"Sovereignty & Strangeness" Graduate Student Conference

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Northwestern University Department of Religious Studies Graduate Student Association is hosting the interdisciplinary graduate student conference “Sovereignty & Strangeness” on October 19-21, 2018. You can view our website and the Call for Papers here. We are writing to ask the AAR to help fund us $4,000 to help with expenses of running a conference. “Sovereignty & Strangeness” aims to explore the constitutive relationship between sovereignty and that which is deemed strange, queer, or illegible. How might the language of sovereignty be useful for thinking about power in religious or secular contexts when spiritual communities, charismatic individuals, and state institutions make claim to and perform supreme authority over populations and territories? And how might the language of strangeness help trace the disruptive potential of places, practices, and bodies that exceed the logic of sovereignty? Such questions converge in talking about queer and trans* materialities, racialized cosmologies, gender troubles, cultic communities, and liberation theologies, to name just a few examples. This conference hopes to put two intellectual currents -- studies of sovereignty and studies that critically deploy the idea of strangeness -- into conversation in ways that open these terms up to new and unexpected meanings. Strangeness, here, works both as a topic of study and as a mode of thought -- one at home in the humanities. We aim to explore the imaginative and political possibilities that result from thinking strangely.
Effective start/end date9/20/189/19/19


  • American Academy of Religion (letter 9/7/18)


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