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Presented By: Judaic Studies

Queer Jews and Muslims: A Roundtable on Race, Religion, Gender and Sexuality

Katrina Daly Thompson, Robert Phillips, Edwige Crucifix, and Shanon Shah in conversation with Adi Saleem Bharat

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Katrina Daly Thompson, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Robert Phillips, Ball State University
Edwige Crucifix, Bryn Mawr College
Shanon Shah, King's College London
With Adi Saleem Bharat, University of Michigan

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This roundtable brings together scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences to reflect on historical and contemporary representations and experiences of queer Jews and Muslims in a wide range of geographies. By placing the question of gender and sexuality at the heart—and not merely as a subsection—of (ethno-)religious identities and spiritualties, the speakers queer normative understandings of Jewishness/Judaism and Muslimness/Islam in order to broaden the horizon of Jewish and Muslim coexistence and, perhaps more importantly, co-resistance.

Katrina Daly Thompson (she/they) is Professor of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is also the Director of the Program in African Languages, and a core faculty member in Second Language Acquisition. She holds additional affiliations in Anthropology, Gender & Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, Folklore, and the Middle East Studies Program. Her research uses critical ethnography and critical discourse analysis to examine African and Muslim discourse, with specific projects in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, North America, and online. Her third monograph, Misfits, Rebels, and Queers: An Ethnography of Muslims on the Margins, is under contract with NYU Press.

Robert Phillips is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Ball State University. He lectures on ethnographic methods and the anthropology of religion and technology with much of his empirical research conducted in India and Singapore. Most recently, Phillips has published Virtual Activism: Sexuality, the Internet, and a Social Movement in Singapore (University of Toronto Press, 2020). Currently, Phillips is looking at how queer and Jewish individuals are embracing alternative models in the healing of individual and collective trauma.

Dr. Edwige Crucifix is a scholar of Modern and Contemporary Francophone literature, specializing in gender studies and postcolonial theory. Her current book project explores mechanisms of identity construction in colonial society in the works of French and North African women. Her research and teaching stems from an interdisciplinary interest in modes of cultural resistance, explored in previous publications dedicated to modernist aesthetics, nineteenth-century bourgeois taste, and inter-war Jewish identity.

Dr. Shanon Shah conducts research on minority religions and alternative spiritualities at the Information Network Focus on Religious Movements (Inform), based at King's College London, and is Tutor in Interfaith Relations at the University of London's Divinity programme. He is also the Director of Faith for the Climate, a faith-inspired network of climate justice activists, and an editor at Critical Muslim, the flagship quarterly publication of the Muslim Institute (a London-based educational fellowship).

Adi Saleem Bharat is an LSA Collegiate Fellow and, from Fall 2022, an assistant professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester's Center for Jewish Studies. His research examines the intersection of race, religion, gender, and sexuality in contemporary France, with a focus on Jews and Muslims. He is currently working on a manuscript tentatively titled Beyond Jewish-Muslim Relations, which examines and challenges the construction of a polarized, oppositional category of "Jewish-Muslim relations" in media and political discourse in France.
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