Category: Grad Blog

Posts in this category are written by, or are about, graduates of the Department.


Well Scientifically… Traditions are an Idiot Thing

Matthew McCullough, an MA student in Prof. Ramey’s REL501 course, teases out the stakes of classifying an act as a tradition. This post originally appeared on the REL 501 Religious Studies & Social Theory: Foundations course blog. So, are traditions really an “idiot thing,” as Rick declares? Not quite. As we’ve seen in the clip above, tradition, appearing in various forms, is a device that’s used when something is at stake. There is no real tradition of science projects being done by […]

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Heineken Beer Dismantles the Traditional Family

Caity Bell, a student in Prof. Ramey REL501 course, ponders the invention of tradition. This post originally appeared on the REL 501 Religious Studies & Social Theory: Foundations course blog.   The holiday season is fast upon us and with it a substantial rise in commercials meant to tug upon consumers’ heartstrings, to invoke that special sense of holiday cheer that drives us, no doubt, to purchase more products than we have year-round. If you don’t run from the room […]

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6 Questions with Markus Harris

We have a series that features grads that have ended up doing a pretty wide variety of things after leaving their REL classes (graduating either recently or a little while ago).  So we posed a few questions to each and let’s see what we learn. 1. When were you enrolled at UA and what major(s) and minor(s) did you graduate with? Greetings! I had two tenures of enrollment with the University of Alabama. The second tenure is where I found […]

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The 6th Annual Day Lecture

If you weren’t able to attend our 6th annual Day Lecture this year, then you can now find it on Vimeo! Dr. Teemu Taira, who is a Professor in the Department of the Study of Religions at the University of Helsinki, spoke on “Reading Bond Films Through the Lens of Religion.” Our thanks to A&S’s etech office for filming the lecture. […]

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Disconnecting Truth from Free Speech

Ana Schuber is a graduate student in our Religion in Culture MA program. This post was originally published on our Religious Studies & Social Theory: Foundations course blog. Harry Potter, or in human form Daniel Radcliffe, is currently acting in an off-Broadway play titled The Lifespan of a Fact. Timely and satirical, the play posits a contemporary political pastime of major and minor news agencies across the world: fact-checking truth. Perhaps the more important question one might ask today is: is there truth out there to […]

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Is this “Rising” or even Equal?

Ana Schuber is a graduate student in our Religion in Culture MA program. This post was originally published on our Religious Studies & Social Theory: Foundations course blog. So, here in the middle, actually right up on the final run toward the mid-term 2018 elections, it was amazing to see a political advertisement that turned the standard dialogue about women running for office on its head. Paid for by the Serve America PAC, a democratic effort, this ad features eight first time congressional […]

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Scholars Around a Campfire: Understanding Strategic Acts of Identification

Culture on the Edge, a group of scholars studying acts of identity formation and centered here at the University of Alabama, has a new book forthcoming in its series, Studies of Identity Formation. This book, Strategic Acts in the Study of Identity: Toward a Dynamic Theory of People and Place, edited by our own Prof. Vaia Touna, is set for publication in January 2019. […]

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Another Journal Group

MA Students and faculty met the other day to discuss the article chosen for this meeting of our regular journal group – which just so happened to be an article Prof. Steven Ramey and I coauthored. The article, titled Sourcing Stereotypes: Constructing and Challenging Simplified Knowledge, is made up of two main parts: a critique of a chart (and its corresponding citations) from a textbook in the nursing field concerned with what we took to be stereotypes (some of which […]

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What’s New about New Modernisms?

The discourse of modernism has conventionally been dominated by a limiting attention to aesthetics, form, experimentation, and canon, often treated as standalone objects that capture the essence of modernist art — but what if we focus instead on social politics as a driving force behind the modernist movement?  What new perspective might be gained if we unite the typically separated categories of aesthetics and politics?  In their forthcoming book, Race and New Modernisms, REL Prof. Merinda Simmons and English Prof. […]

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Grad Tales is Back

Back in the 2013-14 school year we started a new series, Grad Tales, aimed to bring REL grads back to campus to meet with current students — likely students in our 100-level courses who major in everything from engineering and business to social work and nursing. Knowing how many students aren’t sure what they’re going to do in their lives, what major to declare, and how a career will or won’t develop after they graduate, our goal was to invite […]

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