“Unsettling Science and Religion: Contributions and Questions from Queer Studies”

“Unsettling Science and Religion: Contributions and Questions from Queer Studies”

IRAS, August 8-15, Star Island, NH – Event Registration

Call for Papers – More Information

ZygonQueer studies, the critical philosophical approach initiated by Michel Foucault and taken up by a number of contemporary thinkers, builds upon research in the biological sciences to challenge the assumptions of heterosexuality, monogamy, gender, and sexual dimorphism as not founded in “naturally occurring” categories but instead as cultural constructs, created through time, traditions, politics, and power dynamics. At its most basic level, it suggests that reality is more complex and far stranger than any thought, idea, system, or belief can capture. It aims at continuing conversations and explorations of the world in which we live, rather than arriving at any final conclusions.

The aim of the 2015 IRAS conference is to borrow the techniques and challenges from within queer studies and queer theory, with the goal of unsettling—or “queering”—our own discipline(s). To this end, we call for papers and posters on topics at the intersection of religion, science, and queer theory. This might include ways to challenge the boundaries within and between religion and science, and/or between and within the academy, as well as the boundaries of the sacred and secular, of reason and faith. Ultimately, we want to ask how queer religion, science and philosophy, can and/or should be.

More information about the 2015 conference can be found at: http://www.iras.org/.

Confirmed keynote speakers include: Carol Wayne White, Karen Barad, Fern Feldman, Catherine Keller, Laurel Schneider, Emilie Townes, Whitney Bauman, Lisa Stenmark, and Chapel Coordinator Donna Schaper.

Zygon

Edited By: Willem B. Drees, Tilburg University

Impact Factor: 0.833 – ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 23/42 (Social Issues)

Bruce Jenner and the Aging Celebrity

Bruce JennerBruce Jenner’s gender transition has been the subject of obsessive media attention for some months now, culminating in Diane Sawyer’s interview of him on the ABC news show 20/20.  In a poignant exchange, Jenner declared that the gods had given him the soul of a woman as a cosmic joke. Much has been written on importance of Jenner’s revelation for the acceptance of transgendered people, but the interview also gives a fascinating glimpse into aging celebrity.
In the age of film and photograph, celebrities were trapped like flies in amber, caught in an eternal moment of youth, beauty, glamor and talent.   When a Daily Mail journalist recently asked Bridget Bardot, one of the most beautiful women of her generation, how she differed from Marilyn Monroe, she said, “We were both victims of our image which imprisoned us.”  Aging has never been kind to celebrities, especially women who have been frozen by the photograph and the movie still.
Transitioning to female at sixty-five, Jenner has the ability to revise the archive of his past images.  In the ABC interview, we are presented with a photo album of Jenner’s life, from his childhood on.   Some of these are candid and private; others are old media images. Footage of Jenner’s great 1976 Olympic achievements scroll by, as Sawyer narrates the meaning of his former media embodiment as “the muscle and glory of America.”   All of these images are subject to a massive emotional overhaul, as Jenner tearfully talks about his inner feelings of experiencing another identity, one quite different than the hypermasculine “world’s greatest athlete” of a former life.
Astonishing is the new intimacy of celebrity that we now witness over entire lifetimes.  Celebrity is no longer a fixed gaze, but an immersive experience that demands understanding of change and reflection on the cosmic joke of our own aging. As we watch other celebrities age, how will these reflections expand and deepen?

Ann Larabee, Editor

Journal of Popular Culture

Interested in more from the Journal of Popular Culture? Take a look at the Free Sample Issue.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Celebrate International Women's Day with WileyThe 2015 theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Make it Happen’ and that is certainly the case on the blog hosted by Wiley.  Experts across a variety of fields are asking tough questions and sparking conversation around women’s rights. Ranging from politics to business, history to philosophy, the classroom to the household, the blog reveals the crucial timing and necessity of its content. Readers, men and women from across the globe, are commenting on the blog, relaying their personal stories and shared views on society and the possibility of change.

Beyond the blog, a special collection of articles and book chapters are available free on the website. Scholarly works across the Social Sciences and Humanities work to support awareness and equality amongst gender. Included in these gender studies is the LGBT communities and scholarly works surrounding medical ethics and culture.

DID YOU KNOW?
Women’s lives differ drastically around the world. In Afghanistan 87% of women are illiterate and 70-80% are forced into marriage, and in India it is estimated that there have been 50 million cases of female infanticide over the last three decades. This is a stark contrast to the lives women can lead in other countries. In Canada, for example, 62% of university graduates are female, and 1 in 3 federally appointed judges are female.

Take advantage of the wealth of articles available while you can.

“Reparative therapy” and Ethical Issues

LGBT Cover ImageFollowing the death of Leelah Alcorn, refreshed awareness and charge for a legal end to “reparative therapy” have come to main-stream attention.  The Huffington Post blog, It’s Time to Ban ‘Reparative Therapy’, styled as an FAQ to disseminate recent research on the topic, calls for greater awareness and legal action to end “reparative therapy” as unethical.

One of the sources, The Hastings Center Review, released a supplementary issue in September on the medical ethics within the LGBT community.  Touching upon the same topic as the Huffington Post, Ethical Issues Raised by the Treatment of Gender-Variant Prepubescent Children  attempts to clarify the best treatment practices for transgender individuals.

Interested? Read the article free here. The Hastings Center Report supplementary issue includes 10 additional articles relating to bioethics and medical treatment of LGBT.  Access the insightful full supplement here.