Last week, Professors Steven Ramey and Vaia Touna sat down to discuss their involvement with the Culture on the Edge research group and blog, along with their two book series. Though the discussion was intended to focus on Prof. Touna’s recent addition to the published series, it naturally led to a conversation on the implications of fabricating origins and identity.
Did you notice the new tab on the menu at the top of our blog? That one up there that says “Class Blogs?” Well, many of our classes in REL use blogs so students can use their critical thinking skills in public. That new “Class Blogs” tab takes you to page where you can find all of our class blogs from this year’s REL 490 course to an Honors History of Religions in America course in Spring 2014. Check out the all of our great student content!
As discussions about the relevance of what we do in religious studies, and academia in general, have become more common lately, my own emphases have coalesced around the skills that the humanities help scholars (whether students or faculty or interested blog readers) develop. And that emphasis on skills is not limited to our work in the classroom.
REL 360 is our brand new, one-credit course entitled “Popular Culture/Public Humanities,” and organized by Prof. Rollens. Students who take this course watch a series of movies, attend a public lecture, and then have the opportunity to discuss the material together with faculty. They write short responses to their favorite events, one of which will eventually be published on our department’s blog.
To introduce the students to the phenomenon of academic blogging, their first assignment was to examine other posts on the department blog and tell us what they thought makes an effective post. We received some great and perceptive insights, and so we’ve distilled their responses down into these Top Ten Tips for Academic Blogging. If you’re ever asked to blog in a class, these tips would be a great place to start.