So, What Are You Doin’ These Days?

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Check out this article, from the University of Virginia, which surveyed grads over the past decade with regard to: 1) what their undergraduate major was and 2) what career they went into. Above is a screen shot (from their interactive site) of what careers grads originating in what they group together as Philosophy & Religious Studies have gone into.

A goal for our Department this year is to start tracking grads in much the same way — the graphic looks about right, given our experience, but we’ve only ever done it informally, anecdotally, never systematically. So if you’re a grad of our Department, then expect to hear from us in the future.

Consider yourself warned.

Heading to a Conference

aarYes, it’s that time of year again — some members of the Department are off to attend annual conferences (in Baltimore this year). You’ll find them in sessions, running between sessions to get to a session, presenting their research at a session, or lost in the sea of humanity (pictured above) in the book display killing time between sessions.

Did you catch the interviews from last year’s annual meetings in Chicago? We’ll be filming some more this year but until then, you might enjoy looking over our shoulder to see what these conferences are all about.

And keep an eye out for a pic or two if we bump into anyone who knows us.


Putting a Humanities Degree to Work


“That class [Modern Atheism] introduced a profound change in Hicks’ life. She began to listen to those with different views than her own, began to dialogue, and, finally, began to see. ‘It just all sort of clicked for me,’ she said. ‘You walk past people—the kinds of people that you don’t even see a lot of the time, people who are under-represented in our culture.'” Continue reading

What’s the Future for Online Learning?

Picture 4So what do you think of massively open online courses (MOOCs)?

Well, they’re not “massively open” like they were at the start (back in 2008), since now they’re tied to venture capital, the profit motive, tuition fees, and corporate/university branding. There were those who thought they were the future of higher ed, and not just for distance ed students either, but there are now those who are not so confident. Continue reading

Collaborative Learning?

collaborativelearning2How do you think a classroom ought to be structured? Who is the expert — is there even one? Is everyone in it together or are some speakers more authorized than others? After all, one of the people in that classroom is assessing the others — or is everyone assessing everyone else, with the same consequences on the line for all?

Consider this article:

collaborativelearningRead it all here.

“You Don’t Get to Use Us”

onedropInterested in a frank discussion of race, identity, and some implications for university campuses interested in diversity among students and faculty? Then consider this clip that our inaugural Zach Day lecturer, Prof. Monica Miller, posted earlier today on Facebook, featuring Prof. Yaba Blay, of Drexel University, and the author of (1)ne Drop:

What is the Academic Study of Religion?: A Graduate’s Perspective

gradtalestdavisTim Davis earned his B.A. in Religious Studies and Spanish in 2006. He went on to earn his J.D. at UA’s School of Law. He is now practices law, with an emphasis in civil litigation, in St. Clair County, AL. Tim wrote this piece for new REL students shortly before graduating.

As an entering freshman at The University of Alabama I knew that my older sister, a junior at the time, was a Religious Studies major but I had no clue as to what she studied. Because she told me that she had taken courses in Tibetan Buddhism and the Hebrew Bible, I assumed that Religious Studies majors did all of their coursework studying descriptive information about the different religions that are found throughout the world. Continue reading

Of Practicing and Preaching

yoderAre you familiar with the work of the Christian theologian John Howard Yoder (d. 1997)? I remember reading his classic The Politics of Jesus long ago, in a galaxy far far away from the academic study of religion.

A recent New York Times article (Oct. 11, 2013), entitled, “A Theologian’s Influence, and Stained Past, Live On,” opened as follows: Continue reading