As co-chair of the Men, Masculinities and Religion Group in the American Academy of Religion, I’m pleased to post here the group’s Call for Papers for the AAR Annual Meeting in November, 2015.
Men, Masculinities, and Religions Group
This Group provides a forum within which the phenomenon of masculine gender – as identity, practice, discourse and structure – is examined, building on scholarship in masculinity, gender and, queer studies, and using the range of methodologies found in the broad field of religious studies. This Group engages in the critical study of men and the performance of masculinities in culturally and religiously specific settings and traditions.
Performing Intersectional and (Un)recognized Masculinities
For this panel we solicit papers that critically investigate the performativity of masculinity at the intersections of categories such as gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class, and/or at the boundaries of what is socially, culturally and religiously recognized as ‘masculine’ (and what is not). Possible topics are Asian, Jewish, Black, Latino, gay, transgender and female masculinities, in relation to particular religious, social, political, ritual and/or discursive performances.
Masculinities and Religion in Africa
The study of gender and religion in Africa has so far focused mostly on women. Yet in recent years, men and masculinities have emerged as a new field in African Studies, raising a number of issues. On the one hand, scholars have problematized and interrogated dominant forms of African masculinity for their role in issues such as HIV and AIDS, violence, and the oppression of women. On the other hand, this focus has exposed ways that men, too, are affected by patriarchal norms and struggle with the expectations of modernity. We welcome papers that address constructions and transformations of masculinity in African cultural, social, and political contexts, examining the complex ways in which religious discourses, practices, and politics intersect with the diverse modalities of masculinity in contemporary Africa. (For a possible co-sponsored session with the African Religions Group)
Male Aesthetic and Muscle Gods
For a possible quad-sponsored panel with the Religion, Sport, and Play Group; the Gay Men and Religion Group; the Religion and Popular Culture Group; we invite explorations of the gym-built body as the masculine ideal for gay/hetero/bi men (for example, Internet subcultures that praise bodybuilders as “muscle gods”). What might this form of virtual/actual veneration say about gay/hetero/bi men and masculine ideals? How might we theorize approaches to the muscular male body? We welcome proposals that employ case studies whether historical or contemporary and/or draw on a range of disciplinary perspectives and diverse religious traditions. A successful proposal will include a thesis statement and a clear statement of both evidence and methodology.
The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 2, 2015, at 5:00 pm EST. For more information and submission, please follow this link.