This course examines recent scholarship on women in American religious history, focusing particularly on questions of narration, agency and power. We will ask several interrelated questions: How have historians integrated women into narratives of American religious history? Whose stories have they highlighted, and why? How have they conceptualized women as historical agents? We will read major interpretive works as well as theoretical accounts of gender, social structure, and power. Readings will explore the diversity of religious traditions in America, including Puritanism, Judaism, Mormonism, Catholicism, African-American Christianity, evangelicalism, and Islam. Jointly offered in the Divinity School as HDS 2186
The second of two parts, the course will continue to explore the theoretical articulation of sex, gender, and sexuality in feminist and queer theory, with attention to the role of other differences – racial, ethnic, religious, and differences in physical ability – in contemporary work. Prerequisite: REL 1572 or consent of the instructor.
This course engages with critical issues in gender and emotions at the intersection of Muslim identity and culture. It brings to the fore interdisciplinary scholarship – spanning media studies, anthropology and sociology – that corrects Orientalist imaginings of the ‘Muslim woman’ as silent and passive. ... Read more about Intimacy and Emotion in the Lives of Muslim Women
Both demographic and cultural reproduction pose critical challenges to minority religions, placing pressure on personal decisions, group dynamics, religious practices, and intergroup relations. This course follows the navigation of these pressures by American Jews, and the explores formations of gender and sexuality that result. Topics include marriage, dating and family formation, synagogue life and Jewish ritual, as well as social and political movements that have become vehicles of American Jewish identity: civil rights, second-wave feminism, and Zionism. Readings include works by Riv-Ellen Prell, Lynn Davidman, Joyce Antler and Sarah Imhoff as well as fiction by Philip Roth and Anita Diamant. ... Read more about Gender and Judaism in Modern America
The course will explore the theoretical articulation of sex, gender, and sexuality in twentieth-century theory, particularly in psychoanalysis, philosophy, and feminist and queer theory. Readings will include texts by Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Julia Kristeva, Monique Wittig, Judith Butler, Moira Gatens, and others.
Diasporic Muslim fiction in the West: We will read 21st century novels by writers of Muslim background based in Europe and the U.S.— exploring, among others, themes of border crossings, the Muslim immigrant experience, figurations of gender and sexuality, and representations - and contestations - of Islam in the West. Readings include (provisional list): Ben Jalloun, Leaving Tangier, Hosseini, The Kite Runner, Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Lalami, Secret Son, Aboulela, Minaret, Jarrar, A Map of Home, Shafak, Forty Rules of Love.... Read more about Religion, Gender, Identity in 21st Century Diasporic Muslim Fiction
The seminar will engage in a feminist reading of Scripture Stories about wo/men in order to trace the cultural imprint of these stories and assess whether they are “good news” for wo/men. Special attention will be given to feminist interpretation, and political-cultural imagination. Discussion will focus on the significance of social location, critical methods, and religious imagination for the interpretation and teaching of these stories about biblical wo/men and their cultural-theological significance for contemporary religious education and ministerial praxis. ... Read more about Scripture Stories of Women
This course explores the work religious leaders of nonviolent social movements who utilize religion or spirituality as a basis for justice. We will investigate women of color activists from Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, Standing Rock, and Black Lives Matters movements paying attention to the importance of religion in their activism. ... Read more about Leadership and Womanist Moral Traditions
This course focuses on the growth and methodological richness of women’s and gender history in American Catholic Studies. It is designed to highlight histories of both lay and religious women, and to introduce students to a diversity of approaches—including visual and material culture studies, queer studies, African American and Latinx studies, childhood studies, biography, and oral history.... Read more about Women and Gender in U.S. Catholicism