Religion

Read To Respond: Feminism and Women’s Rights

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. This post focuses on feminism and women’s rights with articles tackling topics from abortion laws, maternity leave, Islamic feminism, and more. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Feminism and Women’s Rights

These articles are freely available until December 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

Recent Issue of Tikkun Addresses the 50th Anniversary of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank

btn_header_tikkun_logoIn the most recent issue of Tikkun, editor Rabbi Michael Lerner and contributors address the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as it reaches its 50th year. “The Occupation At 50” includes an editorial by Rabbi Lerner calling for momentum in the One Person/One Vote movement.

From the editorial:

With sufficient sensitivity, empathy and generosity of spirit, we could accomplish a powerful change of consciousness!

This is the real challenge—not headline grabbing, but the day-to-day, neighborhood and community group organizing around a vision of the world we want, not just what we are against. We at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives can play our part, but this will take the participation and support of all those who really want to achieve the kind of liberation from Occupation that will benefit the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Jews, and all others on this planet.

In this issue of Tikkun we invited a broad swath of people, including many who disagree with us to our left and to our right, to comment on what the Occupation has meant to them and/or their ideas about how to end it.

The issue includes articles on topics such as:

Browse the table-of-contents to the issue and read Rabbi Lerner’s editorial, made freely available.

Lauren Pond Wins 2016 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize

“We find ourselves at a moment when photo books are as important as ever, because they are concrete statements of artistic vision, essential counterweights in the ‘Ocean of Images’ that we swim through every day.”
—Peter Barberie, judge, 2016 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

Pastor Randy “Mack” Wolford prays for a man during a service at the Church of the Lord Jesus in Jolo, West Virginia, September 2011. Photography by Lauren Pond.

 

Congratulations to Lauren Pond, a photographer based in Columbus, Ohio, who was selected by curator Peter Barberie of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to win the eighth biennial First Book Prize in Photography for her color series Test of Faith that document, as Pond writes, “a family of Pentecostal Holiness serpent handlers that I have photographed since 2011.”

Pond says, “Serpent handlers, also known as ‘Signs Followers,’ hold a literal interpretation of a verse in the New Testament’s Gospel of Mark, which states that, among other abilities, true believers shall be able to ‘take up serpents.’ Despite scores of deaths from snakebites and the closure of numerous churches, there remains a small contingent of serpent handlers devoted to keeping the practice alive. Who are the serpent handlers? What motivates them to keep going? These are questions that I sought to answer when I first traveled to West Virginia and met Pastor Randy ‘Mack’ Wolford, one of the best-known Signs Following preachers in the region.”

Pond photographed the events that followed and has continued her relationship with Mack’s family. As she says, “I no longer see my images as being about serpent-handling practice and culture. Instead, they serve as a record of my rich friendship with the Wolfords, our shared experiences, and the valuable insights they have given me into the tenets of their faith—namely, forgiveness and redemption.”

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First Book Prize judge Peter Barberie, Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art selected Pond’s photographs to win from a group of nine finalists because her “long-term documentation of the Wolford family emerged as a unique, cogent, and powerful topic for publication. Lauren Pond plunges us into the hothouse atmosphere of their faith. Through her photographs I can almost feel the physical strain of Mack’s worship, and I long to hear the song that his mother, Snook, sings as he accompanies her on guitar. Who are these purposeful, vibrant people so different from myself? Test of Faith commands this question and prompts me to consider the basis and limitations of my own worldview.”

Pond receives a grant of $3,000, inclusion in a website devoted to presenting the work of the prizewinners, and publication of a book of photography. Barberie will write the introduction, and Pond an afterword, to the book, which is forthcoming in November 2017 from Duke University Press in association with CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Pond will also have a solo exhibition in Duke’s Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery, and the photographs will then be placed in the library’s Archive of Documentary Arts.

