Dr. Cartier is a scholar, visual/performance artist, queer activist, writer and theologian. She has been active in many movements for social change. Marie teaches at UC Irvine in the Film & Media Studies Department and CSU Northridge in Gender and Women’s Studies. She recieved her Ph.D. in Religion from Claremont Graduate University, 2010, in Women Studies in Religion, with an emphasis on theology, ethics, and culture. She has published several articles on among other topics, the religiosity of pre-Stonewall gay women’s/butch- femme bar culture and community, and created the concept of “theelogy.”
She has three Master of Fine Arts Degrees – Film, Theater, and Visual Art. She also exhibits internationally her installation performance, MORGASM, the Museum of Radical Gender and Sex Matrix, which explores female orgasm in a museum context. Currently she is advising on and co-producing, The HomoFiles, a documentary film based on her dissertation.
In 2014, she published her book, Baby You Are My Religion, which argues that American butch-femme bar culture of the mid-20th Century should be interpreted as a sacred space for its community. Before Stonewall – when homosexuals were still deemed mentally ill – these bars were the only place where many could have any community at all. Baby, You are My Religion explores this community as a site of a lived corporeal theology and political space. It reveals that religious institutions such as Rev. Troy Perry’s Metropolitan Community Church were founded in such bars, that traditional and non-traditional religious activities took place there, and that religious ceremonies such as marriage were often conducted within the bars by staff. Baby, You are My Religion examines how these bars became not only ecclesiastical sites but also provided the fertile ground for the birth of the struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights before Stonewall.