The Re-Turns of Religion
RIDAGA 2015 Paris Workshop Organized by The Program RIDAGA (“Humanities Studio on religions in diaspora and global affairs”) UC Humanities Research Institute, Irvine with the Chair « Global South(s) » Collège d’études mondiales, FMSH, EHESS, Paris
Religious engagement has returned to central stage in social life, marking personal expression and political commitment in new ways. Religious and national identities intersect, influence, and impact each other as they are inflected by the politics of race and secularization. As globalizing processes have proliferated, people have moved increasingly across borders and boundaries, prompted by environmental, social, and political events, throwing into impacted social arenas contestations around the intersections of religious affiliation and expression, ethnoracial identification, national culture, and social expectation. Religious identities are connected in new ways to these local sites and global processes, to logics of territorialization and deterritorialization, to complicated and complicating attachments to new sites of habitation and not altogether departed histories, affiliations, and commitments.
These sharp shifts at the interface of religious, social, and political lives raise old issues anew as well as new questions about cohabiting across politico-religious commitments, their cultural expression, and social management. These questions will be discussed in a two-day workshop by scholars and media experts associated with the Religion in Diasporic and Global Affairs research program of the University of California Humanities Research Institute and scholars, artists, journalists, and activists from France and across the world.
Monday, December 14
- David Theo Golberg (UCHRI, UC Irvine),
- Françoise Vergès (Chair Global Souths, Collège d’études mondiales),
- Michel Wieviorka (FMSH),
- Toby Volkman (Policy Initiatives)
- Michel Wieviorka, President of the FMSH (10:30-11:00am)
11:15-1:15pm Session 1: Religion and the Political
- Farad Khosrokahvar
- Nilufer Göle
How is the political reimagined through the religious, historically and especially contemporarily; and how is the religious reconceived as advancing political interests? Secularism expresses itself as divorcing the religious from public political commitment. But as many have now argued, the secular assumes, inherits, expresses anew and advances theological commitments shorn of explicit religious expression. What are the implications for public life and political articulation of the insistent incompatibilities of the religious and the secular, the theological and the political? How do violent outbursts, mainly emanating from but not restricted to the Abrahamic religions, re-articulate the political and the religious, intersecting as they do with the racial, in some directions repressing and in others exacerbating recourse to religious expression, rationalization, re-invention?
How does religious identification amplify or mitigate vulnerability, particularly amongst women, children and youth, and LGBTQ persons? How are such vulnerabilities leveraged toward political and ideological ends? How does racial identification exacerbate ascription of religious identity?
1:15-2:15pm Lunch: College Cafeteria
2:30-4:30pm Session 2: Religion and the Racial ()
- Nacira Guénif
- Nadia Fadil
How is religion articulated in and through raciality, the racial in and through the religious? How do these co-articulations shift over time and place, across religious commitments and expressions, national identification and bordering? In Europe, America/the Americas, the Middle East, Asias? How in the case of each—the religious, the racial—are they redefined in neoliberal terms, and what are the implications for their co-articulation? What are the implications and effects of these co-articulations? Can they—should they—be politically disarticulated or redefined? If so, to what ends? How do public media contribute to these processes, and how might they be redirected to serve more critically productive ends?
4:45pm-6:45pm Session 3: Religion and Migration
- Michel Agier
- Carolina Kobelinsky (à confirmer)
The religious dimensions of migration and current refugee flows from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe have been re-emphasized in the wake of Friday the 13th. Calls to delimit if not ban Muslims from the landscape of “Christian” countries, and the insistence by some prominent American politicians to admit only “Christian Syrians” but also those from Latin America to the U.S. have sharpened the relation between religion, raciality, national background, migration, and the political. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket events there was a renewed call for French Jews in particular and European Jews more generally to migrate to Israel (where in case Jewish law considers them by virtue of their Jewishness to be (proto-)citizens). How does religion mediate migratory and refugee flows? How does it impact responses to migratory and refugee crises? And indeed, how do refugee and migratory flows impact the definition and re-definition of the religious (and of particular religions) in their wake?
Also, how do the material cultures of religion manifest in markedly different global locales? How are interior worlds, domestic spaces, public performance, food rituals and consumption in city streets transformed as a result of negotiating unfamiliar and defamiliarized spaces? What role does proliferating public media play and what productive role could they play in these processes of definition and redefinition?
Dinner: local restaurant
Tuesday, December 15
10:10:30am Overview Day 2
10:30am-12:30pm Session 4: Religion, the Global and the National
- Toumi Djaidja and Rokhaya Diallo
- Eric Fassin
In the wake of Friday the 13th, it has been widely bemoaned by politicians and in the press that humanity is under attack. Paris—France—is taken to stand for the good life, the land of Enlightenment, for humanity as such. The French way of living is taken to be under attack—most perniciously from the outside now “infesting” from within, viralities proliferating, dis-ease transformed into disease, cancer replicating now within the body politic and across bodies politic. But these are body politics shorn of the political, devoid of their histories of production, erasing all reference both to the implication in histories of colonialism and the afterlife of the colonial in the postcolonial. How has the political been constrained if not erased in these extended moments, and to what effects? How not so much to revive as to reinvent an effective, a capacious, a mobile and agile politics in the face of these mobilized immobilities? What role might public media play towards realizing and in contributing to such revivification?
12:45-1:45pm Lunch: College Cafeteria
2:00-3:45pmAfternoon session: Open discussion
4:00-6:00pm PUBLIC FORUM: PANEL DISCUSSION