States of Devotion: Religion, Neoliberalism, and the Politics of the Body in the Americas

States of DevotionSTATES OF DEVOTION:

November 4 & 5, Thursday & Friday
10 am to 7 pm
For more information:
For a PDF of the full program, click here.
This conference aims to promote and strengthen interdisciplinary dialogue about the changing role and place of religious discourses and practices in the wake of the transformations wrought by neoliberal globalization upon communities, societies and polities across the Hemisphere. This event is part of a multi-year project on ‘Religion and Politics in the Americas’ funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Starting from the understanding that conceptions and models of “pluralism” or “secularism” vary across national contexts and regional geographies, we want to focus our attention on the ways in which the retraction of the state and the unrestrained acceleration of economic forces and market logics—neoliberal globalization—have transformed the experience of religiosity as well as the role and influence of religion across the Americas. As religious life has become increasingly channeled through the complex mechanisms of a neoliberal marketplace, the market has increasingly taken on roles and functions previously occupied by the state across broad social arenas. These transformations have not only affected discrete areas of social and economic policy, such as health care, education and security, but have also given rise to new private-public interfaces such as faith-based initiatives and discourses of volunteerism that have supplanted the discourses of rights. This shift has also required the production of new kinds of subjects, emblematized by the shift from citizen to consumer. We are particularly interested in the ways in which religious diversity has been variously enabled, foreclosed, harnessed and even commodified by the neoliberal state. In this context, we also wish to explore how public debates over gender and sexuality serve as flashpoints illuminating the wider workings of the state’s ongoing negotiation with religion and religious difference. Sexuality and sexual life more broadly connect individuals to the state as citizens, to the market as consumer-laborers, and to the supposedly traditional values represented by religion. But how this happens, and with what policy implications on a range of issues, will not be the same in every national context.
Confirmed participants include:
Ana Amuchástegui (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana)
Roberto J. Blancarte (Colegio de México)
Susana Cook (Independent artist)
Rafael de la Dehesa (City University of New York)
Emerson Giumbelli (Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro)
Marcial Godoy-Anativia (New York University)
Macarena Gómez-Barris (University of Southern California)
Janet Jakobsen (Barnard College)
Leda Martins (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)
Elizabeth McAlister (Wesleyan University)
Bethany Moreton (University of Georgia)
Kemy Oyarzún (Universidad de Chile)
Ann Pellegrini (New York University)
Anthony Petro (New York University)
Reverend Billy (The Church of Life After Shopping)
Jesusa Rodríguez (Resistencia Creativa)
Pablo Semán (IDES/Colegio de México)
Peggy Shaw (Split Britches)
Winnifred Sullivan (University of Buffalo)
Diana Taylor (New York University)
Moysés Zúñiga Santiago (Independent photojournalist)
Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square
, 5th Floor
Bowery @ East 5th Street
Co-sponsored by the NYU Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and CSGS and underwritten by generous funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.
*Picture by: Adam Peleg*