Matthew Shahin Richardson: “Ritual and Resistance: Expressing queer Jewish identities in contemporary Britain”

In Students by General Account

My PhD project seeks to investigate how queer Jews are able to negotiate spaces of oppression in contemporary Britain through identity expression. A recognition of the therapeutic function of religion shall be developed to explore how the enactment of ritual enables queer Jews to “re-member” themselves into their ethnoreligious community. Thus, the performance of ritual becomes a cultural-political articulation of the self which resists Antisemitic and Queerphobic discourses by providing an avenue of empowerment and self-expression. In collaboration with the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), this project shall contribute to a new interfaith, LGBT* initiative chronicling the intersectional, queer Jewish identities in the British Context. Through ethnographic exploration and creative methods, this project pushes into new geographical frontiers by exploring new loci of ritual and resistance. The impact of this research is grounded in the insight into the function of religion for minority communities in the UK and offers participants a platform to express their intersectional identities through creative practices. Results shall be complementary to the CCJ’s new initiative and raise awareness of queer Jewish culture in Britain
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