GENDERED RITES/GENDERED RIGHTS:
Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public Life
Call for Papers
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law seeks paper proposals for an international conference entitled Gendered Rites/Gendered Rights: Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public Life. The Conference will be held at Brandeis University on April 14-15, 2013. Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall and Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center will open the conference, delivering the 5th Annual Markowicz Memorial Lecture on Gender and Human Rights.
Many religious traditions prescribe sexually differentiated roles in religious rites and in public life. Doctrines that deem women the repository of family or communal honor may be interpreted to require that women's behavior be carefully monitored and controlled. Conceptions of women as vulnerable to temptation or as the embodiment of temptation for men may justify demands for the segregation of women during prayer and study. In both theocratic and secular states, attempts are being made to permit segregationist practices to migrate from the religious realm to the public sphere.
The challenge posed by the intersection of religious traditions that mandate these forms of sex segregation with civic norms of gender equality can be seen around the world and across religious traditions. Recent developments in Israel pose a particularly challenging example as women are subjected to demands for segregation on public buses, trains, supermarkets, doctor's waiting rooms and merely walking in the street. This conference seeks to explore the historical and theoretical underpinnings of these developments and to identify effective and appropriate responses.
Submissions dealing with these issues in a range of religious traditions and national contexts are invited. The closing date for submission of proposals is December 31, 2012. Please include an abstract of 200 words accompanied by a brief biography. The Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law has limited funds to support travel and accommodation expenses but participants will be asked to explore funding from their own faculties. Please submit proposals and queries to Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Director of the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and Law at firstname.lastname@example.org