#CFP: With Friends Like These: Critical Engagements with the Release of Rachel Held Evans’s Year of Biblical Womanhood
CFP for peer-reviewed session at the Christian Scholars Conference at Lipscomb University, June 6-8, 2013
Rachel Held Evans’s Year of Biblical Womanhood (Thomas Nelson, 2012) was released to storm of controversy and media attention. She has garnered reviews and critiques in a wide range of publications, from Christianity Today to First Things to Slate, been denounced by Mark Driscoll and other “Young Reformer” evangelicals, and even refused space on the shelves of Christian retailer Lifeway. Citing alleged discomfort with mention of female genitalia in the book, some even described this last episode as “Vaginagate.” The turbulent response is indicative of the multiple identities Held Evans has dared to negotiate: evangelical, skeptic, progressive, feminist, and more. At another level, the criticism and support alike signal complexity and contradiction in how—and by whom—women’s bodies are discussed and defended.
This call for papers welcomes exploration of the implications of this book and its reception from a number of disciplinary perspectives. What do the controversy and Held Evans’s commercial success say about the commodification of religious identity? What do they say about the boundaries of women’s bodies? How are masculinist assumptions at work even in those who have sprung to Held Evans’s defense? How are we to theorize the online outpouring of support and critique through social media? Critical engagements from a variety of disciplines and perspectives—feminist theory, literature, theology, history, cultural studies, social media and internet studies, popular culture, humor studies—are invited to place Rachel Held Evans’s book in its various discursive contexts. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31. Three proposals will be chosen and presenters notified by February 14.
More about the conference here: http://www.lipscomb.edu/csc/About-the-CSC