May 20–May 21, 2014
UC Santa Cruz

This workshop is part of a UCHRI Humanities Studio on Regulating Sex/Religion, directed by Saba Mahmood (UC Berkeley) and Mayanthi Fernando (UC Santa Cruz), that examines how sex and religion are mobilized together in the management of minoritized communities in Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. Rather than take for granted the secular narrative of sexual and religious life as private, we analyze how secular power entails the twinned regulation of religion and sexuality, and how the public/private boundary that ostensibly underpins secularity and guarantees both religious freedom and sexual freedom hinges on the management by the secular state of religious and sexual communities.

A major focus of the Studio, and of this workshop in particular, concerns how subjects are produced as members of religious and/or sexual “communities” – Copts and Muslims in Egypt, Maronites, Shi‘a, and Sunni “sects” in Lebanon, Devadasis in India, Muslim “natives” in French Algeria – through various technologies of colonial rule, such as the census and personal status legal codes. The Studio thus excavates the colonial archive, inquiring into the conditions of production of religious/sexual difference in Egypt, Lebanon, India, Britain, France, and Algeria in order better understand the relationship between past and present legal, political, and discursive arrangements of religious and/as sexual difference.

The workshop includes one day of graduate seminars on Tuesday, May 20 led by faculty participants on subjects related to their current research and within the broad rubric of sex and the archive. Seminar leaders and faculty participants include: Anjali Arondekar (UC Santa Cruz), Michael Allan (University of Oregon), Gina Dent (UC Santa Cruz), Mayanthi Fernando (UC Santa Cruz), Suad Joseph (UC Davis), Saba Mahmood (UC Berkeley), Marc Matera (UC Santa Cruz), Maya Mikdashi (NYU/Jadaliyya), and Judith Surkis (Rutgers University).


Preliminary Schedule

Tuesday May 20: Graduate Seminars
Opening Remarks and Introductions
Seminar 1 (Faculty leader: Saba Mahmood)
Seminar 2 (Faculty leaders: Anjali Arondekar & Judith Surkis)
Seminar 3 (Faculty leaders: Mayanthi Fernando & Marc Matera)
General discussion

Wednesday, May 21
Closed Workshops