It’s finally here! It’s American Examples week!

American Examples

It’s here. Well, almost. The papers have been read. The mentors have met and brainstormed. The plane tickets and hotels are booked. The restaurant reservations are made. This week 9 new participants in the American Examples program, funded graciously by the Henry Luce Foundation, will arrive in Tuscaloosa for a weekend of discussion and collaboration on innovative new research into things people call religion in places people call America. We have a lot going on this week.

Why Study Religion? A conversation about the relevance of the Humanities. Featuring Travis Cooper, Butler University and Hannah Scheidt, Northwestern University. Thursday March 6 7pm, Gorgas Library Camelia Room. An American Examples ProductionAmerican Examples kicks off Thursday night with a public event featuring two participants in last year’s American Examples cohort. Travis Cooper and Hannah Scheidt will sit down with me, Prof, Mike Altman, to discuss how they got into the study of religion and why the study of religion, and the humanities more generally, are relevant to students and beyond the academy. Come join us at 7pm on Thursday March 5 in the Camelia Room (formerly Gorgas 205) in Gorgas Library!

Then on Friday and Saturday the participants will be joined by faculty mentors Profs. Steven Ramey, Vaia Touna, and Mike Altman for a workshop in which each participant will contribute a chapter length piece of new research.

These chapters will eventually make up the second volume of the American Examples anthology series. (I’m currently working on editing the first volume featuring last year’s research chapters.) Stay tuned for more announcements about the publication plans for American Examples.

There will also be meals, rides to and from the airport, coffee breaks, podcast recordings, and conversations outside the workshop. These are really when the best conversations happen. All in all, it should be a really interesting week for the faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in the Department. And you can follow along at #AmericanExamples2020 on Twitter and Instagram.

We’re all very excited!