Season 1, Episode 1

Religion & Gender and Race in the 2020 Political Landscape

100 years after the ratification of the 19th amendment and at this moment of racial reckoning, the American political climate is still dominated by the unequal representation of women, especially women of color, in local, state, and electoral politics. For the inaugural session of “Religion &”, we will explore the intersection of gender, race, politics, and the role of religion. Specifically, this panel will analyze the role that religious traditions play in sustaining or mitigating  new models of engagement, political formation, and social change. How do current works on the intersection of gender, race, religion, and political participation help us frame and anticipate this current electoral season? Furthermore, have our theoretical focus on certain groups, like white Evangelicals, and insistence on traditional constructions of topics, like climate change from the perspective of nation-states and the corporate elite, adversely impacted our ability to tell a compelling story of the American religious landscape and its resistances to the current moment? How might we tell a more comprehensive story of the American electorate and its relationship to gender, race, religion, and belonging?

Co-Host: Philip Goff

Philip Goff is Chancellor’s Professor of American Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Philip's full bio

Co-Host: Anthea Butler

Anthea Butler is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World (UNC) and the forthcoming White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America (UNC).

Anthea's full bio

Panelist: Melissa Borja

Melissa Borja is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Culture and core faculty member in the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program at University of Michigan. Her book Follow the New Way: Hmong Refugee Resettlement and Practice of American Religious Pluralism” (Harvard) is forthcoming.

Melissa's full bio

Panelist: Grace Yukich

Grace Yukich is professor of Sociology at Quinnipiac University. She is the author of One Family Under God: Immigration Politics and Progressive Religion in America (Oxford) and co-editor of Religion Is Raced: Understanding American Religion in the 21st Century (NYU).


Grace's full bio

This event took place on October 15th, 2020.

Additional Resources

“Religion &”: Center Conversations on the State of Religion and the Current Moment

“Religion &” is a series of monthly conversations between leading academics and thinkers in multiple fields hosted by the Center to continue these critically important interventions.  Every Third Thursday at 3p ET we discuss a topic that looks at the relationship between religion, the pressing issues of our day, and their impact on the fields we study.

Previous episodes of “Religion &” can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

A JOURNAL OF INTERPRETATION: This semiannual publication explores the interplay between religion and other spheres of American culture.

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