As I sit here making the Spring 2017 class schedule for our department I recall the many times that I’ve heard academics lament being involved in administration. (That they equally complain about no longer being much involved in the governance of their institutions is an irony too rich to overlook.) “My condolences” is the witty reply many offer when learning that a colleague has fallen on the dagger (yes, that’s how it is portrayed) of becoming a department chair, coupled with such profuse congratulations at news of one stepping down as to make you think that it was equivalent to having your wrongful conviction overturned. Continue reading →
A young Brazilian migrant woman, Leila, runs a small make-up salon in her apartment in Toyota City, Japan. Most of her clients are, like herself, Brazilians of Japanese descent who have return migrated to the land of their ancestors. Her small salon is also a social hub of evangelical women in the local Brazilian migrant community who come in for good make-up and conversations. In this intimate space, Leila, her fellow migrants, and the filmmaker speak about and act out their complex identities.
Shot almost entirely in one room, the film captures migrants’ sense of identity and belonging by witnessing the interactions between Leila, the filmmaker, her family and friends, and the clients. What defines being Japanese, Brazilian, or Japanese-Brazilian? How does generational identity shape transnational belonging? How can one rely on God in the face of ethnic discrimination and social alienation? The scenes and dialogues speak to these issues that migrants constantly grapple with.
The film will be screened at the festival in Minneapolis, MN this November. Congratulations, Prof. Ikeuchi!
I’ve noticed an interesting reaction online to the news that Trump may have become born-again Christian — at least as reported recently in an interview with the noted US evangelical leader James Dobson.
The reaction concerns either how social actors like Dobson have stooped to a new low by so crassly using faith for political purposes (and thereby trying to make Trump more palatable to a segment of voters) or how this signals the final demise of the so-called Christian Right and any religious relevance it might have once had. Continue reading →
When I heard Donald Trump’s speech on Monday I realized that Trump’s rhetoric presents the scholar of religion with a crossroads. Scholars of religion have to make a decision about how to engage Trumpism.
I assume you’ve seen the discussion over the past month of so around the CV of failures — a movement among some academics to publicize, and thereby make apparent to others, a list of their failures, so as to dispel the myth of merit, i.e., that success just naturally comes to those who already have the goods. Continue reading →
On March 31, Dr. William Lee McCorkle presented his research as part of the Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution (ALLELE) series, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. His lecture, titled “Religion, a Cultural Virus,” offered a crash-course on the academic study of religion and focused on the advantages of an evolutionary theory of religion, as well as highlighting his work at LEVYNA, the Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, which he helped to establish.
Back in March, Dr. Eddie Glaude, the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University (and incoming President of the American Academy of Religion [AAR]), presented his lecture, titled “Democracy in Black: The Value Gap,” as the Religious Studies Department’s 14th annual Aronov Lecture. (Learn more about this annual lecture series.)
Did you miss it?
Not to worry! You can follow the link below or watch it here.
Our thanks to Caity Walker and Jared Powell for filming and posting the lecture.