Orange Alert

Syracuse Spring Symposia Explores Link Between Religion, Sexuality Feb. 27

HC Faculty Fellow William Robert headlines 'public conversation,' mini-seminar

Feb. 18, 2015, by Rob Enslin

The Syracuse University Humanities Center (HC), housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, continues its 2015 Spring Symposia with a program on religion and sexuality.

William Robert, assistant professor of religion, will lead the spring's first HC Faculty Fellow symposium titled “Porosity, Sensuality, Relation: Rethinking Religion’s Terms” on Friday, Feb. 27. Events include an HC Mini-Seminar at 10 a.m., followed by a public conversation at 2 p.m., in room 304 of the Tolley Humanities Building. Robert will be joined by Kent Brintnall and Mary-Jane Rubenstein, professors at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Wesleyan University, respectively.

Both events are free and open to the public; however, registration is required for the HC Mini-Seminar. To register, contact the Humanities Center at 315-443-7192 or email

“We will examine how porosity, sensuality, and relation impact the meaning of religion,” says Robert, an expert in philosophy of religion and the history of Christianity, with emphasis on mysticism and sexuality. “Professors Brintnall and Rubenstein are two of today's most exciting scholars working on religion and sexuality. They'll help us think about new words and new ways of defining and studying ‘religion.’ Doing so opens up ways of reimagining the role of religion in the humanities.”

Robert joined Syracuse’s faculty in 2010, after a four-year stint as a Humanities Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow. In addition to the Department of Religion, he is affiliated with the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program; and the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program. He teaches and writes about religion and literature, ethics, and methods and theories in religious studies.

An associate professor of religious studies, Brintnall also holds faculty appointments in UNC Charlotte’s Women’s and Gender Studies and Film Studies programs. Much of his work concerns feminist and queer theory, literary theory, masculinity studies, visual and popular culture, and the Christian tradition. He is the author of Ecce Homo: The Male-Body-in-Pain as a Redemptive Figure (The University of Chicago Press, 2011); the North American editor of the online journal Theology & Sexuality (W.S. Maney & Son, 2015); and co-chair of the Queer Studies in Religion Section of the American Academy of Religion.

Rubenstein serves as associate professor and chair of religion at Wesleyan, where she also teaches in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Her research interests span continental philosophy, theology, gender and sexuality studies, and the history and philosophy of cosmology. She is the author of Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse (2014) and Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe (2010), both published by Columbia University Press.

Photo of Mary-Jane RubensteinMary-Jane Rubenstein

Both events are co-sponsored by Syracuse’s Humanities Center and religion department.

The Spring Symposia includes the HC Faculty Fellow Symposia, the HC Dissertation Fellow Symposia, the HC Symposia, Central New York Humanities Corridor Seminars, and The Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship.

Media Contact

Ron Enslin