a book on consumer citizenship and the children’s cable network: Kids Rule! Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship (Duke University Press, 2007), in addition to her co-edited book,Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting, co-edited with Cynthia Chris and Anthony Freitas (New York University Press, 2007).
She has published articles in the academic journals Critical Studies and Media Communication, Feminist Theory, theInternational Journal of Communication, andTelevision and New Media, among others. She co-edited a book series with New York University Press, “Critical Cultural Communication,” from 2006-2012, and was the editor of American Quarterly from 2010-2014.
Kathryn Lofton is a historian of religion with a particular focus on the cultural and intellectual history of the United States. Her archival expertise is in the post-Civil War era, but her research draws upon the histories and anthropology of religions in the U.S. from pre-contact to the present in order to elucidate the meanings of and relationships between religion, modernity, and the secular. This research focuses scholarly attention on the public affects, intimate desires and corporate entities that have influenced—and are in turn influenced by—religious activity. Her book, Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon (2011) used the example of Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia productions to analyze the nature of religion in contemporary America. Recent essays have explored the relationship between religious history and religious studies; the office cubicle as a religious artifact; the modernist-fundamentalist controversies; and the challenges attendant to the religious studies classroom. During her time at Yale, Professor Lofton has served as an editor-at-large for the Immanent Frame; she has co-curated (with John Lardas Modern) a collaborative web project titled Frequencies; and she has hosted several conferences, including one on the Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis. She is currently researching several subjects, including the sexual and theological culture of early Protestant fundamentalism; the culture concept of the Goldman Sachs Group; and the religious contexts of Bob Dylan. For her work at Yale she has won the 2010 Poorvu Family Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching, the 2013 Sarai Ribicoff Award for the Encouragement of Teaching at Yale College, and the 2013 Graduate Mentor Award in the Humanities.
Mia’s areas of competence involves primarily media and religion in the form of discussions of religion in digital media and representation of religion in daily press; youth, religion and values, and religion and politics. Issues of religious identity and gender are of central concern.
She gained her PhD in 2004 with the dissertation ”Intersecting Identities: Young People, Religious Identity and Interaction on the Internet”. This was the first study about religion on the internet in Sweden and one of the studies establishing this international area of research. Her post doctoral research has developed this theme in two directions. The first concerns changing arenas for and tendencies in constructions of religious identity among youth. The second concerns performances of gender, values and religion among young Swedish popular female bloggers.
Mia’s present research analyzes religion in Swedish editorial texts between 1975-2010. The project ”The resurgence of religion?! A study of religion and modernity in Sweden with the daily press as case study” is carried out in cooperation with professor Alf Linderman, the Sigtuna Foundation. I am heading the projects ”Constructions of religion and the secular in contemporary Swedish public debate. An analysis of three case studies 2000-2012” and ” Youth and Religion. A survey of the role of religion for young people’s living conditions in Sweden”. All of these projects are funded by the national Swedish research council and part of the Linneaus Research Programme The Impact of Religion, a Centre of Excellence at Uppsala University 2008-2018 (http://www.crs.uu.se/Research/impactofreligion/?languageId=1)
Carla Jones’ primary research situates theoretical questions about gender, class and subjectivity in the context of contemporary urban Indonesia. Specifically, she is interested in how large-scale state agendas that position women citizens in the domestic sphere intersect with capitalist celebrations of consumer desire. She is primarily interested in areas concerning: Globalization, Subjectivity, Materiality, Governmentality, Critical gender theory, Mass media, and Consumption. Her newest research addresses debates about mass consumer culture and Islamic commodities in Indonesia.
Monica R. Miller holds research interests in religion in youth culture, popular culture, identity and difference, new black religious movements and theory and method in the study of religion. She earned her Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Science from Chicago Theological Seminary (2010), M.T.S. from Drew Theological School (2006) and B.A. in Religious Studies from Fordham University (2004). Among a host of articles and book chapters, Miller is the author of Religion and Hip Hop (Routledge, 2012). Miller currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow with The Institute for Humanist Studies(Washington, DC), is Co-Chair and founder of Critical Approaches to the Study of Hip Hop and Religion Group (American Academy of Religion), Principal Investigator of “Remaking Religion” which examines changing patterns of religion and irreligion in youth culture in Portland, Oregon, member of the Culture on the Edgescholarly collective (University of Alabama), contributing editor of The Marginalia Review of books in history, theology, and religion, and editorial board member of The Journal of Hip Hop Studies . Miller is co-author of forthcoming volumes, Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain with Anthony B. Pinn and rapper Bernard “Bun B” Freeman (Bloomsbury Press), in addition to Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion(Equinox, 2014) and The Religion and Hip Hop Reader with Anthony B. Pinn (Routledge). Her work has been featured in a host of regional and national print, radio, live video, and TV news outlets including NPR, The Washington Post, The Oregonian, The Root, Left of Black, and Huffington Post Live. She has presented her research at colleges, universities, and conferences throughout the U.S., Cuba and Canada. Miller writes for Huffington Post, BET.com, and the Culture on the Edge Scholarly Collective. She maintains a website at http://www.religionandhiphop.com and can be found on Twitter@religionhiphop.