UCR Conference on Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion

JOIN US IN FEBRUARY!

UCR-QTSR IV
February 18-20, 2022

Registration, travel grant, and housing information will be available by December 2021.

We are delighted to announce our keynotes for QTSR IV!

Friday evening: Ni’Ja Whitson

NiJa Whitson

Ni’Ja Whitson is a Queer Nonbinary Trans/mogrifier, artist and futurist, United States Artist Fellow, Creative Capital and two-time “Bessie” Awardee who has been referred to as “majestic” by The New York Times, and recognized by Brooklyn Magazine as a culture influencer. Whitson engages transdisciplinarity through a critical intersection of the sacred and conceptual in Black, Queer, and Transembodiedness, site, body, and spirit. They are a 2021-2023 New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist in Residence, 18th St. Artist in Residence in partnership with Fathomers (Los Angeles), featured choreographer of the 2018 CCA Biennial, 2018-2020 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellow, and invited presenter at the 2019 international Tanzkongress festival. Residencies and commissions include the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Yale Dance Lab, Danspace Project at St. Marks, Abrons Arts Center, American Realness and Vision festivals, and ICA Philadelphia. Their award-winning practice extends to conventional and experimental theatre, opera, and performance with collaborators that include Charlotte Braithwaite, Regina Taylor, Dianne McIntyre, Douglas R. Ewart, and Sharon Bridgforth.

Whitson is a sought-after speaker, presenter, masterclass facilitator and conversationalist whose offerings have been shared among notable institutions and arts organizations: Wesleyan University, Princeton, Cornell, LAX Festival, Movement Research, Dance NYC symposium, a 2020 keynote of the Collegium for African Diasporic Dance conference, and UNESCO. Writing credits include Critical Black Futures: Speculative Theories and ExplorationsDance Research Journal, and an upcoming anthology on the hit HBO series, Lovecraft Country.

Saturday afternoon: Shanon Shah

Shanon Shah

Dr. Shanon Shah holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from King’s College London, where he is currently Visiting Research Fellow. He previously lectured in religious studies there and at the University of Kent, and currently teaches religious studies part-time at the University of London Worldwide’s Divinity programme. He is the author of the monograph The Making of a Gay Muslim: Religion, Sexuality and Identity in Malaysia and Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and is an editor at Critical Muslim, the flagship quarterly publication of the Muslim Institute (a London-based educational fellowship). Shanon is currently the Director of Faith for the Climate, a London-based network of faith-inspired climate justice activists, and also conducts research on minority religions and alternative spiritualities at the Information Network on Religious Movements (Inform), a research charity based at King’s College London. His research and teaching interests include the ethnographic study of religion, contemporary Islam and Christianity, new religious movements, gender and sexuality, popular culture, and social movements. Before moving to the UK, Shanon was an award-winning singer-songwriter, playwright, and journalist in his native Malaysia.