Dr. Monique Moultrie, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Dr. Moultrie’s scholarly pursuits include projects in sexual ethics, African American religions, and gender and sexuality studies. Her research has been supported by a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning Grant, a GSU Dean’s Early Career Award, and an American Academy of Religion Individual Research Grant.
Her book Passionate and Pious: Religious Media and Black Women’s Sexuality was published by Duke University Press in December 2017. Her forthcoming research is a book length study of black lesbian religious leadership and faith activism. Her recent publications include a co-edited volume A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z, 2nd edition (Palgrave Macmillan 2014); an article, “Putting a Ring on It: Black Women, Black Churches and Coerced Monogamy” in the Black Theology (2018) journal; a book chapter “Black Female Sexual Agency and Racialized Holy Sex in Black Christian Reality TV Shows” edited by Mara Einstein, Katherine Madden, and Diane Winston (Routledge 2018); an article “#BlackBabiesMatter: Analyzing Black Religious Media in Conservative and Progressive Evangelical Communities” in the Religions (2017) journal; a book chapter “Critical Race Theory,” in Religion: Embodied Religion edited by Kent Brintnall (Palgrave Macmillan 2016): 341-358; and an article “After the Thrill is Gone: Married to the Holy Spirit but Still Sleeping Alone,” in Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 33 (2011): 237-253.
Outside of the university, Dr. Moultrie was a consultant for the National Institutes of Health and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender-Religious Archives Network. She is a Content Development working group member for Columbia University’s Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice’s Scholars Group, a group of religious scholars collaborating at the intersection of religion and reproductive justice. Within the larger American Academy of Religion guild, Dr. Moultrie is the Status of Women in the Profession Chair and a former co-chair of the Religion and Sexuality unit.
My current research project is entitled “Hidden Histories: Faith as a Site of Black Lesbian Activism,” and it uses ethnography, particularly oral histories to make visible and theorize the faith activism of black lesbians who in their daily lives resist cultural invisibility and religious irrelevancy by serving as powerful religious leaders. I am spending the semester in the GSU Humanities Center working on a theoretical framing article for this upcoming book project.
I hope my work counters negative and damaging religious rhetoric offering instead new possibilities rooted in justice for consumers of religion and culture. As a scholar of religion and race, my work makes a difference because I seek to empower persons to critically interpret their worlds with an awareness to their biases and preferences with the lens of justice in mind.
In all of my classes I teach about the concepts of religion, race, gender, and sexuality and I jokingly tell students that my classes are centered on the topics you are told to never discuss around the dinner table. I think the biggest Aha moment comes when students realize they are now equipped to have these dinner discussions and to do so with confidence. They gain skills and the capacity to understand that they can speak to those holding differing opinions in civil and tolerant ways.
My favorite object in my office is a tie between all the items on my desk’s bookshelf. Its sparingly adorned with items that have sentimental value for me (a picture of me and my partner, my sorority induction certificate, awards for my commitments to diversity, a picture of an elderly black woman/midwife/storyteller that reminds me of strength in adversity, and the Dean’s Early Career Award which was really the validation I needed for my work at an ideal time in my GSU journey.) I placed each of these items above my computer in my office because they ground me and remind me of the many communities to whom I am accountable and the many reasons behind my scholarship.
My favorite memory at GSU is from my very first class. I went to class and intended to check on my book order at the University bookstore after class, but I didn’t know where the bookstore was located. I mentioned this in passing to students as the class let out and a student volunteered to walk me over to the bookstore. I was grateful for the considerate gesture and followed her through a maze of students gathered in front of the library. I was navigating campus with a rolling computer bag so I was moving slowly but my pace was also slow because of the crowd of hundreds of minority students out in the courtyard. It was a surreal experience as I watched students play music, participate in Greek fraternity/sorority challenges, and even grill food! I remember smiling at the smiling students while being sure not to lose my guide. I made it to the bookstore while having a lovely conversation with the undergraduate student who would go on to be my first MA thesis advisee. This is my favorite memory of GSU because it encapsulates so much of what makes me proud to be a part of GSU, a campus where students from diverse backgrounds excel while being themselves, where Southern hospitality and charm is still felt, and where faculty can witness and aid students’ growth and achievements.