Lauren Pond, a documentary photographer who specializes in faith and religion, is currently the multimedia content producer for the American Religious Sounds Project within The Ohio State University’s Center for the Study of Religion. She also manages an art gallery and works on freelance projects across the country. She received her Master of Arts degree in photojournalism from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication in 2014, and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and art from Northwestern University in 2009. Pond’s photographs have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and have been recognized by the Magnum/Inge Morath Foundations, the Lucie Foundation, FotoVisura, Photo District News, College Photographer of the Year, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, among others. She has spoken about her work at universities and conferences across the United States.

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is awarded by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the Honickman Foundation.

 

Recent Journal Issues on Gender, Violence, War, and Religion

The intersection between gender, violence, war, religion, and race are featured in several recent special issues of Radical History ReviewSocial Text, and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. Read more about the issues featured and sample several articles made freely available.

ddrhr_126In bringing together a geographically and temporally broad range of interdisciplinary historical scholarship, “Reconsidering Gender, Violence, and the State,” a special issue of Radical History Review, offers an expansive examination of gender, violence, and the state. Through analyses of New York penitentiaries, anarchists in early twentieth-century Japan, and militarism in the 1990s, contributors reconsider how historical conceptions of masculinity and femininity inform the persistence of and punishments for gendered violence. The contributors to a section on violence and activism challenge the efficacy of state solutions to gendered violence in a contemporary US context, highlighting alternatives posited by radical feminist and queer activists. In five case studies drawn from South Africa, India, Ireland, East Asia, and Nigeria, contributors analyze the archive’s role in shaping current attitudes toward gender, violence, and the state, as well as its lasting imprint on future quests for restitution or reconciliation. This issue also features a visual essay on the “false positives” killings in Colombia and an exploration of Zanale Muholi’s postapartheid activist photographyRead the introduction, made freely available.

stx129covprintIn “Race/Religion/War,” a special issue of Social Text edited by Keith P. Feldman and Leerom Medovoi, contributors query long-standing entanglements among the respective epistemologies of race, religion, and war as they organize modern strategies of knowledge and power. They investigate how a logic of permanent warfare underwrites both the international intensification of Islamophobia and the emergence and deployment of an expanding set of security apparatuses whose categorical, geographic, and historical permeability define warfare as radically open-ended. At the same time, the issue seeks to draw attention to long genealogies of race, religion, and war that both contextualize their contemporary braiding and offer political countermemories against which we can make sense of our baleful present.

Drawing on diverse critical traditions, its contributors raise questions such as: What is the relationship of the race/religion/war triad to the modern history of the militarized state? How have certain forms of war-making produced some kinds of race-making or religion-formation, while perhaps unmaking others? Does racial modernity emerge out of the secularization of religious war? How are the religious and racial dimensions of modern colonialism and settler colonialism co-articulated? Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.

ddmew_12_3In the most recent issue of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, “The Gender and Sexuality of Militarization and War,” contributors focus on the gender and sexuality of militarization, war, and violence. Topics include the gendered representations of violence during and after the 2011 revolutions in Syria and Egypt and how they have impacted men and women, reading Israeli, Iraqi, and Yemeni literature to understand fraught and often violent relationships between Jews and Israelis and Muslims and Arabs, and examining the meanings attached to women’s performance of identity, citizenship, and political agency in Turkey in the early twenty-first century.

From the preface by feminist scholar Cynthia Enloe:

These researchers reveal the diversity of women’s experiences, imaginations, images, and political analyses both within a single country, such as Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, or Syria, and also across the region.Women are not “just women.” These articles also underscore the interactions of diverse women, historically and socially situated women, with the diverse men of their communities, men who have been both perpetrators and targets of sexualized and unsexualized violence and who are trying to make their own sense of their roles in that violence. Reading these articles together helps us all, I think, understand how crucial it is to absorb complexities when plunging into the gendered lives of women and men making their lives in militarized societies. This is what the Syrian women civil society activists are calling on the men in Geneva to do. This is what they, together with the authors of these provocative articles, are calling on each of us to do.

