Gendering the Divide: Conflicts at the Border of Religion and the Secular

This is the fourth and final conference in a series developed as part of the multiyear project titled “Public Religion, the Secular, and Democracy: An International Crossdisciplinary Project.” Funded by the Ford Foundation, the project is designed to deepen understanding of the varieties and politics of secularism and the public role of religion, focusing on France, India, Turkey, and the U.S.

This conference will focus on the role of gender in configurations of, and conflicts between, religion and secularism. We seek to promote reflection from a variety of disciplinary perspectives on the gendered dimensions of the religion-secular distinction, and the role of this formation in feminist, and other scholarly and public discourses, on gender/sexuality. As an international, cross-disciplinary conference, the papers are grounded in a broad range of approaches, including case studies as well as historical, theoretical, and normative treatments. Some of the central questions being explored include how and why do issues of gender/sexuality function as sites of conflict over the proper alignment of religion and the secular? How has the religion-secular distinction worked, implicitly and explicitly, to shape the study of gender/sexuality and the articulation of emancipatory goals? What are the implications for theory and practice? How has the figure of the oppressed woman in religious traditions been invoked in national and global politics? What forms of secular power and violence have been occluded through such tropes? What new insights, models, and metaphors are needed to rethink the intersections of religion, secularism, and gender in an increasingly pluralistic and interactive global environment?

Joan W. Scott “Secularism and Gender Equality” Podcast
David Kyuman Kim “Issues with Authority: Feminist Commitments in a Late Secular Age” Podcast
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan “Women and Religion: The Case of Hindu India” Podcast
Session 1 Discussion Podcast
Zilka Spahic-Siljak “Women, Religion and Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina” Podcast
Roberto Blancarte “Gender, Secularization and Laicity in Public Latin American Debates” Podcast
Shahla Talebi "'Get them Pregnant,' Beyond Secularism or Religion: A Gendered Story of the Recent Events in Iran” Podcast
Session 2 Discussion Podcast
Margot Badran “Gendering the Secular and Religious in turn-of-the-20th century Egypt: ‘Woman,’ Family, and Nation” Podcast
Nacira Guénif-Souilamas “Queering France’s Religions” Podcast
Elizabeth Shakman Hurd “'Rescued by Law': Secular Universalism, Religion and the Politics of Gender" Podcast
Session 3 Discussion Podcast
Molly McGarry “Sexual Sedition: Secularism, Moral Regulation, and the U.S. National Security State” Podcast
Janet R. Jakobsen “Sexual Regulation and Secular Violence: A Nexus of Embodiment” Podcast
Ann Pellegrini “Sexual Regulation and Secular Violence: A Nexus of Embodiment” Podcast
Session 4 Discussion Podcast