Calling All REL Grads…

REL grads: you may have recently seen on our social media that current majors and minors were greeted with new book bags this Fall, with the Department identity on the one side and UA’s on the other.

Well, now grads can contact us and ask for one as well.

They’re flat-bottomed, sturdy bags, made from heavy canvas, and are 12 ” tall x 14 ” wide and open to be 5 inches wide. While suitable for books they also work great for, well…, virtually anything else you can fit in them, whether fresh produce form the farmer’s market or the river stone you’re using to build that sweet backyard water feature.

To get yours mailed to you, visit https://religion.ua.edu/stay-in-touch/ on the Department website and update your mailing address, tell us a little news about yourself, and at the bottom of the page, under Other Comments/Questions, just ask for a book bag.

Simple as that.

The offer, while supplies last, is limited to grads
who majored or minored at UA in REL or Judaic Studies.

Welcome Back 2018, Part 4

Here’s the final installment in our four part welcome back series.

If you’re new to the Department, be sure to swing by our office (MA 212) to get some cool swag to start the year off right. And introduce yourself to Prof. Altman, our new Undergrad Director.

And Finally…Welcome Back! from UA Religious Studies.

Welcome Back 2018, Part 1

The new semester is almost here and you know what that means…

Welcome back videos! (Yes, that’s a plural.)

We had a busy summer, getting ready for a new school year. There’s been a few changes and a few adjustments — our eye’s always on the details.

We hope you too had a great summer and are all set
for another school year to start.

Welcome Back: Tidying Up from UA Religious Studies.

Taco Insights on Faculty Service

With the start of another school year right around the corner I’m thinking about service — one of those three main areas into which scholars usually divide up their work (the others being research and teaching, of course — and the order in which they’re written is not insignificant). It’s not hard to find faculty posting on social media bemoaning committee work, as if it gets in the way of a professor’s real work, but I’m here to say how important it is to the long term well-being of a Department — the primary unit that helps to make possible those individual careers. Continue reading

Voyant Tools on the REL Blog: Isn’t this Ex-Site-ing?

Voyant Tools allows you to read web pages. Voyant helps you do analysis of sites, too. The kind of reading done by Voyant might be called “scraping,” which covers activities such as text analysis, statistical analysis and data mining. In order words, Voyant may help you pull things out from a site more quickly than you would by spending days reading hundreds of web pages associated with a particular URL.

The graduate students who take REL 502 at the Department likely hear about it from Dr. Altman and use Voyant before their semesters end. I was reminded of this powerful tool during a workshop at the 2018 Digital Pedagogy Lab. The facilitator, Lee Skallerup-Bessette, used Voyant to analyse the data provided to her by the participants during registration. All she did was present a word cloud. Continue reading