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Queer Nuns

In Honor of W. Wayne Wilcox, Professor Emeritus of Forestry, UC Berkeley

The Center for Ideas and Society presents a book talk with Melissa M. Wilcox, Professor and Holstein Family and Community Chair in Religious Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Affiliated Faculty of Gender and Sexuality Studies.

In Queer Nuns, Melissa M. Wilcox offers new insights into the role the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence play across queer culture and the religious landscape. The Sisters both spoof nuns and argue quite seriously that they are nuns, adopting an innovative approach the author refers to as serious parody. Like any performance, serious parody can either challenge or reinforce existing power dynamics, and it often accomplishes both simultaneously. The book demonstrates that, through the use of this strategy, the Sisters are able to offer an effective, flexible, and noteworthy approach to community-based activism.