PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

AAR Sessions (PDF)

Additional Meeting Sessions (PDF)

Session Index (PDF)

Participant Index (PDF)

Session Locations (PDF)

Exhibitor Index and Exhibit Hall Maps (PDF)

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Gay Men and Religion Group

Statement of Purpose: 

The Gay Men and Religion group:
• provides scholarly reflection and writing on the intersections of gay male experience, including sexual experiences, with religious traditions and spiritual practices;
• fosters ongoing contributions by gay men to religious scholarship in all its forms;
• critically challenges homophobic scholarship and religious teaching, on the one hand, and aspects of the LGBTQI equality movement that promote assimilation and normalization, on the other;
• engages a variety of theoretical and political discourses, which critique essentialist notions of gay male identity; and,
• promotes recognition of the diversity of men-who-have-sex-with-men across time and throughout the world and investigates both the common and the particular among such persons—including their discourses around sexuality and around religion.

Call for Papers: 

The Gay Men and Religion Group is pleased to present our 2016 Call for Papers, organized around the following themes:

First, in light of the presidential theme of “revolutionary love,” we are contemplating the role of “unruly bodies” at AAR and beyond. How does unruly desire (or, unruly and revolutionary love) contribute to the study of religion and to human flourishing more generally? How is religion/theology unruly? do we need more unruly religion and study of religion?
• As a sub-theme, we also invite papers that explore Gay men and/as Divas: who is a Diva and who decides? how are Divas objects of religious devotion and how do gay male practices in relation to Divas relate to more traditional devotional practices? How do Divas, as unruly bodies, embody revolutionary love?
• Likewise, we remain interested in papers that explore the ethics of viewing bareback pornography and engaging in bareback sex. With TruVada and PreP now widely available, how is the culture of pride and shame regarding bareback sex (d-)evolving? how might bare-backing be read “religiously” and/or how does it relate to various religious and ethical values?
• Patrick Cheng makes “dissolving boundaries” central to queer theology in his Radical Love. Both theologically and relationally, what boundaries need dissolving? what boundaries need to be held? might permeability be more apt than dissolution; and, if so, why? Rev. Dr. Cheng has agreed to serve as respondent should we receive a sufficient number of proposals of quality.

Second, and acknowledging the global context in which this rests, in 26 June 2015, the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges and “marriage equality” for gay and lesbian couples became the law of the land in the United States. For a possible co-sponsored session with the Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion group, we seek papers that respond to the question: “did we win?” In other words, while marriage equality represents a significant civil rights victory for many, it needs critical appraisal by scholars of religion, among others. Who won? what did we win and what did we lose? what does Obergefell mean for the present and future of queer politics, theory, theology and other discourses as well as LGBTQI activist movements? and, how should this victory in the US be understood in relation to other global contexts—nations where marriage equality has been or soon will be achieved and in places where LGBTQI lives remain very much under threat because of (among other things) the so-called colonial and missionary importation of western homosexuality (or, … was it western homophobia)?

Third, in light of the role of LGBTQI issues in the US Presidential campaign that will conclude just before the 2016 annual meeting, we are interested in appraisals of so-called “Big Gay, Inc.” (i.e., the mainstream LG (B?) (T?) (Q?) (I?) lobbying and business organizations) which currently attracts criticism not only from the right but also from the left. Are there viable alternatives to such neo-liberal and homo-normative projects? how might these be grounded in (or otherwise related to) queer religion and spirituality?

Finally, we are also interested in investigations of “gay friendship.” How does friendship (or, ethical ways of relating) look today among gay men and between gay men and other communities—including both human and non-human animals? how have social media re-mapped ideas of friendship, relationality and sexuality? what is the role of sex in friendship—and friendship in sex? do relations between cis-gender and trans-men (and trans-women, too) present new challenges and opportunities to practice new gay identities and ways of relating? And, is it time to re-appraise theologies of friendship from, say, Augustine to Elizabeth Stuart?

Successful proposals will balance: (a) assurance to us that the author possesses both an adequate knowledge base in the field and methodological competence for the particular project with (b) a clear and coherent thesis that breaks new ground in relation to the topic. Please follow this link to AAR’s general guidance about strong proposals: https://www.aarweb.org/node/204
as appropriate.

Thank you for your interest in GMaR and our conversations in 2016.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee