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CFP: “Migrant Masculinities and Global Religions. Exploring Gendered Religious Change through International Mobility”


Bergamo (Italy) – June 6-9, 2018

University of Bergamo

Call for Papers – Panel Session:

Migrant Masculinities and Global Religions. Exploring Gendered Religious Change through International Mobility

Convenors: Ester Gallo (University of Trento) and Francesca Scrinzi (University of Glasgow/European University Institute)

Despite the historical role played by religious institutions in reproducing social hierarchies based on gender (as well as on ethnicity and class), the sociology of religion has lagged behind other fields in developing a gendered analysis. Exceptions within feminist studies have mainly focused on women and religion, while since the 1990s critical men’s studies have started to pay attention to male spiritualties. From a different but related perspective, migration studies have increasingly shown how religion is transformed in its theological and sociological aspects in the context of transnational mobility. The gendered contours of these new religious formations have yet to be analysed in detail. Scholars of religion and gender in the migratory context have indeed focused mainly on migrant women, who are singled out as the ‘keepers of the cultural flame’ and responsible to pass on religious ‘traditions’ to the younger generations. Rare studies on religion and migrant masculinities suggest that religion is used by men to accommodate the challenges arising in transnational households; and show how patriarchal norms are renegotiated in migrant congregations in response to processes of racialization. Importantly, scholars have also shown how the current ‘moral panic’ around Islam has a sharp focus on migrant masculinities. Drawing from these considerations, this panel aims to develop an original dialogue between the sociology of religion, of migration and of gender, based on ethnographic/qualitative research methodologies. It will explore how gender and religion intertwine and transform each other in the context of transnational mobility. We welcome papers that consider (also comparatively) religions as different as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or Sikhism, and that focus on different migrant groups and geographical areas.

Some of the themes we wish to explore are:

  • o The relationship between religion and hegemonic/subaltern masculinities in the context of transnationalism and international migration;
  • o The role of (majority and minority) religious institutions and religious discourses in accommodating/representing the presence of migrants in immigration societies, and more particularly in forging ideas of masculinity and femininity;
  • o How migrant men (and women), as believers or religious leaders, use religion to renegotiate gender relations, and more particularly masculinities, in a transnational space;
  • o How migrants use religion to resist gendered processes of racialization and de-skilling;
  • o How gendered religious teachings are transformed/challenged in the migratory context;
  • o How migration challenges the association between masculinity and sacred power.


To submit your proposal please send an e-mail to the convenor/s of the session of your choice and to the conference committee ( – indicating the title of the chosen session – and to the panel convenors:

Please send:

  • ▪ the title of your talk and an abstract of a maximum 1,000 words (.doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .rtf);
  • ▪ your contact details (f ull name, e-mail, post address and affiliation) and those of your co-author/s, if any;
  • ▪ if you like (and we would be very happy!), a short video talk (2 min. max.), not necessarily on your proposed talk but a sort of teaser trailer for it (by sending the video, you thereby allow the organizing committee to upload the video at its discretion, in full or cut form, on the youtube channel of Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa :

Abstracts (and video talks) must be submitted in English. The official languages of the conference, however, are Italian, English, and French. For each session, languages will be used on the basis of the composition of participants.

Proposals must be submitted by 15 January 2018 .

Francesca Scrinzi

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow
European University Institute