Campus & Community

Five fellows named by HDS’ Women’s Studies

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The Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School has named five visiting fellows for the 2000-01 academic year. They are Sidnie Crawford, Sue Houchins, Oyeronke Olajuba, Tracy Pintchman, and Traci West. Each fellow will teach one course during the academic year, and devote the rest of her time to scholarly projects of her choice.

Crawford, who is chair of the classics and religious studies department at the University of Nebraska, will be visiting lecturer and research associate in Hebrew Bible. She will be working on “Making Women Visible: What the Dead Sea Scrolls Say About Women,” a study of texts from Qumran that illuminate the legal and social standing of women in Second Temple Judaism.

Houchins, who teaches at Union Institute, will be visiting lecturer and research associate in religion and society. Her project, “Conjuring Identities: Religious Representations of Black Lesbian Women,” is an analysis of the relationship between African diaspora religions and the black female subject, particularly the African-American lesbian subject, and of how black same-sex desire has an impact on cultural productions.

Olajuba, a professor at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, will be a visiting lecturer and research associate in world religions. In her project, “Veritable Vehicle of Traditions: Women in Yoruba Christianity and Indigenous Religion,” she will be contrasting the place of women in two religions, and examining the role of religion as a cultural tool in the creation of ideas about gender.

Pintchman, a member of the theology faculty at Loyola University, will also be a visiting lecturer and research associate in world religions. She will be working on “Guests at God’s Wedding: Hindu Women Celebrating the Marriage of Krishna and Tulsi,” a

study of how Hindu women in the city of Benares conceive of, and observe, a key sacred event.

West, a professor of ethics and African American religion at Drew University, will be visiting lecturer and research associate in ethics. Her project, “Locating Our Worth: Moral Discourse, Spiritual Consequences, and Black Women’s Lives,” will look at how moral and spiritual questions, especially those related to race and gender, are constructed in Christian social ethics.

The program has announced that West is its inaugural Colorado Scholar. This position has been endowed with a gift of $1 million by a group of women in Colorado who believe sustained research on women and religion is crucial to changing social situations that inhibit women’s chances to achieve and lead throughout the world.