Read Edith Szanto’s article from the issue, “Depicting Victims, Heroines, and Pawns in the Syrian Uprising,” made freely available.

 

Bodies, Space, and Feminism in the Arab World

978-0-8223-6241-8-with-ruleAs the 2011 uprisings in North Africa reverberated across the Middle East, a diverse cross section of women and girls publicly disputed gender and sexual norms in novel, unauthorized, and often shocking ways. In a series of case studies ranging from Tunisia’s 14 January Revolution to the Taksim Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, the contributors to Freedom without Permission, edited by Frances S. Hasso and Zakia Salime, reveal the centrality of the intersections between body, gender, sexuality, and space to these groundbreaking events.

Essays include discussions of the blogs written by young women in Egypt, the Women2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia, the reintegration of women into the public sphere in Yemen, the sexualization of female protesters encamped at Bahrain’s Pearl Roundabout, and the embodied, performative, and artistic spaces of Morocco’s 20 February Movement.

Conceiving of revolution as affective, embodied, spatialized, and aesthetic forms of upheaval and transgression, the contributors to Freedom without Permission show how women activists imagined, inhabited, and deployed new spatial arrangements that undermined the public-private divisions of spaces, bodies, and social relations, continuously transforming them through symbolic and embodied transgressions.

ddcsa_35_3Hasso and Salime join other scholars in the special forum “The Politics of Feminist Politics,” published in a recent issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (volume 35, issue 3), to explore further the vexed political terrain of feminism in the twenty-first century.

The essays in this forum span a wide range of sites in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. “Scandals of Seduction and the Seductions of Scandal” investigates violence, Muslim women, and legal judgments on rape in Bangladesh, while “Reading Malala” looks at girls’ rights through a close reading of the 2013 memoir I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. The issue also features examinations of the First Ladies in the neoliberal Arab world, specifically Queen Rania of Jordan and Asma al-Assad of Syria; body politics and revolution in Tunisia and Egypt; the Personal Status Code and the precarious status of women’s rights in Syria; the participation of women in popular Islamist movements such as the Tunisian Resistance Movement (Ennahda) in the aftermath of the Arab Spring; and power, policing, and the sexed body in post-2011 Tahrir.

As Lila Abu-Lughod writes in her introduction, “These essays track the everyday languages and institutions of governance, policing, and morality by working carefully through such diverse fields as legal cases and legal reasoning, histories of education, dynamics of marriage, arts of linguistic transformation, politics of religious argument, legitimations of state power, and political economies of labor and housing.”

Read the special forum, made freely available, and save 30% when ordering Freedom without Permission from us with coupon code E16FREED.

Tikkun wins Magazine of the Year Award for a Second Time

Tikkun 30:3Congratulations to Tikkun! The magazine has won the prestigious 2015 “Magazine of the Year: Overall Excellence in Religion Coverage award from the Religion Newswriters Association. It is the second time Tikkun has won this award. The Religion Newswriters Association’s awards recognize journalism excellence by measuring a magazine’s grasp on a diversity of religion issues.

Tikkun, published quarterly, offers analysis and commentary that strive to bridge the cultural divide between religious and secular progressives. By bringing together voices from many disparate religious and secular humanist communities to talk about social transformation, political change, and the evolution of our religious traditions, Tikkun creates space for the emergence of a religious Left to respond to the influence of the religious Right and the distortions of global capitalism, while simultaneously critiquing reductionist views that sometimes prevail in liberal and progressive circles.

Recent issues of Tikkun include topics on immigration, climate change, debt, disability justice, and nonviolence in foreign policy. Tikkun is available online. To subscribe to Tikkun, visit www.tikkun.org.

To learn more about the award, please visit the RNA website.

