Fordham Graduate Theology Conference

by Eric Daryl Meyer

If you happen to be a person who will be anywhere in the vicinity of New York City on April the 30th, I’d like to encourage you to attend the conference that I’m helping to organize on behalf of the graduate students of Fordham’s Theology Department.

In addition to the information in the flier above (which I’ve pasted below for those who don’t want to squint at the tiny, tilted text) there is a website for the conference which has been recently updated with lots of information—including the conference program and paper titles.


Fordham Graduate Theology Conference

Marginal Persons and the Margins of Personhood

Keynote Speaker: Virginia Burrus of Drew University

Saturday April 30th, 2011; 12-7 PM

12th Floor, Lowenstein Tower (60th St. and 9th Ave.)

Free and open to the public


People find themselves on the margins of societies for a wide range of reasons. Some self-locate at the margins, some are forced there by birth, disadvantage, or structural malice. Moreover, even enlightened, “liberal” discourse about the “marginalized” often makes questionable presumptions about the location of the “center” against which margins are measured.

Who or what counts as a “person”? When and where do they count as such? As they are variously drawn, the boundaries around personhood cut between animals, angels, God, and even some humans. Negotiations concerning the attributes, capacities, and narratives that make for a “good” person are as ethically and politically freighted as they are interminable.

The 2011 FGTC brings together questions in these two veins—marginal persons and the margins of personhood—particularly as religion and theology play a role in any answers given. Presenters from Fordham, Yale, Harvard, Princeton Seminary, and Boston University will offer an exciting range of papers on the ways in which religion both establishes and resists, both defines and confuses, both cements and liberates the margins where persons are found.

Virginia Burrus will give a keynote lecture at 6 PM entitled, “Saints and Other Animals: The Limits of Humanity.” She is the author of many books—including Saving Shame: Martyrs, Saints, and Other Abject Subjects and The Sex-Lives of Saints: An Erotics of Ancient Hagiography—and a recent president of the North American Patristics Society.