Associate Professor Sharon A Bong

 

Associate Professor of Gender Studies 

Email: sharon.bong@monash.edu
Telephone No: +603 5514 6126
Fax No: +603 5514 6365
Room No: 2-6-13

Qualifications 

Ph.D. (Religious Studies, University of Lancaster, UK)
M.A. (Women and Religion, University of Lancaster, UK)
M.A. (English Literature, University of Malaya, Malaysia)
B.A. (Hons) (English Literature, University of Malaya, Malaysia)

Biography 

My multi-disciplinary academic background stems from my shift from dead poets to living communities in moving away from literary studies to Women’s Studies and Religious Studies over two decades ago. This leap of faith was in part, precipitated by my involvement in women’s non-governmental organizations since the 1990s at international, regional and national levels that compelled me to seek a greater resonance between theoretical aspirations and practical needs, fuelled by an ethos of social justice and inclusivity. 

As a technophobe, I am particularly pleased with my acquired expertise in qualitative researching using Grounded Theory Methodology and ATLAS.ti, a Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software that has made analyzing qualitative data such an enriching process. I zealously share this obsession with unsuspecting students. I continue to experiment with the use of technology in the classroom, particularly in relation to units within the Major in Gender Studies which I had introduced in 2016, developed from humble electives a decade ago.   

My chequered career path involved lecturing for the Gender Studies Programme at University of Malaya on Women, Culture and Religion; working as a Programme Officer (publications) with ARROW, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, a regional-based NGO that focuses on reproductive health and sexuality rights; and being a specialist writer (features) with the New Straits Times and since 2003, being based at the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS), Monash University. 

This has led to an appreciation for synergising academia and the industry including NGOs which I realise through my service as the Internahip Coordinator for SASS in bringing on board a credit-bearing Workplace Learning Internship unit which enables students, both local and international, during the summer break, to have the invaluable opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom at the industry of their choice. 

My research-led teaching lies in the multidisciplinary fields of gender, sexuality and religions in a Southeast Asian context. I remain highly involved – as these have kept me sane – in global and regional academic forums such as the Asian Regional Committee of the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church and the Ecclesia of Women in Asia, an academic forum of Catholic Asian women theologising in Asia. I am also a Research associate of the UNESCO Chair Interreligious And Intercultural Relations – Asia-Pacific and a patron of the Catherine of Siena Virtual College and John Wijngaards Catholic Research Centre. At a local level, I have had the privilege of being invited as the keynote and plenary speaker of national conferences of the Qualitative Reseaarch Association of Malaysia.

Research Interests

  • The intersection of genders, sexualities and religions in a Southeast Asian context  
  • Study of Christianity and new ways of being church in contemporary times within a postcolonial theoretical framework in Southeast Asia – essentially, what is ‘Asian’ in Asian postcolonial theologising 
  • Time, space and gender 

Current research or writing project 

  • Chapter on “Not Only for the Sake of Man: Asian Feminist Theological Responses to Laudato Si” for the edited volume Planetary Solidarity, edited by Grace Kim and Hilda P. Koster, published by Fortress Press (forthcoming 2017)
  • Chapter on “The roots of human dignity in a Southeast Asian context” for the edited book Human Dignity as part of the Missio book series, One World Theology, published by Herder (English version forthcoming in 2017)
  • Chapter on “The feminist praxis of Talitha Kum Southeast Asia: Combatting trafficking in persons to realizing human dignity” for the Ecclesia of Women’s forthcoming edited volume The 21st Century Woman Still Claiming Her Space: Asian Feminist Theological Perspectives
  • Manuscript on “Becoming spiritually sexual: Narratives from Malaysia and Singapore”
  • Manuscript on “Christianity and postocloniality in Southeast Asia”  

Publications 

  • Bong, Sharon A. (2006). The tension between women’s rights and religions: The case of Malaysia. New York: the Edwin Mellen Press 

Edited Book

  • Bong, Sharon A. (Ed.). (2014). Trauma, Memory and Transformation in Southeast Asia. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Strategic information and Research Development Centre (SIRD).
  • Bong, Sharon A and Joseph, Pushpa (Eds.). (2008). Re-imagining marriage and family in Asia: Asian Christian women’s perspectives. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Strategic information and Research Development Centre (SIRD). 

