Call for Papers: International Conference on Gender and Sexuality in Asia


Dates: November 12-14, 2018 | Venue: Monash University Malaysia | Abstract deadline: April 30, 2018


Contemporary religious actors and their significance in gender and sexuality justice in Asia

The continuous reification of gender and sexuality norms, roles and expectations has contributed to the suppression of, and aggression towards human expression and embodiment in many parts of the world. The operations of mainstream religious institutions are major factors that galvanise this suppression through the deployment of patriarchal, sexist and heteronormative religious teachings, legalities and thought processes. Conservative interpretations and implementations of faith, in this sense, have played prominent roles in the production of gender and sexuality injustices (Maznah, 2010; Yip, 1997).

Nevertheless, there has been an uptake in religious practices, theologies, spiritualities and faith-based ideas that foster equity and justice in issues of gender and sexuality. The continuing proliferation of feminist, queer and LGBTI works on faith systems attests to this fact (Brazal and Si, 2007; Kugle, 2010; Langenberg, 2015; Shore-Goss et al., 2013). These endeavours, however, have largely resorted to re-renderings of ancient religious and scriptural texts, seers and saints, and theological tenets to canvass for gender and sexuality justice in non-Asian contexts. Less has been done to explore the roles of those whom we refer to as ‘contemporary religious actors’, or twenty-first century ‘key’ religious personages, groups, communities or organisations who/that pursue gender and sexuality justice through alternative, radical and even transgressive thought in a manner that speaks to Asian realities.

Held at the campus of Monash University Malaysia on November 12-14, 2018CoGen 2018 is interested in examining how contemporary religious actors within and outside Asia can dialogue with, challenge, interrogate, and/or contribute to the pursuit of gender and sexual justice in various countries in Asia. As such, we ask the following questions:

  • What happens when the lived experiences, activism, or intellectual and/or creative thought and works of contemporary religious actors become the primary category of analysis in the investigation and appraisal of gender and sexuality justice in Asia?
  • How do the lived experiences, activism, or intellectual and/or creative thought and works of contemporary religious actors inspire, impact and transform epistemological productions in gender and sexuality justice in Asia?
  • How can mainstream Asian conceptualisations of gender and sexuality justice be affected and transformed by contemporary religious actors?
  • What are global, regional and local transformations that occur in matters of gender, sexuality and faith in these exchanges?

We are particularly keen on underrepresented research on the aforementioned intersections, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Academic-activist collaborations are particularly welcome.

We are also looking towards a high-quality publishable outcome from this Conference.

Single and panel abstract submissions of 150-200 words in MS-Word format should be emailed to before or by April 30, 2018. Abstracts should contain the title of the presentation, the name(s) of the author(s) and affiliation(s). An email containing a notification of acceptance or otherwise will be sent out on May 31, 2018. If your abstract is accepted, we expect you to be present at the Conference for your own presentation. The deadline for registration and payment of fees is September 24, 2018.

Conference Committee

Please visit the Conference website for more information. The Call for Papers can also be downloaded here.

For more information, please send an email to

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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