Yale University Announces New Program on Women, Religion, and Globalization

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marilyn Wilkes (203) 432-3413


Yale University Announces New Program on Women, Religion, and Globalization

September 10, 2007. New Haven, CT � The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University announces that it will host a new two-year program on Women, Religion, and Globalization. It will explore the relationship between women religious practitioners and political, economic, and social developments, both locally around the world and in the larger context of international affairs. A web site detailing the program will be launched by October 1, 2007, at www.yale.edu/macmillan/wrg

“This initiative presents a unique approach to understanding the role of religion in international affairs, and I am delighted that the Luce Foundation recognized this,” said Ian Shapiro, Henry R. Luce Director, The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. “I am particularly pleased that faculty from many disciplines and institutions across the campus will be engaged in this undertaking.”

The principal investigators for the program are Cheryl Doss, Lecturer, International Affairs and Economics; Associate Chair, International Affairs Council; Serene Jones, Titus Street Professor of Theology, Divinity School; Acting Chair, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; and Laura Wexler, Professor of American Studies, and Professor of Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies.

“The goal of the Women, Religion, and Globalization program is to train our eyes to see different actors and events when they scan the stage of world affairs, and in light of this, to imagine new ways of configuring diplomatic and policy-oriented responses,” said Professor Wexler. “We expect that there are numerous instances where policy analysts and policy-makers at the international level miss important explanations for the outcomes of international events because they do not see the ways that women living their faith shape the context of such events.”

“Women engaged in the religious practices that comprise daily life – praying, cooking, teaching, healing —these are not images that we normally associate with ‘politics,’” said Professor Jones. “But in today’s globalizing world, we are increasingly aware that they are – that both religion and women are powerful forces at work in the international relations and that our global future cannot help but be enhanced by our growing understanding of each. Making that happen is the work of this collaborative grant.”

Through a faculty colloquium, the Women, Religion, and Globalization program will broaden and strengthen university-wide faculty conversations and research agendas about the role of religion and gender in the processes of globalization. By creating three new courses for the Masters in International Relations, it will open graduate and professional training to these new issues and approaches.

To link the academic, policy, and practice realms of international affairs, the program will host three fellows annually, including community leaders, clergy, activists, development workers, scholars, policy analysts and practitioners from geographically, religiously, and culturally diverse locations. The Fellows will lead a workshop at the end of each academic year to explore the pragmatic policy implications for international relations of the issues raised in the faculty colloquium and graduate seminars.

The program on Women, Religion, and Globalization is made possible through funding from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs. Yale was one of a small number of International Relations schools selected in a competition among all the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) institutions. The Foundation sought to encourage innovative approaches to training future policymakers in the role that religion plays in foreign affairs and globalization.

Contact Information:

Marilyn Wilkes

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale

(203) 432-3413