Your invitation to connect at November's AAR/SBL CONFERENCE
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Women's Caucus News: Fall 2015

Please join us at the AAR/SBL CONFERENCE
in Atlanta in November!

Welcome from the Editor

Hello from the Women's Caucus! If you are a female scholar, we are interested in sharing information and promoting your work.

Please join us
 at the AAR/SBL Annual meeting. The Women's Caucus meets in the Women's Lounge Hyatt-Hanover B (Exhibit Level). We hope to see you there!

If you are a feminist (or womanist) scholar, writing on biblical or religious themes, we'd love to include your work. Also, if you are attending a conference or seminar that might be of interest to other female scholars, please forward the information to the newsletter editor for consideration.

In this issue:
  • AAR/SBL Annual Meeting Workshops: Valuing the Feminist Study of Religion
  • What She Wrote: research and writing by female scholars
Meet our team, and you’ll understand how diverse we are in interests, education, work, and connections! We’re pleased to welcome your input or contributions @editor: Rosemarie Kowalski, PhD.
Keep track of what's upcoming for the AAR/SBL Women's Caucus hereStay connected between meetings on Facebook and Twitter.

Meeting Schedule @ AAR/SBL, ATLANTA 2015

All sessions will take place in the Women's Lounge in Hyatt-Hanover B (Exhibit Level). 


Come enjoy the camaraderie of the Women’s Caucus and network with other scholars. Our AAR 2015 conference theme is Valuing the Feminist Study of Religion. Here are the workshops, in brief: (Go to the website for more details.


  • Leveling the Landscape: Women’s Caucus Gathering and Workshop on Valuing the Feminist Study of Religion

Nov. 21 Friday 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Presiders: Theresa A. Yugar, California State University, Los Angeles

Elizabeth Ursic, Mesa Community College

  • Cultivating Minds: New Directions in Feminist Pedagogy

Nov. 22 Saturday 9:00 – 11:30 am

PresiderMarcelle Grano, California Institute of Integral Studies

  • Beyond Down and Dirty: From Good to Great Sex

Nov. 22nd, Saturday, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Theresa Ann Yugar, California State University 

Marcelle Grano, California Institute of Integral Studies
Alicia Besa-Panganiban, Princeton Theological Seminary


  • New Hands Tilling: Emerging Scholars’ Visions of the Future of Feminist Theology

Sunday, November 22nd. 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Presiders: Theresa A. Yugar, California State University, Los Angeles

Francesca Tronetti, California Institute of Integral Studies

  • Enriching the Field: Publishing New Books on Gender and Religion

Nov. 22 Sunday 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Presider: Elizabeth Ursic, Mesa Community College

  • Women's Caucus Business Meeting

Nov. 23 Monday 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

We will be reviewing feedback this year's panels, discussing our ongoing projects, and making plans for the 2016 conference. All are welcome!

Have a Cup of Coffee on the AAR Mentoring Program
New this year, AAR seeks mentors willing to give an hour of their time at the Annual Meeting to meet with a mentee and chat over a hot beverage. Coffee is on the AAR – mentors will receive a $10 gift card to subvent the cost of drinks. Please consider volunteering or invitingother mentors to participate in this program. The mentor application is online. The deadline for mentor applications is October 12. Mentees will be able to register for a mentor after October 15.

What She Wrote
Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, & Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay, edited by Gina Messina-Dysert, Jennifer Zobair, and Amy Levin

Don't miss the 6th volume in the I Speak For Myself series being released this summer. The book is a collection of essays by 15 Christian women, 15 Muslim women, and 15 Jewish women, all of whom self-identify as feminists and as women of faith.

Faithfully Feminist

Feminists argue that you cannot be a “true” feminist if you are a practicing Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Likewise, religious practitioners claim that you cannot be a “true” Christian, Muslim, or Jew if you support feminist values.

Nevertheless, women who practice these religious traditions and hold feminist values are not uncommon, and the question “Why do you stay?” is one that is frequently asked of them. Their stories are told with wit, insight, and above all, honesty. 

The book is available at a discount from the publisher and is also available on Amazon. For more info on the ISFM series and "Faithfully Feminist", please visit the Faithfully Feminist website.

Bewilderments, by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg

The newest book in Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg’s award-winning series of commentaries on the Hebrew bible.

"This is not a simple retelling of the book of Numbers but, rather, a commentary of a high order based on artful Hebrew prose and poetry. Zornberg displays her own superior hermeneutic skills as she calls on the teachings of vaunted rabbinic authorities, Midrashic tradition, and the homilies of Hasidic masters. [She also] incorporates psychiatry, philosophy, and world literature into the study of Holy Writ. A powerful, important textual deconstruction of the mystical fourth book of the Old Testament." —Kirkus Reviews

A God that could be RealA God That Could Be Real, by Nancy Ellen Abrams
Abrams explores a radically new way of thinking about God. She dismantles several common assumptions about God and shows why an omniscient, omnipotent God that created the universe and plans what happens is incompatible with science—but that this doesn’t preclude a God that can comfort and empower us.
"Nancy Abrams's magnificent book A God That Could Be Real is a powerful act of midwifery. This is not a eulogy for the old Gods but a prophecy of the new." —Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of  Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent
Beacon Press   |   Hardcover   |   03/10/2015
978-0-8070-7339-1   |   200 pages   |   $25.95
Click here  to read an essay by the author

And here's an interesting snippet of information from blogger Rachel Held Evans:
The term womanism, first coined by author Alice Walker, is a social theory that emerges from the reality that feminism often fails to encompass and center the perspectives of Black women. Though womanism addresses racism and classism, its parameters and implications are still being explored, particularly among people of faith. [Dr. Gafney] has suggested that the “principles of womanist preaching include affirming the dignity of Black women as legitimate interpreters of the Scriptures whether or not our interpretations converge with those of the dominant culture.” 

The Reverend Wil Gafney, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas and is an Episcopal priest canonically resident in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and licensed in the Diocese of Fort Worth.  A scholar of prophets, prophecy and prophetic texts in ancient Israel and surrounding cultures specializing in women prophets, she also specializes in womanist and feminist ways of reading scripture. A particular love is the Hebrew language - reading, teaching, studying - and classical rabbinic (Jewish) biblical scholarship.

Dr. Gafney is the author of Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel, and the Peoples’ Bible, which she co-edited, available through Fortress Press. Other projects include an exploration of motherhood in messianic genealogies in “Mother Knows Best: Messianic Surrogacy and Sexploitation in Ruth” in Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and their Children(Brill), and a commentary on Ruth and article on “Responsible Christian exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures” in the African diasporic biblical commentary The Africana Bible (Fortress). 

Follow Dr. Gafney on her blog or Twitter. 


And to remind us of the value of women's scholarship, the distance to go for equality, and the importance of advocacy, here's an article published last spring in the NYTimes: "Alarmingly High Violence against Women..."

Wrapping up
Feel free to archive this newsletter to remind you of our events. 

We hope to see you in November. Grateful to be sisters in scholarship together, 
Your leadership team, AAR/SBL Women's Caucus 2015

Find more information, tools, and ideas to help you at our website. We hope to see you later this month at the annual conference. Please drop by to say hello and meet other female scholars!

We’re pleased to welcome your input or contributions @editor: Rosemarie Kowalski, PhD
Copyright © 2014 WOMEN'S CAUCUS AAR/SBL, All rights reserved.

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