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Graduate student’s paper accepted at Liverpool conference

Julie Joy

“Divinity is what we need to become free, autonomous, sovereign. No human subjectivity, no human society has ever been established without the help of the divine.” Luce Irigaray.

Julie Joy, a student involved in the M.A. in English at The University of Tennessee of Chattanooga, has been accepted through blind review to present a paper at the "Women and the Divine" Conference for the Institute of Feminist Theory and Research, a competitive summer philosophy & religion conference jointly hosted by University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University College.

“I think Julie is just a fabulous student in so many ways and really reflects the best of UTC,” said Talia Welsh, who taught the Feminist Theory class that influenced Joy’s choice for a paper. “The fact that Julie has a paper accepted at a competitive conference indicates that we are truly promoting top-tier students able to compete internationally!”

The conference will explore the provocative claim that central to the emancipatory aspirations of feminism is reflection upon, and reinterpretation of, notions of the divine. Because the divine is emerging from feminist theology as a category of critical thought, this conference aims to provide a stimulating and inclusive forum for interdisciplinary debate on the question of women and the divine.

Joy’s paper explores Native American spirituality and, in particular, its influence and effect on women. Based on the principles of Native American religious practice and the Hoop of Life, the working title of the paper is “Invocation to my Sisters of all Waves: Native American Feminist Approach.”

Through Welsh’s class, Joy became interested in the work of Luce Irigaray, one of the French Feminist theorists who stressed the idea of a unique voice for women. To Joy’s delight, Irigaray will be one of the keynote speakers at the Liverpool conference.

“This will be a really exciting experience. I am particularly excited about having the opportunity to meet Luce Irigaray, after reading her essays in my French Feminist Theory Book. I have never been to Europe—this is an unexpected opportunity that UTC has offered through its programs,” said Joy.

May 13, 2005

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