Roundtable on Religion, Gender and Sexuality

The 2018 Brauer Seminar: Roundtable on Religion, Gender and Sexuality

March 7, 2018 | Swift Lecture Hall, 3rd floor

This roundtable event about theoretical, empirical, and methodological scholarship in religion, gender, and sexuality, will foster discussion and scholarship at the nexus of these subjects among students and faculty in the Divinity School, the University of Chicago as a whole, and the wider public.

Organized by Divinity School faculty Sarah Fredericks, Sarah Hammerschlag and Angie Heo, the roundtable will serve as the final event for the 2018 Brauer Seminar at the Divinity School, focusing on gender and sexuality in the study of religion.


  • Sarah Fredericks, Assistant Professor of Environmental Ethics 
  • Sarah Hammerschlag, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature, Philosophy of Religions and History of Judaism
  • Angie Heo, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Sociology of Religions


  • Amy Hollywood, Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies at Harvard Divinity School, is a leading gender theorist and philosopher whose work examines medieval mysticism and the psychoanalytics of sexual difference.
    • Françoise Meltzer, Professor of the Philosophy of Religions at The University of Chicago Divinity School; Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature; responding 
  • Mayanthi Fernando, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz, is an anthropologist of Islam, law and sexuality who explores the secular grounds of 'the Muslim question.'
    • Mary Anne Case, Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School, responding 
  • Béatrice de Gasquet, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Université Paris Diderot, is a sociologist of Judaism and Berber migrant communities whose work studies the politics of feminism, religious authority and ethnicity.
    • Lucy K. Pick, Senior Lecturer in the History of Christianity, responding


The study of religion in France and its vexed intersections with gender and sexuality opens up a number of exciting issues for conversation and analysis. First, the government of religion and religious difference raises questions about the entanglements of French republican secularism with discourses of sexual rights, gender equality and homophobia. Second, the politics of immigration and refugee asylum in France today demonstrate the ways in which terrains of racial and (post-) colonial difference are intrinsically tied up with those of sexual and religious difference. Third, on the broadest level, analyses of religious and sexual difference shed light on concepts and uses of 'society' and the 'social', a classic topic in the intellectual fields of French philosophy and sociology. 

This afternoon roundtable seeks to address these themes by tackling the various theoretical, empirical and methodological strands of scholarship in current play. This cross-disciplinary discussion will feature speakers from Europe and the U.S., drawing from recent scholarship in both the humanities and social sciences. 


This event is free and open to the public. Persons with a disability who need accommodations to attend should contact Sandra Peppers in advance at (773) 702-8219.


1.00-1.15 pm Welcome and Introductory Remarks 

1.15-1.45 pm Amy Hollywood 

1.45-2.15 pm Respondent 

2.15-2.45 pm Béatrice de Gasquet 

2.45-3.15 pm Respondent 

3.15-3.45 pm Coffee Break 

3.45-4.15 pm Mayanthi Fernando 

4.15-4.45 pm Respondent 

4.45-6.00 pm Group Discussion 

7.00 pm Closing Dinner


This event is cosponsored by The Divinity School, The Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, the France Chicago Center, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and the Franke Institute for the Humanities.



Persons with a disability who need an accomodation to attend this event, please call Sandra Peppers in advance: 773-702-8219.