Konferenssit ja seminaarit

Queer Shepherds: XII SQS Seminar for Lesbian, Gay and Queer Studies

QUEER SHEPHERDS: XII SQS seminar for Lesbian, Gay and Queer Studies & International Autumn School and Conference of IARG
September 19–20, 2019, Åbo Akademi University, Finland Arken campus, Fabriksgatan 2

Society of Queer Studies (SQS) in Finland invites submissions for the 12th Turku seminar on the intersections of queer, religion and spirituality. This year the seminar hosts the International Autumn School and conference of The International Association for the study of Religion and Gender (IARG). As a forum for scholars, students, and activists, the event promotes queer scholarship and networking across disciplines and organizations interested in the subject. The organizing partners also include Finnish Society for the Study of Religion (SUS), Center for the Study of Christian Cultures (CSCC), Gender studies in Åbo Akademi University and University of Turku, Study of Religion in Åbo Akademi University and University of Turku.


The theme of the conference and the autumn school is “Queer Shepherds”. The theme may be understood as governance and authority in religious and spiritual contexts that involve normativizing practices, social control, discriminatory processes or even abuse of sexual and gender minorities. The term “Queer Shepherds” may also signify a variety of guiding practices, rituals and leadership that shape new religious and spiritual subjectivities and empower queer agencies, often transcending dominant hierarchical structures. The broad theme also addresses counter-narratives and re- interpretations that contribute to social change. Issues relating to “Queer Shepherds” can be critically explored on several levels of analyses, cutting through traditions, arts, organizations and everyday mundane lives. It can be scrutinized in light of how forms of authority are currently changing and adapting to new cultural and societal practices, or how the conceptual trichotomy of religion, spirituality and secularity needs to be deconstructed in order to reveal the logics that constitute “Queer Shepherding”.


Thursday 19.9

8.30 – 10.45 IARG workshop – Autumn School for PhD students, hosted by Dr. Dawn Llewellyn: Recognizing our own ‘Gaze’: A Workshop on Writing Reflexively
11.00 Opening (Aud. Armfelt) & Keynote I: Th.D. Petri Merenlahti (Special Advisor to the Archbishop of Turku and Finland): Is Christianity a Manly Man’s Religion?
12.30 Break for lunch
13.30 Session I with presentations
15.30 Coffee Break
16.00 Session II with presentations
18.00 Keynote II & Temenos lecture, organized together with the Finnish Society for the Study of Religion: Professor Melissa Wilcox (UC Riverside, USA): Theory in the Interstices: Queering and Transing Religious Studies, Religioning Trans and Queer Studies. The annual SQS Prize for Queer Research Achievement is awarded.
19.30 Opening and presentation of photo exhibition, followed by food & wine. Photos by Sonja Siikanen and photos from the God Love Pride exhibition by Ilar Gunilla Persson.
21.00 Get together party at Kirjakahvila (Gamla Stortorget 3)

Friday 20.9

09.00 Session III with presentations
11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Keynote III: Dr. Dawn Llewellyn (University of Chester): Motherhood and Voluntary Childlessness in Christianity: Narrating Religious Reproductive Agency
12.30 Break for lunch
13.30 Session IV with presentations
15.30 Coffee break
16.00 Panel discussion


Click here for more information on registration.

A special issue on the theme of the conference will be published by the SQS-journal at www.journal.fi/sqs. Participants are invited to submit full papers based on their presentations for peer review to the journal after the conference.

Warmly welcome!

In case you have any questions, please contact:

Eetu Kejonen (SQS)
Malin Fredriksson (SUS)
Peter Nynäs (ÅA)