Intersections of Religion and Race in Women’s and Gender Studies: Possibilities for Teaching Introductory Courses
This presentation reports the findings of completed dissertation research centered on the following research question: “How could women’s and gender studies (WGS) faculty in the US teach about religion intersectionally in general introductory WGS courses in order to promote social justice more fully?” Using a qualitative case study methodology grounded in intersectional feminism, this study analyzed textbooks, syllabi, a survey of WGS instructors, and seven in-depth interviews with WGS instructors. Qualitative analysis revealed three themes: WGS instructors can 1) commit to navigating the risks associated with integrating religion, 2) teach religion relationally and intersectionally, and 3) enact student-centered feminist pedagogy featuring open and respectful dialogue. In addition to providing pedagogical suggestions, this study’s theoretical implications for the field of WGS include a need for additional self-reflexivity about the intersections of religion and race and a need for future research exploring religious pluralism in critical theory and in anti-racist feminist pedagogy.
Creative Arts and Research Symposium