Animal and Posthuman Studies

Animal Studies and Posthuman Studies are relatively new fields of study in the humanities, but Duke University Press already has a rich collection of scholarship.

ddtsq_2_2_coverIf the critical import of the most recent issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, “Tranimalities,” can be narrowed to a single focal point, it is that the human/nonhuman distinction is inextricably tied to questions of gender and sexual difference. Issue editors and contributors collectively argue that to be human has meant taking a position in relation to sexual difference and becoming gendered (the English it, for example, has no personhood, as opposed to he and she), while to be forcibly ungendered or to become transgendered renders one’s humanness precarious. It can result in one’s status being moved toward the not-quite-human, the inhuman, the “mere” animal, or even toward death, toward a purportedly inanimate “gross materiality.” This issue explores the non/human in relation to transgender at an unprecedented level of detail and theoretical sophistication.

978-0-8223-5272-3_prAlso featured in the recent issue of TSQ is an interview with Mel Y. Chen. In her book Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, Chen draws on recent debates about sexuality, race, and affect to examine how matter that is considered insensate, immobile, or deathly animates cultural lives. Toward that end, Chen investigates the blurry division between the living and the dead, or that which is beyond the human or animal. Animacies has been widely praised for its cutting-edge scholarship.

The Multispecies Salon edited by Eben Kirksey offers a new approach to writing 978-0-8223-5625-7_prethnography. Plants, animals, fungi, and microbes appear alongside humans in this singular book about natural and cultural history. Anthropologists collaborate with artists and biological scientists to illuminate how diverse organisms are entangled in political, economic, and cultural systems. The book features recipes and art alongside scholarly essays.

978-0-8223-5397-3_prCentering Animals in Latin American History, edited by Martha Few and Zeb Tortorici, brings a more historical approach to animal studies. The essays discuss topics ranging from canine baptisms, weddings, and funerals in Bourbon Mexico to imported monkeys used in medical experimentation in Puerto Rico. Some contributors examine the role of animals in colonization efforts. Others explore the relationship between animals, medicine, and health. The collection reveals how interactions between humans and other animals have significantly shaped narratives of Latin American histories and cultures.

Animal Studies meets Religious Studies in a forthcoming book from Donovan O. Schaefer, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power. Placing affect theory in conversation with post-Darwinian evolutionary theory, Schaefer explores the extent to which nonhuman animals have the capacity to practice religion, linking human forms of religion and power through a new analysis of the chimpanzee waterfall dance as observed by Jane Goodall.

ddglq_21_2_3Queer Inhumanisms,” the most recent issue of GLQ, edited by Dana Luciano and Mel Chen, features a group of leading theorists from multiple disciplines who decenter the human in queer theory, exploring what it means to treat “the human” as simply one of many elements in a queer critical assemblage. Contributors examine the queer dimensions of recent moves to think apart from or beyond the human in affect theory, disability studies, critical race theory, animal studies, science studies, ecocriticism, and other new materialisms. Essay topics include race, fabulation, and ecology; parasitology, humans, and mosquitoes; the racialization of advocacy for pit bulls; and queer kinship in Korean films when humans become indistinguishable from weapons. The contributors argue that a nonhuman critical turn in queer theory can and should refocus the field’s founding attention to social structures of dehumanization and oppression. They find new critical energies that allow considerations of justice to operate alongside and through their questioning of the human-nonhuman boundary.

We expect to publish more titles in this exciting new field. If you have a relevant manuscript, see our submissions guidelines for books here. Submissions guidelines for journals are found on their individual detail pages.

Rachel Harding Launches “Remnants” in Baltimore

RemnantsToday we feature a guest post by Rachel Harding, about the launch of Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism, and Mothering. Harding worked on the book with her mother, Rosemarie Freeney Harding, for a decade and then finished it following her death in 2004.

