We’ll Answer All of Your Questions about Graduate School!

Are you curious about graduate school in any field? Got questions? Well we’re here to answer them. Join us at 6:30pm on Wednesday February 8 in Manly 210 for informal discussion of all things graduate school. We’ll talk about everything from the application process to getting finished and prepared for the job market. It’s also a chance to get more info about the brand new REL MA degree in Religion in Culture.  For more info or to RSVP see the Facebook Event. Hope to see you there!

 

REL 360 Presents: 12 Monkeys

REL 360–our one-credit-hour course–will be showing the 1995 film 12 Monkeys. In the year 2035, only 1% of humanity’s population remains in the aftermath of a deadly virus. James Cole (played by Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to unearth the origin of the virus and thwart it before it can become the deadliest epidemic of his time. Continue reading

Attention Budding Religious Studies Scholars

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    Fragonard, A Young Scholar (Wallace Collection)

“Thoughts are the precious seeds of which our universities should be the botanical gardens.  Beware when God lets loose a thinker on the world—either Carlyle or Emerson said that—for all things then have to rearrange themselves.  But the thinkers in their youth are almost always very lonely creatures.  ‘Alone the great sun rises and alone spring the great streams.’  The university most worthy of rational admiration is that one in which your lonely thinker can feel himself least lonely, most positively furthered, and most richly fed.”

–William James, “The True Harvard” (1903)

Before loosing you on an unsuspecting world, the Religious Studies Department wishes to cultivate your thoughts in the manner James extolls.  With hopes of furthering your ideas most positively, richly feeding your research, and providing stimulating intellectual companionship, we invite you to participate in the Department’s 4th Annual Religious Studies Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Please consider reworking a paper you have written for a course and presenting it before assembled friends, family, and faculty (on Wednesday morning March 29).  You will work under the supervision of your professor and receive additional comment from Prof. Bagger.  When you present your research alongside your peers, the audience will have the opportunity to ask you questions about your ideas.  In the past students have found the entire process tremendously rewarding, and the event has become a highlight of the Department’s academic year.  Speak to your professor should you wish to participate.

The University provides a similar opportunity on March 30.  The Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity Conference brings together students from throughout the University to showcase their research.  To participate in the URCA, students must submit an abstract of their research online during the first seventeen days of February.  To assist you in that process, the University will schedule abstract-writing workshops in advance of the February deadline.

If honing your ideas and scholarly skills (as well as representing the Department of Religious Studies before the University community) does not provide sufficient incentive—as James would well recognize it might not: “Experience has proved that great as the love of truth may be among men, it can be made still greater by adventitious rewards” (“The PhD Octopus,” 1903)—the University has seen fit to supply cash prizes.  For more information, see Prof. Bagger or visit URCA.UA.EDU.  You may, of course, participate in both the Department Symposium and the University Conference.

REL Heads to Texas for the American Academy of Religion

Postcard reading "Greetings from San Antonio, Texas"

via Boston Public Library on Flickr CC BY 2.0

Something happens every weekend before Thanksgiving. No, not the cupcake tune up game before the Iron Bowl. It’s the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the national scholarly society for the academic study of religion. This weekend many of the faculty from REL are headed to San Antonio for the meeting and they have some pretty interesting plans.

Continue reading

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 5

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Dr. Jason Bivins speaking, prior to his lecture, with Charles Day, whose family and friends have generously made this series possible.

In this concluding episode of our five-part series on the 4th Day Lecture, Dr. Bivins summarizes the central themes of his lecture, providing a few closing remarks on the commonalities between religion and jazz.

If you want to learn more about the Annual Day Lecture, click here.

Every episode of the Day Lecture is available here.

The Fourth Annual Day Lecture 2016: Dr. Jason Bivins, Episode 5 from UA Religious Studies.

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 4

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Dr. Jason Bivins speaking with audience members after the conclusion of his lecture; at the far left is Mr. Charles Day, whose family & friends have made this series possible.

In the fourth episode of this five-part series, Dr. Bivins presents his second case study on Sun Ra, an American jazz composer from the 1960s well known for his experimental music and cosmic philosophies.

If you want to learn more about the Annual Day Lecture, click here.

Every episode of the Day Lecture is available here.

The Fourth Annual Day Lecture 2016: Dr. Jason Bivins, Episode 4 from UA Religious Studies.

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 3

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Spirits Rejoice! by Dr. Jason Bivins discusses in further detail the research he presented in his lecture on jazz and religion. 

In this third installment of the 4th Day Lecture, Dr. Bivins introduces one of the many case studies from his book Spirits Rejoice!. This case study focuses on Albert Ayler, a jazz composer from the 1960s who “proceeded from a predictable location into something wild.”

If you want to learn more about the Annual Day Lectures, click here.

Every episode of the Day Lecture is available here.

The Fourth Annual Day Lecture 2016: Dr. Jason Bivins, Episode 3 from UA Religious Studies.

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 2

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An attentive audience listens to Dr. Jason Bivins present his lecture on the “smoky” associations between jazz and religion.

In this second installment of the 4th Day Lecture, Dr. Bivins explains exactly why everything seems so smoky to him and provides an overview of how he set about conducting his research.

You can learn more about the Annual Day Lecture here.

Every episode of the Day Lecture is available here.

The Fourth Annual Day Lecture 2016: Dr. Jason Bivins, Episode 2 from UA Religious Studies.

REL 360 Presents: Bend it Like Beckham

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REL 360–our one credit hour course–will be ending the semester with the film Bend It Like Beckham. The film’s protagonist, Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra, is obsessed with football (more aptly known as soccer in the U.S.), but her fascination with the sport doesn’t align with her parents’ traditional ideas of a young woman’s future. When she joins a soccer team, tensions worsen within her family and she must chose between following her parents’ wishes or pursuing her passion.

WHAT? REL 360 is a one-credit course designed to show four films throughout the semester that will provoke discussion about what exactly takes place when the humanities and popular culture collide.

WHEN? Thursday, November 10th @ 6pm

WHERE? Lloyd Hall 235

WHY? For the critical discussions! You’ll notice aspects of film that you never had before!

WHAT ELSE? Anyone can attend! If you decide you like the class, you can email Professor Bagger (mcbagger@ua.edu) for more information on the course, or visit the REL website.

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We hope to see you there!

Coming Attractions: The Fourth Annual Day Lecture

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In a few weeks we’ll be hosting Prof. Jason Bivins for the fourth annual Day Lecture on Religion and Popular Culture.

In preparation, you might enjoy this interview, form last year, concerning his latest book.

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#Day2016