Earlier this month, in a quiet, upper middle-class neighborhood in Istanbul, the body of Hande Kader, a trans*woman activist for LGBTQ justice in Turkey, was found mutilated and burned after she had been reported as missing for a couple of weeks. Kader’s murder is another in a country where the highest number of trans*persons are murdered […]
Peter MenaPeter Mena is a historian of Christianity with expertise in Christian Late Antiquity. His interests in the literature and cultures of the late-ancient Mediterranean and in contemporary literary and critical theories, has furthered his work in considering Latina/o/x theologies and Chicana/o/x religious identities. He teaches courses in Catholic Theology and Early Christianity at the University of San Diego. Mena uses critical theories (postcolonial, gender and queer theories, and cultural studies) as an approach to study the past with the goals of considering current political, social, cultural moments. He has written about Christian hagiographies in Late Antiquity and their function as cultural, theological, and historical narratives that preserve ideas about ancient Christian understandings of identity, the body, health, pain, and disease, orthodoxy and heresy, gender and sexuality, and space. His forthcoming book, Place and Identity in the Lives of Antony, Paul, and Mary of Egypt: Desert as Borderland, (Palgrave MacMillan) utilizes the work of Chicana writer, thinker, and poet, Gloria Anzaldúa, to consider the descriptions of space and identity in Christian hagiographies. He argues that the ancient desert is constructed as a borderland for Christian ascetics and the negotiation of identities are intrinsically tied to the descriptions of desert space.
This morning, my husband and I decided to visit a popular exhibit called the “Topography of Terror” in Berlin, Germany. It’s located in what used to be the headquarters for the German gestapo and it “focuses on the central institutions of the SS and police during the ‘Third Reich’ and the crimes that they committed […]
At the beginning of every semester, I start classes by asking my students to introduce themselves. I ask them to answer several questions which vary by semester. What does not change is a practice I began in my first semester teaching undergraduate students at Occidental College. I ask my students to give me their preferred […]