Culture on the Edge: An Origin Story

Last week, Professors Steven Ramey and Vaia Touna sat down to discuss their involvement with the Culture on the Edge research group and blog, along with their two book series. Though the discussion was intended to focus on Prof. Touna’s recent addition to the published series, it naturally led to a conversation on the implications of fabricating origins and identity.

Continue reading

On Immigration, Identity, and White Privilege

ank2gr

By Andie Alexander
Andie Alexander earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and History in 2012. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in American Religious Cultures at Emory University. Andie also works as the online Curator for the Culture on the Edge blog.

Hi, I’m Andie, and I’m an immigrant. But we’ll get to that. As I wrote this on Election Day in the U.S., I, like many of you I suspect, got very little work done. Instead, I was tuning in on social media to see the latest buzz on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. As I was scrolling through facebook, I came across an article that a friend posted which featured this tweet from Ann Coulter.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-12-41-pm Continue reading

Stereotyping Gender: I’m 100% Masculine

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.24.18 PMBy Andie Alexander
Andie Alexander earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and History in 2012. She is completing her M.A. in Religious Studies at CU Boulder. Andie also works as the online Curator for the Culture on the Edge blog.

Some weeks back, I saw several of my friends posting their results of this Gender Role Test on Facebook. I usually tend to keep scrolling, but after seeing several of these results, I just couldn’t resist what I knew would make for a fun blog post. The test itself is 36 questions to which you answer in varying degrees of agreement or disagreement. The test description reads:

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 7.32.54 PMWhile I’m not familiar with Bem’s work, I do find it somewhat telling that despite the acknowledgement of stereotyping, this test proceeds to do just that. As I went through the questions, it became quite clear to me that I was going to be labeled as “masculine” — not because these traits are inherently masculine, but rather because that is what we have come to take for granted as a masculine traits (e.g., assertive, dominant, ambitious, to name but a few listed in the test) — as opposed to “feminine” (e.g., polite, mild, soothing). Of course, it is worth noting that there are only two gender identifications with which one can identify. And while one can easily push back and say that these traits are gender fluid, etc., etc., what I find most compelling is the way in which these quiz questions reify gender norms broadly speaking. I suspect most people might nod and agree with their results, unless of course, they get something as drastically “different” as mine.  Continue reading

You Ain’t No Conservative, Bruv

Did you see the video of the man arrested after he attacked people in a London subway with a knife? “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv!” declared an onlooker.

Or, did you hear how Paul Ryan responded to Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States? “This is not conservatism,” he said into the cameras.

I think Amber Phillips is right in her analysis of these two statements in her blog post at The Washington Post.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 1.52.12 PM

These moments of identity construction and group boundary maintenance are exactly the sorts of things us scholars of religion should be paying special attention to.

Game of Traditions

tradition

By Andie Alexander
Andie Alexander earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and History in 2012. She is now working on her M.A. in Religious Studies at CU Boulder. Andie also works as the online Curator for the Culture on the Edge blog.