The first weekend of May, I was in Baltimore with the Okuu Indigenous Delegation, a wonderful group led by elder Kathy Sanchez from the San Ildefonso Pueblo of the Tewa nation in New Mexico. The Okuu delegation had originally planned to come to the city for the “It’s Time 2015” Women’s Leadership Summit. But when the governor announced the state of emergency, the summit (which was to have been a major conference on women’s political, social, cultural and spiritual leadership for the 21st century) was cancelled. However, many of the Indigenous and African American women who comprised the Okuu delegation wanted very much to be present in the city and be in solidarity with the Baltimore community and offer ritual medicine from our traditions for strength, justice and healing. So, we went.

harding launchWe were women of 8 sovereign Native nations and women who represent African American southern and Afro-Brazilian ritual traditions. We had some wonderful encounters with local community members – including Jason Harris, Lauren Oyabemi Byrd, Shameeka Smalling, Ayanna Barmore, and Camille Weanquoi at The Living Well; and Cecil and Sonya Gray and others at the Northwood Appold Community Academy. In both places, the delegation did ceremonies of blessing and healing for those present and for the Baltimore community as a whole. Many of us also joined the protests at Penn-North and City Hall and were very moved by the spirit of determination, creativity and intergenerational and interracial inclusiveness we witnessed – even in the midst of a strongly militarized police force that felt very much like occupation.

While we were in Baltimore, 20 copies of Remnants arrived – the first box of books, fresh off the press – and I was able to share copies with all of the women in the delegation and some other friends in the city as well. My cousins Gloria and Jean were with me and it was a special blessing to have them in the circle as we honored and celebrated the wisdom, love, protection and fierce resolve of Mother Earth, the Water Mothers, and the mothering energies in women of all nations.

This picture was taken at The Living Well, a beautiful community space in Baltimore where some local activists gathered to prepare food for the protestors, to share stories, and where Sarah Wells Headbird, a young ritual leader of the Ojibwe nation, offered sage, sacred water and prayers to cleanse and bless the folks continuing on the front lines of the BlackLivesMatter movement in the city. My mama would have been so happy and so proud!

Congratulations to the 2014 CELJ Award Winners!

We are excited to announce the winners of two Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) awards from the ceremony held last night at the 2015 Modern Language Association meeting being held in Vancouver. Duke University Press had a journal and a special issue recognized for their achievements. Our congratulations to all winners!

JME_43_3_prCongratulations to the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, winner of the 2014 CELJ Codex Award. This award is given for distinction in the area of Ancient and Medieval Studies. The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies publishes articles informed by historical inquiry and alert to issues raised by contemporary theoretical debate. The journal fosters rigorous investigation of historiographical representations of European and western Asian cultural forms from late antiquity to the seventeenth century. Its topics include art, literature, theater, music, philosophy, theology, and history, and it embraces material objects as well as texts; women as well as men; merchants, workers, and audiences as well as patrons; Jews and Muslims as well as Christians. Sample an issue of the journal here.

SAQ_113_3_prSAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly won the CELJ award for Best Public Intellectual Special Issue in 2014 for the 113:3 issue, “Prison Realities.” This issue presents timely ethnographic accounts of power and resistance under extreme conditions of confinement around the world today. Contributions span case studies relating both to the United States and to understudied non-Anglophone jurisdictions such as Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Palestine, and Greece. Particular attention is paid by all contributions to the human body both as a target of control and a means of struggle.

Q&A with the editors of French Historical Studies

French Historical StudiesThe incoming editors of French Historical Studies (FHS), Kay Edwards and Carol Harrison, discuss the future of the journal under their joint editorship, including information about forthcoming special issues and what topics they would like to see submitted to the journal. See the most recent issue here, and subscribe to the journal here.

How would you like to shape French Historical Studies in the future?

CAROL: In the future I think we’d like to continue some trends that we see in the field and that FHS is starting to reflect, publishing a lot about France and French history beyond the borders of metropolitan France. There will be more colonial material, which is where the field is going. We have exciting material on South East Asia and North Africa in the pipeline now that is being submitted.

KAY: We’ve also said that we’ve wanted to expand the chronological framework. FHS is open to anyone working in France or in these related fields over pretty much any chronology. But our submissions currently do tend to be much more modern. We want to get people who are doing medieval work or late antique work to think of us as well, since we definitely are a highly ranked scholarly publishing venue.

