- by Dr. Leland G. Spencer IV -
I am excited to announce that a colleague and I have recently published an academic article that may be of interest to the readers of this blog.
Our article considers the 2010 Soulforce Equality Ride, a movement of queer Christian students who traveled around the country protesting conservative Christian colleges and universities with anti–lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) policies. We argue that the movement is comparable to a toxic tour, as described by Phaedra Pezzullo, because of the harmfulness of the campuses’ policies, the difficult rhetorical challenge the movement faces, and the importance of presence for the Equality Ride activists and the students they met along the way. We understand the conservative Christian college campuses as environments and the anti-LGB rhetoric and policies as toxins. We argue that the movement offers hope by undermining the notion that LGB sexualities and Christian spirituality are mutually exclusive categories of binary opposition.
The article appears in the February 2013 issue of the Southern Communication Journal. Read the full article here.
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Leland G. Spencer IV, a lifelong United Methodist, holds a PhD in communication studies from the University of Georgia, where he teaches classes in communication and women's studies. Leland holds an M.A. in Communication from the University of Cincinnati (2009). While in Cincinnati, Leland served as the worship intern at the Wesley Foundation. Leland is a 2007 graduate of Mount Union College, a United Methodist-related school in Alliance, Ohio. Leland served as a part-time local pastor at Mapleton United Methodist Church in the East Ohio Conference from 2005 until 2007 when Leland withdrew from the candidacy process because of the United Methodist Church's exclusive position about the ordination of LGB persons.