CFP: Workshop on the History of Women, Religion, and Emotions June 24-26, 2022 Berlin, Germany

Martina Cucchiara's picture

As far back as 1985, Catherine Prelinger argued for the need for new research on the central role of religion in many women's lives.  Yet despite the growth of gender studies in diverse fields -- and important works like those of Marion Kaplan on Jewish women, Grit Klinkhammer on Muslim women, or Carmen M. Mangion on Catholicism -- the diverse aspects of women’s religious experience has not yet been the subject of systematic examination. Research has examined gendered religious spaces in the context of the emancipation and professionalization of women with less attention to religious experience and emotions.

This workshop explores methods from the history of emotions to consider religion and women in modern German-speaking Central Europe and beyond. Micro-historical or biographical approaches are also welcome. Prospective participants could consider these or other questions: 

* What theoretical approaches help us best understand the connections between women’s experiences, religion, and the history of emotions?

* In what ways have religious emotions been coded as masculine or feminine?

* How does a history of emotions approach shape our understanding of strength or weakness of the feminization of religion thesis?

* What emotional scripts were devout women from diverse religious backgrounds expected to follow?

* How did religious ritual, gesture, and material culture shape women’s worship and experience of religion?

* In what ways were religious practices embodied, and in what ways did emotional scripts shape bodily manifestations of emotions?

* How did expectations of appropriate religious feeling shape women’s everyday life, opportunities, politics, or gender roles? 

The workshop will take place at the Indiana University Europe Gateway in Berlin Germany, and participants commit to submitting papers between 3,000 and 4,000 words in length by 15 April 2022 for pre-circulation ahead of our discussion at the workshop. Funding is available for conference participants generously provided through Indiana University South Bend, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences & Academic Affairs, the Indiana University Presidential Arts and Humanities Program, the Jewish Studies Program at University of California San Diego, and Bluffton University.

To apply, please send a biographical paragraph along with an abstract of between 300 and 500 of  your proposed paper to the workshop organizers Lisa Zwicker ( and Martina Cucchiara ( by Friday, October 15, 2021.

If you are interested in acting as moderator at the workshop, please send a biographical paragraph along with a statement of your interest in moderating a panel to the organizers by Friday, October 15, 2021.

Funding:  The workshop includes accommodations in Berlin from Friday, June 24 [arrival]  to Monday, June 27 [departure] and some meals.  The organizers also will reimburse travel cost of up to $400 for participants from Europe and up to $1,200 for participants from outside of Europe.

If you have questions about this call for papers, please contact the workshop organizers Lisa Zwicker ( and Martina Cucchiara (