How do you see the journal developing over the next few years?

KAY: I would like to see us broadening the journal not just chronologically and in terms of international content, but also in terms of broadening it to more of an international academic audience. We currently are getting more and more submissions from German and Scandinavian lands, we’ve always gotten a few French, but we’d like to broaden our European, East Asian, African, Latin American base.

CAROL: I think we have a couple of ideas or projects on board now that are also about reminding the rest of the historical profession of how important French history is and how important French historians are to the rest of the profession. So I would say Michael Breen’s forum for instance. We have a group of articles by young French social historians that we’re arranging to translate into English to publish in the journal. I think this is important because social history is a much more lively tradition in France right now than it is in the Anglophone world. These are scholars who unless you work in French history and read French and keep up with things in France, you probably don’t know about. I think scholars outside of French history should read this forum to find out what’s going on in French history, and particularly in French social history. Similarly, we’ve got a special issue coming up in 2017 that we’ve just started planning on archives so we’re recruiting scholars who will be writing about archives not just as neutral repositories where the facts are, but as institutions that shape the way history is written, so as active participants in the writing of history. I think that’s the kind of special issue that will remind the rest of the profession that French historians are really crucial to shaping history.

Speaking of special issues, are there any other forthcoming special issues that you would like to talk about? How do you select special issues?

KAY: There is a French food special issue coming out that is primarily a project of the past editors. It is about food very broadly defined in French history. There is an article on coffee, another about WWII and food allocations and foraging, a wide variety of what defines food–not just a recipe book–particularly because France is so strongly associated with food culture.

CAROL: There will be articles on wonderful food, the introduction of coffee, there will be articles on lack of food, hunger, there’s an article on late 19th-century shop girls and their relationship to food, you know where they ate lunch and if they ate lunch. So that’s going to be a very exciting issue. And then further down the pipeline–this is more speculative–but 2018 is the 50th anniversary the events of May 1968. This is another one that I think will be important for FHS and I hope for non-French historians. Nineteen sixty-eight having obviously had a global reach, but the events in France were central. So that’s another one where we’d like to put together articles on France, on the Francophone world outside of France, and think about this anniversary. We would like FHS to lead the way a bit in talking about the German ‘68 and Mexico City ‘68 and Berkeley ‘68 and pull it together.

What would you like researchers to know about the submission process?

KAY: Don’t be afraid to send all different types of articles. Just because we’re FHS doesn’t mean we only, as Carol said, do the metropol. There’s probably going to be a conception that we only do cultural stuff because that’s what France is. And the whole point is that we’re trying to get a wide variety of methodologies and subjects and approaches.

Who should be submitting to this journal that hasn’t been?

KAY: A lot of early modernists and pre-modernists don’t think they should submit to FHS, in part because the name implies a very national framework that sometimes work and sometimes doesn’t.

CAROL: They may be working on a territory that was not in fact called France. But if it’s Francophone, we’d like to see more early modern, medieval, and more French scholars! We do publish in French.

KAY: It does not have to be a translated work. In terms of material, I just want to see diversity. I really don’t want people to assume that because it’s French that it must be cultural or that it must have theoretical work. I have nothing against theoretical work, but I think there may potentially be stereotypes. I would like to see a reconstruction of environmental drainage, as long as this is something that hasn’t been done.

CAROL: One thing our predecessors started that I think we want to continue is publishing more editorial pieces. Instead of very closely researched monographs, single author traditional research articles, FHS has been publishing these editorial pieces that are often reflections on the profession. We’ve published a recent one by David Bell that’s thinking about global history and reflections on the profession generally, on French history, and its role in the globalizing historical profession. I think there is room for developing that kind of editorial piece. We invite people to submit not just the research articles, but editorial articles that reflect the state of the field and the kind of the research that’s being done.