Skip to main content

Gender and Postsecularity. Tensions and transformations in knowledge production and popular culture

Termin Label
Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

The conference aims to depict the co-constructedness and historicity of religion and secularity as well as to shed light on the neglected and the in_visible in current discourses.

Conference concept: Sabine Grenz and Doris Guth, organized together with Katrin Lasthofer, Alexandra Mittermüller, Fiona Zachler

You can register at before 22 November 2021.

The Conference comprises four panels:

Panel 1
Setting the frame: Postsecular/-ist feminist knowledge production
At the start of the conference, we would like to reflect on secularism as well as power relations and negotiations between secularity and religion in the Western world and academic research.

Panel 2
Postsecular perspectives: The Western imaginary of the hijab
In the second panel, we would like to debate Western assumptions and the imaginary of the Islamic veil and women who wear it. Until this day, Christianity is the in_visible cultural norm, forming the basis for local understandings of secularity and thus affecting both academic and political arenas. However, it persists in a state of “cultural blindness” (bell hooks 1996). As other religions are being constructed as negative surfaces for one’s own religion and/or secularity, a hierarchy of religions and ‘cultures’ is being established.

Panel 3
Queer-feminist and decolonial theologies
The third panel will focus on queerfeminist and decolonial theologies that have questioned patriarchal as well as
fundamentalist (monotheistic) religions over the last decades.

Panel 4
Queer-feminist religious/spiritual iconographies
The fourth panel will focus on the contemporary art, pop culture and media, which have left behind neither their religious memory nor the iconographic legacy of Christian religion, even though monotheistic religions have lost some of their importance during the last decades. However, such religions continue to thrive in secular societies, disguised by visual culture, where they occupy the space of desire that religion once held.

Friday, 26 November

13:30 Welcome
Sabine Grenz, Doris Guth and the rector of the Academy of fine arts Vienna Johann Hartle

14:00–15:30 Panel 1
Setting the frame: Postsecular feminist knowledge production
Lecture: Kim Knibbe
Response: Chia Longman, Kavita Maya
Moderation: Sabine Grenz

15:30–16:00 Coffee break

16:00–17:30 Panel 2
Postsecular perspectives: The Western imaginary of the hijab
Lecture: Sophia Arjana
Response: Nadia Fadil and Bettina Mathes
Discussion: 40 min
Moderation: Olga Sasunkevich

17:30–18:00 Coffee break
18:00 Performance Witchkitchen
Konstanze Hanitzsch ( and Perel (

Saturday, 27 November

13:30 Welcome
Sabine Grenz and Doris Guth

14:00–15:30 Panel 3

Queer-feminist and decolonial theologies
Lecture: Sa’diyya Shaikh
Response: Melissa Wilcox and Susannah Cornwall
Moderation: Maki Kimura

15:30–16:00 Coffee break

16:00–17:30 Panel 4
Queer-feminist religious/spiritual iconographies
Lecture: Elke Pahud de Mortanges
Response: Susanne Lanwerd and Mariecke van den Berg
Moderation: Doris Guth

17:30–18:00 Coffee break

18:00–19:00 Panel 5
Concluding panel and plenary discussion with Sabine Grenz, Doris Guth, Konstanze Hanitzsch, Maki Kimura, Olga Sasunkevich, Nella v.d. Brandt

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Gender Research Office, the platform Gender ambivalent in_visibilities as well as the
Department of Education at the University of Vienna and the research network Transforming