U.S. Women, Gender, & Sexuality Papers at the American Society of Church History

Andrea L. Turpin

I hope to see many readers at the annual conference of the American Society of Church History (ASCH) next week! This year the ASCH meets concurrently with the American Historical Association (AHA) in Washington, DC from Thursday, January 4 through Sunday, January 7. (Which is, as always, the day before our classes start at Baylor...) Specifically, ASCH panels meet at the Dupont Circle Hotel.

I am pleased to report that most time slots feature at least one paper on women, gender, and/or sexuality in U.S. religious history. Indeed, on Friday morning there are two entire panels on the subject that—unfortunately—conflict with each other. Nearly all the papers in this field this year focus on Protestants, but there are a large number that consider women and gender in American religion within an international context. Recurring themes include feminism and anti-feminism, the intersection of gender and race—and to a lesser extent class—women's religious thought (which makes my intellectual history heart happy), and, of course, women's roles within Christian communities. There are a few papers on masculinity and sexuality, and I would love to see even more in future years.

So, without further ado, I've listed below in bold the papers and panels explicitly featuring U.S. women, gender, and/or sexuality. Enjoy!

Friday, January 5, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
American Evangelical “Niche” Ministries and Religious Negotiation of the Postwar Era
Foxhall Ballroom (Ground Floor)

Chair: Darren Dochuk, University of Notre Dame
Papers: “‘Free on the Inside’: Evangelical Prison Ministry in the Age of Law and Order”
Aaron Griffith, Duke University Divinity School
“Piety, Pageants and Playing Indian: Gendered Identity at Summer Camps in the Postwar Era”
Rebecca A. Koerselman, Northwestern College

“‘There is talk of Black Power…it is time somebody talked about God Power’: Evangelical Sports Ministries and the Black Athlete in
the Long 1960s”
Paul Emory Putz, Baylor University
Comment: Neil J. Young, George Mason University

Friday, January 5, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
U.S. Protestant Women and Transatlantic Intellectual Cultures in
the Nineteenth Century
Dupont Ballroom B (Ground Floor)

Chair: Candy Gunther Brown, Indiana University
Papers: “Pious Mothers of the Early Church”: Antebellum Women
Historians and the Christian Past”
Paul Gutacker, Baylor University
“Southern Belle, Southern Metaphysician: German Thought and Augusta Jane Evans’s Gendered Apologetics”
Joel Iliff, Baylor University
“Seeing Farther: Mary Virginia Terhune Interprets Darwin for Her
Sara S. Frear, Houston Baptist University
Comment: Margaret Bendroth, Congregational Library & Archives

Friday, January 5, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Roundtable: White Protestant Women and the Feminist Movement: Critically Assessing Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s Katharine Bushnell
Georgetown Room (Second Floor)

Chair: Heath W. Carter, Valparaiso University
Papers: “‘The White Life for Two’: The Racial Origins of Sexual Purity”
Sara Moslener, Central Michigan University
“What is Feminism Outside a Mass Movement? ‘Evangelical Feminism’ and the Class-Conscious Feminist Movement It Rejected”
Janine Giordano Drake, University of Great Falls
“Katharine Bushnell, Pandita Ramabai, and the ‘World-Wide Sisterhood of Women’”
Anneke Stasson, Indiana Wesleyan University
“Contentious Women? The Response of Protestant Women’s Organizations to the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy”
Andrea L. Turpin, Baylor University
Comment: Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Calvin College

Friday, January 5, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Feminism or Public Housekeeping? Liberal Protestant Women’s Work in the 20th Century
Dupont Ballroom A (Ground Floor)

Chair and Comment: Peter J. Thuesen, Indiana University-Purdue
University Indianapolis
Papers: “The Secularization of Women’s Role in Mid-Twentieth-Century Mainline Protestantism”
Margaret Bendroth, Congregational Library & Archives
“The Maternalist Theology of Margaret Mead”
Elesha J. Coffman, Baylor University
“Diaconal Maternalism”
Jenny Wiley Legath, Center for the Study of Religion

Friday, January 5, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
A Century of Activism in the Methodist Theological Tradition
Georgetown Room (Second Floor)

Chair and Comment: Morris Davis, Drew University
Papers: “The Worth of the Slave: Arguments for the Freedom of the Slave in Early Wesleyan Methodist Connection Poetry and Hymns”
Patrick Eby, Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University
“Southern Methodist Women and the Social Gospel: Race Relations and Industrial Labor Activism in the Early Twentieth Century”
Chelsea Hodge, University of Arkansas
“The Methodist Episcopal Church and Birth Control”
Ashley B. Dreff, Hood Theological Seminary

Saturday, January 6, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Making White Evangelicals: Racial Encounters and Religious
Identities in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century
Glover Park Ballroom (Ground Floor)

Chair and Comment: Randall Stephens, Northumbria University
Papers: “The Southernization of Evangelicalism: Religious Broadcasting and Massive Resistance in the 1960s”
Paul Matzko, Pennsylvania State University
“A Colorblind Campus? White Evangelical Colleges and Black Students in the Era of Civil Rights”
Jesse Curtis, Temple University
“‘That’s real manhood’: Promise Keepers, Racial Reconciliation, and Muscular Christianity”
Hunter Hampton, University of Missouri

Saturday, January 6, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Foreign Missions, Domestic Consequences: A Roundtable
Glover Park Ballroom (Ground Floor)

Chair: Christine Heyrman, University of Delaware
Papers: “Missionaries Write the World: Reception of Foreign
Missionary Texts in 19th Century America”
Emily Conroy-Krutz, Michigan State University
“Ritualizing Human Rights: Protestant Churchwomen and the United Nations in the Postwar Era”
Gale L. Kenny, Barnard College

“World Disorder and American Protestant Political Mobilization in the 1940s”
Gene Zubovich, Washington University in St. Louis
“Heathen Resonances”
Kathryn Gin Lum, Stanford University

Saturday, January 6, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
The Body Social and Socialized Bodies in Puritan New England
Dupont Ballroom (Ground Floor)

Chair: Douglas Winiarski, University of Richmond
Papers: “The Haughty Daughters of Zion: Fashioning Early New
Martha L. Finch, Missouri State University

“States in Motion: Social Justice, Distributive Justice, in Early New England”
Scott McDermott, Albany State University
“The freedom of this Body Politick”: Puritanism and the Problem of Godly Rule
Adrian Chastain Weimer, Providence College
Comment: James P. Byrd, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Saturday, January 6, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Christian America and the Promise of Good Government
Foxhall Ballroom (Ground Floor)

Chair: Jennifer Graber, University of Texas, Austin
Papers: “I am FOR the ERA”: Faith, Feminism, and the Activist Politics of a Southern Baptist First Lady”
Elizabeth Flowers, Texas Christian University

“Nelle Morton, Southern Christian Activism, and Making the Best of Bad Government”
Alison Greene, Mississippi State University

“‘They thought the world had ended, and they thought it was their doom’: How Midwestern Christians Made Sense of the Crises of the
1930s and Came to Terms with Federal Aid.”
Randall Stephens, Northumbria University
“‘We the People of the Brawley Migratory Farm Labor Camp,’
Re-Constituting American Religions on the Margins of the Nation”
Jonathan Ebel, University of Illinois
Comment: Heather Curtis, Tufts University

Sunday, January 7, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Mormonism and its Institutions
Georgetown Room (Second Floor)

Chair: Sonia Hazard, Franklin & Marshall College
Papers: “A Compromise to Save the University of Utah”
Brian Ricks, Independent Scholar
“Three Decades of Change in the Institutional Support of Mormon
Women’s History”
J. B. Haws, Brigham Young University

Comment: Audience

Sunday, January 7, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Norms and Movements after World War II
Dupont Ballroom (Ground Floor)

Chair: Elizabeth Flowers, Texas Christian University
Papers: “‘For such a time as this’: The Esther Motif, Providence, and Evangelical Political Engagement after World War II”
Amber Thomas, University of Edinburgh

“‘Keeping the Lines of Communication Open’: The Malone Consultations and the Limits of Neighborliness in American Protestantism
in the Mid-Twentieth Century”
Devin C. Manzullo-Thomas, Messiah College
“The Catholic Church and the Discourse of Development, 1945-1967”
Joshua David Bishop, Fordham University
“‘Most Outstanding Pastor’s Wife’: Competition, Southern Baptists,
and Ideals of Femininity in the 1950s”
Adina Johnson, Baylor University

Comment: Audience

ADDENDUM: Here are some affiliate sessions on the topic that look excellent (and expand the field beyond Protestantism):

American Catholic Historical Association 12: American Catholic Sexual Revolution
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Executive Room (Omni Shoreham, West Lobby)

Chair: Monica Mercado, Colgate University
Papers: "The Cultural Margin of Faith: Ingrid Bergman, Anna Magnani, and Alternative Portraits of Catholic Women in Postwar Film"
Anthony Smith, University of Dayton
"Sex, Catholic Style: The Sexual Revolution, Women’s Liberation, and Marriage Magazine, 1960–75"
Mary Henold, Roanoke College
"The Spiritual Side of the Gay Rights Struggle: The Case of Dignity/New York"
Thomas F. Rzeznik, Seton Hall University
Comment: Monica Mercado, Colgate University

Conference on Faith and History 2: Roundtable Discussion: Writing Women’s Religious Biography
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Lincoln West (Washington Hilton, Concourse Level)

Chair: Heather Hartung Vacek, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Comment: Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Calvin College , David Holland, Harvard Divinity School , Nancy Koester, independent scholar and Matthew Avery Sutton, Washington State University


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