Book chapters

  • Bong, S. A. (2016). A God by any other name. In Lúcás Chan Yiu Sing, James F. Keenan and Shaji George Kochuthara (Eds.), Doing Asian theological ethics in a cross-cultural and an interreligious context (181-193). Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications. 
  • Bong, S. A. (2016). Women's and Feminist Activism in Southeast Asia. The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of gender and sexuality studies (pp. 1–5). Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss593/pdf (institutions/organisations). DOI: 10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss593. 
  • Bong, S. A. (2016). Women's Ways of Knowing. The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of gender and sexuality studies (pp. 1–3). Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss597/pdf (philosophy/ethics). DOI: 10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss597.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2015). Negotiating tensions in the discourses of gender, sexuality and religion. In James Chin and Joern Dosch (Eds.), Malaysia post-Mahathir: A decade of change? (pp. 169-194). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2014). Gender, sexuality and Christian feminist movements in Asia. In Felix Wilfred (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of Christianity in Asia (pp. 182-194). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2014). In the name of Allah: Containment of trauma and memory in Malaysia. In Sharon A. Bong (Ed.), Trauma, memory and transformation: Southeast Asian experiences (pp. 145-167). Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Strategic information and Research Development Centre (SIRD).
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2014). Sacralizing time and space through an epistemology of peace: A feminist reading of DiscipleSFX of Malaysia. In Agnes M Brazal and Kochurani Abraham (Eds.), Feminist Cyberethics in Asia: Religious Discourses on Human Connectivity (pp. 119-139). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2014). The Ecclesia of Women in Asia: Liberating theology. In Linda F. Hogan and A. E. Orobator (Eds.), Feminist Catholic Theological Ethics: Conversations in the World Church (pp. 64-71). Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2012). Theologies of, for, and by Asians: Reformulating dialogue. In David Joy and Joseph F. Duggan (Eds.), Decolonizing the Body of Christ: Theology and theory after empire? (pp. 79-106). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2011). The narratives of GLBTQ persons: Towards an epistemology of the body. In Judette Gallares and Astrid Lobo-Gajiwala (Eds.), Feminist Theology of Liberation Asian perspectives: Practicing Peace (pp. 81-100). Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publication.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2010). The suffering Christ and the Asian body. In Kwok Pui-Lan (Ed.), Hope abundant: Third World and indigenous women’s theology (pp. 186-193). Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books (reprinted).
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2009). Sexualising faith and spiritualising sexuality in postcolonial narratives of same-sex intimacy.In Allison Moore and Carlo Zuccarini (Eds.), Persons and Sexuality (pp. 33-44). Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press. Retrieved from: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Pas5ver1170110.pdf#page=44.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2009). The sexuality-spirituality project. In Lyn Richards (Ed.), Handling Qualitative Data, 2nd edition, Companion Website. Sage. Retrieved from: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/richards/homeP8.htm.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2008). Going beyond the universal-versus-relativist rights discourse and practice: The case of Malaysia. In Sanja Bahun-Radunović and V. G. Julie Rajan (Eds.), Violence and gender in the globalised world: The intimate and the extimate (pp. 25-40). Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2007). Queer revisions of Christianity. In Agnes Brazal and Andrea Lizares Si (Eds.), Body and sexuality: Theological-pastoral perspectives of women in Asia (pp. 234-249). Manila, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2006). Postcolonialism. In John Sawyer (Ed.), Blackwell companion to the bible and culture (pp. 497-514). Blackwell: Oxford. (Invitation to publish)
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2004). An Asian postcolonial and feminist methodology: Ethics as a recognition of limits. In Ursula King and Tina Beattie (Eds.), Gender, Religion and Diversity: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (pp. 238-249). London and New York: Continuum.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2003). Suffering, resisting, healing: an Asian view of the body. In Janet Martin Soskice and Diana Lipton (Eds.), Feminism and Theology (pp. 356-364). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Invitation to publish) 

Journal articles

  • Bong, Sharon A. (2012). Decolonizing Malaysian theologies. Asian Christian Review,6(1), 67-89.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2011). Negotiating resistance/resilience through the nexus of spirituality -sexuality of same-sex partnerships in Malaysia and Singapore. Marriage and Family, Review, 47(8), 648-665. doi: 10.1080/01494929.2011.619305.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2011). Beyond queer: An epistemology of bi choice. Journal of Bisexuality, 11(1), 39-63. doi: 10.1080/15299716.2011.545304.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2009). Not ‘for the sake of peace’: Towards an epistemology of the sacred body. Asian Christian Review,3(1), 50-68.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2007). Debunking myths in CAQDAS use and coding in qualitative data analysis: Experiences with and reflections on grounded theory methodology. Historical Social Research [The official journal of Quantum and Interquant; an international journal for the application of formal methods to history], 19(Supplement), 258-275.
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2002). Suffering, resisting, healing: An Asian view of the body. Concilium [International Journal of Theology and Religious Studies], 2, 122-129. (Invitation to publish)
  • Bong, Sharon A. (2002). Debunking myths in qualitative data analysis [44 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/ Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/849/1845

