2013-14 Research Associates

Lihi Ben Shitrit
University of Georgia
Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and Religion and Society and WSRP Research Associate
Colorado Scholar

Women's Activism in Jewish and Muslim Religious-Political Movements

The project sets out to explain variation in forms of women's activism in socially conservative religious-political movements in the Middle East through a comparative ethnographic study of four movements: the Jewish Settlers in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Palestinian Hamas.

Watch Lihi Ben Shitrit discuss her research project, "Women's Activism in Jewish and Muslim Religious-Political Movements":

Sarah Bracke
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and Sociology of Religion and WSRP Research Associate

Female Piety in Contemporary Catholic Renewal and the Concept of Agency

This sociological investigation is based on field work with a Catholic Renewal movement in France during the Great Jubilee of 2000. Concerned with questions of power and subjectivity at the intersection of religion and gender, it explores processes of self-fashioning as well as the capacity to act (agency), both in relation to the divine and sexual difference.

Watch Sarah Bracke discuss her work on women and contemporary Catholic renewal movements:

Hsiao-wen Cheng
Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Visiting Lecturer on Women’s Studies and Chinese Religion and WSRP Research Associate

Traveling Stories and Untold Desires: Female Sexuality in Medieval China

This project examines the historicity of female sexuality in middle period China (from the Six Dynasties to the Song); traces the changing and conflicting conceptualizations of female sexuality in both elite and popular discourses; and presents evidence of women's efforts to create new space and to look for new resources in order to negotiate autonomy over their sexual bodies and explore their desires.

Watch Hsiao-wen Cheng discuss her research project, "Traveling Stories and Untold Desires: Female Sexuality in Medieval China":

Amanda Izzo
College of New Jersey
Visiting Lecturer on Women's Studies and American Religious History and WSRP Research Associate

The Commandment of Love: Liberal Christianity and Global Activism in the Young Women's Christian Association and the Maryknoll Sisters, 1907-80

Using case studies of two influential women's organizations, the project highlights the role of liberal Christianity in the history of twentieth-century American activism. Tracing the connections between the turn-of-the-century mission enthusiasm and left-wing liberation struggles of the 1960s-70s, it demonstrates the endurance of single-sex organizing and the importance of religion as a medium of transnational relationships.

Watch Amanda discuss her work on liberal Christianity and global activism:

Jacquelyn Williamson
University of California, Berkeley
Visiting Lecturer on Women’s Studies and Near Eastern Studies and WSRP Research Associate

A Sex Goddess and a Queen: The Discovery and Analysis of the Lost Temple of Nefertiti

Virtual reconstructions of Nefertiti's temple will be created, presenting new information on the status of Nefertiti as a cosmogonic goddess in the "heresy" of the Amarna Period. Further, by placing her queenship in its international context the project demonstrates the power inherent in the religious status of queens throughout the ancient Mediterranean world.

Watch Jacquelyn Williamson discuss her work on the discovery and analysis of the lost temple of Nefertiti: