Public Online Event - Lecture

Gendering Social Citizenship: The embodied politics of 'Insistent Presence'

Date: 28 January 2021, 18:00

Dr. Christopher-Rasheem McMillan (Iowa City, USA)

In the Context of the ZiF Research Group Global Contestations of Women's and Gender Rights

This talk will examine the embodied connection between citizenship and belonging from queer and black standpoints looking both at the ancient and contemporary world. I posit that the black body and certain queer bodies in contemporary North America are akin to non-citizen bodies during the Roman Empire and that the United States functions as an empire. I will establish frameworks that distinguish between social citizenship and legal citizenship and suggest that social citizenship are readable stigmas that are on and are produced from the body. For the purposes of this paper, the contemporary police officer performs the function of a Roman soldier, with a primary purpose of defending, protecting, and expanding the imperium. I will also look at the American Red Cross' ban on blood donations from queer men as a further case study of contemporary policing and Social citizenship. This paper will weave together accounts in theology, critical race studies, and performance studies to ask what vulnerable bodies in antiquity might tell us both about 'the common' and vulnerable bodies in our contemporary moment.

Dr. Christopher-Rasheem Mcmillan, is a performance related artist and scholar. He has a joint appointment between Dance and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Dr. McMillan brings to us his theological expertise and wisdom, which earned him his PhD in Theology and Religious Studies from King's College, London (2017). McMillan's performance works have been seen at venues such as the Bates Dance Festival of Bates College, Providence International Arts Festival (PVD), and The Dance Complex and Green Street Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in performance platforms such as the 2011 participatory event Beyond Text, London. He was a Five College Fellow for the 2013-14 academic year and the recipient of the McGreggor-Girand Dissertation Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year. His writing has been published in The Journal of Dance, Movement & Spiritualities, Kinebago, and Contact Quarterly.
This year, Dr. McMillan is a fellow at Yale's Institute of Sacred Music completing two interdependent approaches: completion of a book entitled Performance Criticism: Scripture, Sex, and the Sacred and an evening-length performance called Sacred| Scripture as choreology. Taken together, the components will create new knowledge, methods, and approaches not only for theorizing the cultural impact of the choreographic through theological discourse, but also for creating practical and impactful approaches to body-based art and meaning making. Dr. McMillan is International Guest Lecturer at Bielefeld University in WS 2020/21.