Social Commentaries

Conference presetations

Keynote address

Mac 2012

  • Presented ‘Refining qualitative data’, QRAM 9th National Research Seminar, 31 March 2012, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur Symposium II: Reporting and Writing Qualitative Data (Dos & Don’ts)—panelist 

Aug 2009

  • Presented ‘Opportunities and challenges for women in Asia Pacific in the 21st century’, World YWCA Asia and Pacific Regional Training Institute: ‘Women Creating Safe and Secure Communities, 2-7 August 2009, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia 

Plenary speaker 

Nov 2014

  • Presented ‘Freedom of Religion and Gender’, Podium 2, International Conference on ‘Freedom of Religion: A Human Right Claimed and Instrumentalised’, 26-27 November 2014, Münster, Germany, organized by Missio (Aachen), the Franz-Hitze-Haus Academy and Institute for Christian Social Sciences, University of Münster 

Nov 2014

  • Presented ‘Freedom of Religion – Freedom of Expression – Freedom of the Arts’, Podium 3/Public Forum, International Conference on ‘Freedom of Religion: A Human Right Claimed and Instrumentalised’, 26-27 November 2014, Münster, Germany, organized by Missio (Aachen), the Franz-Hitze-Haus Academy and Institute for Christian Social Sciences, University of Münster 

Mac 2014

  • Presented ‘Critical qualitative researching amid academic conservatism’, QRAM 2014 AGM and seminar, 29 March 2014, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 

By invitation 

Jul 2016

  • Presented, ‘A Gender Perspective on Catholic Sexual Ethics: Who Defines the roles and issues’, Joint symposium of DAKATEO, ET and INSeCT (International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology) 2016, ‘Gender and Ecclesiology: An Intercultural Dialogue’, 14-17 July 2016, Tagaytay, Philippines 

Jun 2016

  • Presented, ‘Talitha Kum Southeast Asia: A feminist “network of salvation”’, Panel 3 ‘‘Religious identity And gender’ (followed by a seminar, on the same day, Friday 10 June, 1500-1800), International Theological Conference (themed, ‘Religious identities in a globalized world’), 9-12 June, Catholic Theological Faculty, University of Munster, Munster, Germany 

Mac 2016

  • Presented ‘The feminist praxis of Talitha Kum Southeast Asia: Combatting trafficking in persons to realizing human dignity’, Gender Studies Seminar Series 02/2016, 28 March 2016, University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur   

Apr 2015

  • Presented, ‘To marry or not to marry: The law and sexuality rights in Malaysia’, Tonan Talk: A Brown Bag Lecture Series, 15 April 2015, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto, Japan Presented, ‘To marry or not to marry: The law and sexuality rights in Malaysia’, Seminar Series, 14 April 2015, Nara Women’s University, Nara, Japan 

Jun 2015

  • Presented, ‘The Ecclesia of Women in Asia: Liberating Theology’, FTESEA/ATESEA Women Theological Educators and Women in Theological Movements Conference, 21-25 June 2015, UCCP Shalom Centre, Manila, the Philippines 

Nov 2014

  • Presented, ‘Gender, Sexuality and Christian Feminist Movements in Asia’, Christianity in Asia, Intensive Summer Programme, 17-19 September 2014, University of Münster, Germany   

Apr 2014

  • Presented, ‘Rethinking the discourse of victimhood: The case of the Obedient Wives’ Club’ at the Monash-Warwick Alliance Workshop, themed, ‘Rethinking violence against women: Comparative and transnational perspectives’, 9-10 April 2014  

Feb 2011

  • Presented ‘Women’s rights and religions in Malaysia’ at seminar, 12 February 2011, organized by the Center for Gender and Women’s Culture in Asia, Nara Women’ University, Nara, Japan 

Jan 2011

  • Presented ‘Women’s rights and religions in Malaysia’ at seminar, 20 January 2011, organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore  

Oct 2010

  • Presented ‘The suffering Christ and the Asian body’ at the American Academy of Religion, 30 October- 1 November 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA  

Jul 2010

  • Presented ‘Narratives of sexuality and belonging’ at the Second Conference of the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church, 24-27 July 2010, Trent, Italy  

July 2009

  • Presented ‘Queering narratives of belonging’ at the Workshop on ‘Revisiting Pluralism in Malaysia’, 9-10 July 2009, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore