Joan Scott & Peter Coviello in Conversation at Labyrinth

Joan Scott, Professor Emerita in the School of Social Science, and Peter Coviello, Member in the School, will discuss how secularism has been used to justify the subordination of women at 6:00 p.m. on December 7 at Labyrinth Books.

Joan Scott's acclaimed and controversial writings have been foundational for the field of gender history. With Sex and Secularism (Princeton University Press, November 2017), she challenges one of the central claims of the "clash of the civilizations" polemic—the false notion that secularism is a guarentee of gender equality. Drawing on a wealth of scholarship by second-wave feminists and historians of religion, race, and colonialism, Scott shows that the gender equality invoked today as a fundamental and enduring principle was not originally associated with the term “secularism” when it first entered the lexicon in the nineteenth century. In fact, the inequality of the sexes was fundamental to the articulation of the separation of church and state that inaugurated Western modernity.

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