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204 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI
Phone: 734–764–9537
Fax: 734–764–9533


Conferences & Symposia

Click on a conference or symposium title to see more information.

2013-14 Academic Year

Monday, February 3, 2014
Gender and Sexuality in Law and Religion Symposium
Rackham Graduate School, Assembly Hall
915 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor

As gender has taken a prominent place in scholarly considerations of social issues, it has troubled the relationship between faith traditions and the law. Recent research on gender has prompted rethinking of both religious traditions and legal frameworks. Scholars of religion have recognized the challenges that shifting gender norms have brought to religious legal traditions even as lawyers have increasingly paid attention to those religious legal traditions. New patterns of behaviors have disrupted previously accepted and relatively unquestioned religious assumptions, and challenged practices inside and outside the courtroom. The politics of gender has disrupted previously accepted and relatively unquestioned religious assumptions.

This symposium explores the complex intersections of religious norms and values as they confront both religious and secular legal frameworks.

Sponsored by: The Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, Institute for Research on Women & Gender


9:00-9:30        Introductions
Deborah Dash Moore and Deborah Keller-Cohen

9:30-11:00      Session I:  LEGAL SEX
Chair: Marjorie Lehman, Frankel Institute Fellow, University of Michigan; Jewish Theological Seminary

Max Strassfeld, Frankel Institute, University of Michigan – “Claiming Queer Pasts: Hermaphrodites, Intersexuality, and Queer Bodies in Rabbinic Literature”

Marion Katz, New York University – “Reconfiguring Muslim Marriage: Sex as a Marital Right and Duty”

Discussant: Rachel Neis, University of Michigan

11:00-11:15    BREAK

11:15-1:00      Session II:  SEXUAL POLITICS
Chair: Daniel Ramirez, University of Michigan

Rachel Kranson, Frankel Institute Fellow, University of Michigan – “Religious Freedom or a Woman’s Right: The Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and the Politics of Reproduction, 1967-1982”
Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University – “Gendering the Religious/Secular Divide: Religious Accommodation and Gender Inequality in Secular Law”

Discussant: Jessica Marglin, University of Michigan

1:00-2:30        LUNCH

2:30-4:00        Session III:  CRIMES OF PASSION
Chair: Margo Schlanger, University of Michigan

Ava Chamberlin, Wright State University – “The Crime of Passion: Sex and Order in the Christian Household”

Catherine Warrick, Villanova University – “Is Fury Better Than Lust? Passion and the Law in Muslim Countries”

Discussant: Fatma Muge Gocek, University of Michigan

Moderator: Beth Wenger, Frankel Institute Convening Head Fellow, University of Michigan

Round Table with:
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College
Marie Griffith, Washington University
Karla Goldman, University of Michigan
Michael Bonner, University of Michigan

5:30-6:30        RECEPTION (open to the public)

Friday, December 6, 2013

IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars Symposium
2239 Lane Hall

The Community of Scholars is made up of recipients of 2013 summer fellowships from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Rackham Graduate School for graduate students pursuing research, scholarship, or creative activities focusing on women and/or gender.

IRWG is committed to creating environments in which communities of scholars come together for cross-disciplinary exchange. To that end, the fellows participated in a weekly seminar in May and June 2013, during which they discussed their work-in-progress. In July and August, they dispersed for research and writing. The fellows reconvene for the Community of Scholars Symposium, an opportunity to share the product of their summer’s work with each other and a broader audience. The fellows have designed the panels for this symposium to showcase the conversations across disciplines and fields about scholarship on women and gender that emerged from the 2013 seminar.

Symposium Schedule:

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.: Conversations
Moderator: Irina Aristarkhova, Associate Professor of Art & Design, History of Art, and Women’s Studies

Ruth McAdams, English - “Conversation and ‘Conversation’: British Women Writers Look Back on the Regency”

Lauren Reed, Psychology and School of Social Work - “Texting, Tweeting, and Sexting: The Role of Gender in Digital Dating Abuse”

Benjamin Pollak, English - “Under the Sign of the Ghetto: Anzia Yezierska and the ‘Jewish Literary Scene in New York.’”

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Sacred and Liminal Spaces
Moderator: Victor Mendoza, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and English

Jina Kim, English and Women’s Studies - “The Garden in the Machine: Grace Lee Boggs, the Catherine Ferguson Academy, and Detroit's Urban-Agrarian Future”

John Gutoskey, Art & Design - “I Can See Queerly Now”

Marie Stango, History - “‘The reliance that was to be placed in letters’: Education and Writing in Early Liberia”

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.: Performing Desire
Moderator: Magdalena Zaborowska, Professor of American Culture and Afroamerican and African Studies

Matthieu Dupas, Romance Languages and Literatures - “Postsexuality, or Love After Sexuality in Virginie Despentes' Rape Me (2002).”

Mejdulene Shomali, American Culture - “Dancing in the Diaspora: Samia Gamal’s Ephemeral Legacy”

Katya Mishuris, History - “A Mind-Reading Girl, Psychophysical Energy, and Altered States at the Fin-de-Siècle Russia”

2:30 – 4:00 p.m.: Contact Zones: Imperial Circuits of Bodies, Texts, and Ideas
Moderator: Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Associate Professor of American Culture and History

Nicole Greer Golda, History and Women’s Studies - "'We are going to make better men for future generations': Industrial Americanization and the Manly Immigrant Worker in Detroit"

Neveser Koker, Political Science - “‘Women’s Progress within Islam’: Interpretation of Religion and Tradition in Ladies’ Own Gazette”

Amanda Healy, English and Women’s Studies - “‘Making history with our men’: Elizabeth Custer's Military Domesticity”