Issue editors: Joanna DeGroot (University of York) and Sue Morgan (University of
Call for papers
From medieval female spirituality to modern Hindu or Muslim ‘fundamentalisms’, from Buddhist
saints and African healers to nineteenth-century muscular Christianity, histories of gender and religion
have attracted increasing attention from scholars over the last two decades. This special issue will
highlight the rich diversity of ongoing historical work in this field and provide an opportunity to
critically reflect upon contemporary theoretical, methodological and historiographical debates and
issues within this burgeoning area of gender history.
The term ‘religion’ is both fluid and capacious in its meaning including, inter alia, an intellectual
belief system, an interior source of personal motivation or mystical experience, an influential public
cultural discourse, a platform for political action, a series of ritual performances or an organisational
worship structure. Working with this ‘inclusivist’ notion of religion we are interested in proposals
which explore any of these aspects, whether in so-called ‘world’ or ‘major’ religions, or in less well
known or large scale areas of religious practice. We have no prescriptive definition of the boundaries
between the ‘religious’ and the ‘non-religious’; indeed, the question of how such boundaries have
operated, as and when they are thought to have existed, and their shifting and permeable nature is an
open one with major implications for the gendered study of histories of religion and secularisation; we
warmly welcome proposals dealing with such conceptual themes.
We are particularly interested in producing a multi-faith, multi-disciplinary volume which includes
scholarship on a wide range of periods, places, and cultures, and in which anthropological, literary,
political, theological or artistic approaches are brought to bear on historical treatments of gender and
religion. We welcome proposals using these approaches or others and also encourage transnational
comparative studies and work on premodern and nonwestern cultures. Other issues might include
religious affiliation and gender as markers of difference and/or inequity; the primacy or otherwise of
gender in religious identity formations; the (re)periodisation of conventional religious narratives and
the historical intersections between confessional or denominational loyalties, race, class and sexuality.
In summary this special issue of Gender & History will critically examine the significance of gender
as a methodological tool in eliciting news ways of reading the spiritual and the secular.
We plan to approach the creation of this volume via a colloquium to be held 17-18 September 2012
at the University of York (UK). Paper proposals (500-750 words maximum) are to be submitted by
31 October 2011 and invitations to present at the colloquium will be issued by January 2012. Papers
must be submitted for pre-circulation to the editors by 15 July 2012 as a condition of participation.
After the colloquium the editors will select papers for publication, and those accepted for publication
will be expected to submit their revised text by 31 December 2012. This will allow the editors to work
with authors to produce the final text of the issue by July 2013 for publication in November 2013
(which our UK colleagues will note fall within the REF timetable !!).
Send paper proposals to joanna.degroot AND s.morgan by 31 October 2011.