Women & Theology from the Global South, week 10

CONCLUSION AND NORTH AMERICAN FEMINIST

AND WOMANIST RESPONSES

At the beginning of each in-person meeting Dr. Lee explains the agenda. This final meeting became a symposium of art, poetry, and academic research.  

Centering Ritual
Vision Boards
Dr. Lee’s Lecture
Poetry Reading (Emily & Jordan)
Ph.D. Research presentations Taylor and Rebecca

Ritual Leadership:
Lila brought out a folk instrument called a Dulcimer. I wish I had video/audio of her playing and singing but, sorry ya had to be there. She informed us that the Dulcimer has a drone string which gives it a bagpipe sound and that it’s a relatively easy instrument to build which lends to its popularity in rural areas.

Ph.D candidates presentations
Iliff has a joint Ph.d program with DU (as a Iliff grad student we also have access to DU courses). As an undergrad, grad, or Ph.D. student it’s common to present research at conferences, symposiums, and colloquium. I recently attended the Southern Atlantic Modern Language Association in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s typical that you’ll have 10-20 minutes to present–often on a panel of 2-4 people–and afterward there is time for your audience to ask questions. 

Taylor and Rebecca presented their research. Taylor’s revolved around the creation of a website encouraging international dialogue, Theolo-She.org, my favorite sentiment from the sections of her paper she read is that, ‘Justice is a theological mandate.’ Meaning, as theologians, we must be engaged in justice-work. Rebecca’s somber research involves diving into reasons for migration including the abuses and torture of women, which has little consequence. The saddest part, for me, is that women who are trying to escape violence are met at the border and are treated like criminals when really they are brave humans who are responding to conditions which North American culture actively encourages through our active and healthy rape culture.

Readings:
The reality of post-secondary education is that the course loads can be heavy. During midterms and finals week students practice ‘letting go’ by doing accepting that we might not get to every reading. That’s right, sometimes we don’t get to read everything that’s assigned.

Delores S. Williams, “Womanist-Feminist Dialogue: Differences and Commonalities,” in Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993), 178-203.  

Kwok Pui-lan, “Fishing the Asia Pacific: Transnationalism and Feminist Theology,” in Off the Menu, 3-22.

Letty M. Russell, “God, Gold, Glory and Gender: A Postcolonial View of Mission,” International Review of Mission 93: 368 (2004): 39-49.

María Pilar Aquino, “Latina Feminist Theology: Central Features,” in A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology: Religion and Justice ed. María Pilar Aquino et al. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002), 133-60. (Iliff Library e-book)

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To conclude:
In what context do we find ourselves, now? Can you be not changed after you’ve experienced and read and listened to and grappled with all of this?

Let’s take another look at the description and objectives of this course. One of Dr. Lee’s specialties is pedagogy. I tried to reflect the creativity allowed within the framework of her course. We spent most of our lecture time and conversation on the experiences of the writers behind the incredible writings we’ve explored. I’ve appreciated this space as it allowed me to explore my own academic style which tends to revolve around poetry and doodling the lectures rather than taking traditional notes.

Course Description
“This course is a critical study of the challenges and contributions of feminist theologies from the global south to theological studies in North America, particularly, feminist theologies. Framed in postcolonial discourses, this course will study works of representative figures in feminist theologies from Africa, Latin America, and Asia.  Topics will include the impact of globalization, postcolonial discourse, religion and culture, sexuality and spirituality, and ecological concerns.”

To review the syllabus
Pedagogical Bases
1)  Though the course is not designed as a seminar, its pedagogy is conversational. Thus, it is important that students come to class prepared to discuss the required readings.

2) We hope to become a learning community. People are invited to participate according to their own style, but I encourage spirited interaction.  Participants are encouraged to practice women’s ways of knowing practiced in different communities in the global south such as communal knowledge building through sharing stories and life experiences beyond textbooks.

3) All written work presented for course requirements should draw on your own practical experience as integrated with the course’s theoretical resources.  Thus, papers should reflect a careful reading and assessment of the required readings; that is, from your own perspective.”

Thanks for reading,
Emily Nagle

Photography by Seth Nagle

 

P.S. Here are the lyrics to one of the songs Lila played

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