Queer/disrupt, in collaboration with the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, invites for its second online international conference held on June 14th - 15th 2022. This year’s topic is the intersections between queer theory and religious communities and texts. The conference is funded by the Margherita von Bretano Center (Freie Universität Berlin).
In scholarly as well as activist circles, religious and queer projects are frequently seen as incommensurable (Boellstorff, 2005). As a result, religion or piety as a crucial factor in shaping queer experience is often elided, rendering the experiences of those who desire/struggle to integrate the two irrelevant to the study of sexuality and gender. In fact, Melissa Wilcox observes that “many queer theorists, like many queer activists and perhaps many LGBT people in general, regard religion as so inimical to their purposes and lives that it is not even worthy of critique” (Wilcox, 2006, p. 73). This tendency is especially problematic given the well-documented role that religion plays in the lives of many queer individuals (Minwalla et al., 2005; Rodriguez & Ouellette, 2000; Shah, 2016), as well as the abundance of religious scholarship that is inclusive of gender and sexual diversity (Greenough, 2019; Kugle, 2010; Muhammad et al., 2011). Adriaan van Klinken has observed that the lack of critical attention of queer theorists to religion obscures the potential of the latter to challenge heteronormativity. Addressing this gap is crucial within any decolonial project in what he calls a "postsecular intervention," which "must address the secular assumption that underlies much of queer studies (van Klinken, 2019, p. 14).
This conference aims to address not only the lack of a comprehensive exploration of the ways in which queerness and religion can be "reconciled," but also aspires to a critical re-evaluation of the assumptions this binary is based on. In doing so, we aim to offer a platform to foster and strengthen transnational connections between and within marginalized communities and to envision alternative patterns of solidarity.
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