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Latin@s & Queer Theory: Implications for the Church and Beyond

Tue, 8 Oct, 2013 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

One of the fastest growing populations of the church in the U.S. are Latin@s. Surveys show that Latin@s are the most progressive group in our society when it comes to affording the LGBTQIQSGL community all the civil rights that hetereosexuals are given. Despite this reality many have assumed, even within the scholarly world, that Latin@s are hyper-homphobic; an assumption that has obfuscated all of the positive work done in this area by Latin@s. Latina/o evangelical churches, which tend to be more conservative on this issue, have challenged the religious leadership that wants to move in a more progressive direction on this matter.

This event will afford an opportunity to explore and discuss some of the more fertile, dynamic and interesting scholarship being done on "Queer Theory" by Queer scholars from marginalized racial and ethnic communities. We will also explore the implications of this research for the church and Queer Theory in general.  Registration is required. RSVP online>>
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Moderator:
Samuel Cruz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Church and Society at Union Theological Seminary,  a 1987 graduate of the College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, N.Y., received the M.A., Magna Cum Laude, from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1994 and the M.Phil from Drew University, Madison, N.J. in 1999. He completed his Ph.D. at Drew University in 2002. Dr. Cruz comes to Union from Rutgers, the State University, New Brunswick, N.J., where he has been a lecturer in the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Department since 2003 and an instructor at the Center for Children and Families since 2004. Dr. Cruz’s publications include two books, Christianity and Culture in the City: A Post Colonial Approach (Lexington Books, 2013) and Masked Africanisms: Puerto Rican Pentecostalism (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2005) as well as a number of book chapters and journal articles on Latina/o and global Pentecostalism and on the sociology of religion-- two principal areas of his research and teaching.

Participants:
Carlos Decena PhD is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Dr. Decena is an interdisciplinary scholar, whose work straddles the humanities and social sciences and whose intellectual projects engage and blur the boundaries among critical ethnic, queer and feminist studies and social justice. His first book, Tacit Subjects: Belonging and Same-Sex Desire among Dominican Immigrant Men, was published by Duke University Press in 2011. He is currently at work on two book-length projects: Body Portals: Embodiment in Early 21st Century Caribbean and Latinoamerican Artivism and Re-membered Country: Sexuality, Television, and Dominican Transnational Cultures. His work has appeared on the Journal of the National Medical Association, Social Text (a special issue titled “The Border Next Door which he coedited with Margaret Gray), Journal of Urban Health, Papeles de Población, AIDS Care and GLQ. He is also a co-editor of a Special Dossier on Latino Immigrants in New York State.
Claudia Sofia Garriga Lopez MA is a doctoral candidate in American Studies from the department of Social and Cultural Analysis of New York University.  She received a bachelor’s degree from the department of Gender and Sexuality of Rutgers University, and a Masters’ degree in Liberal Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her Master’s thesis, titled Imperial Feminism: The Case of Operation Enduring Freedom, examined the ways in which women's rights as state discourse articulates with the discourse of human rights as a global political frame that serves to authorize and morally justify imperial interventions.  Her doctoral dissertation, Constitutional Transformations and Transgender Politics in Ecuador, investigates the proliferation of social rights under the new Ecuadorian constitution of 2008 and how these are being put to use by transgender activists in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil.  Her research focuses on the legal reform efforts of transgender activists because their work challenges the boundaries of the national legal discourse of liberal inclusion.  Her dissertation investigates both the possibilities and limitations of pursuing legal reforms as a strategy for achieving increased rights and social wellbeing for transgender people in Ecuador.

Edgar Rivera Colón PhD is a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine Program. He is also Visiting Professor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. Dr. Rivera Colón is a sexuality/gender and medical anthropologist who has spent over a decade engaged in training frontline African American and Latino/a LGBT HIV/AIDS preventionists in the use of ethnographic research methods in developing community-level interventions. His dissertation, Getting Life in Two Worlds: Power and Prevention in the New York City House Ball Community, is an ethnographic study of House Ball community leaders who are preventionists and their efforts to fashion meaningful lives out of the material and symbolic resources afforded by both an autonomous African American and Latino/a LGBT alternative kinship system and dance performance circuit and the world of HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention not-for-profit organizations. Most recently, he published “Between the Runway & the Empty Tomb: Bodily Transformation and Christian Praxis in New York City’s House Ball Community” in an edited volume by Dr. Samuel Cruz entitled Christianity and Culture in the City: A Postcolonial Approach. Dr. Rivera Colón sits on the Community Advisory Board of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, New York City's premier LGBTQ youth services. He is also a co-founder of the Arbert Santana Ballroom Archive and Oral History Project.
Nicolás Dumit Estévez is an interdisciplinary artist working mainly in performance art and experiences where the quotidian and art often overlap. His most recent work deals with pressing issues informing the daily realities of the South Bronx: governmental neglect, aging in an urban environment, and the politics of belonging to the most unjustly vilified area of New York City, if not the U.S. Estévez has exhibited and performed extensively in the U.S. as well as internationally at venues such as Madrid Abierto/ARCO, The IX Havana Biennial, PERFORMA 05 and 07, IDENSITAT, Prague Quadrennial, The Pontevedra Biennial, The Queens Museum of Art, MoMA, The Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, The MacDowell Colony, Rutgers University, Princeton University, El Museo del Barrio, The Center for Book Arts, Longwood Art Gallery/Bronx Council on the Arts, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Franklin Furnace, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Residencies attended include P.S. 1/MoMA, Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Estévez Holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; and an MA from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Publications include, Pleased to Meet You, Life as Material for Art and Vice Versa (editor), and For Art’s Sake. He teaches at the Transart Institute, Berlin, Germany. Born in Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Estévez lives and works in the South Bronx.

Location: James Memorial Chapel
Calendar: Events Calendar
Category: Event
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