The REL Journal Group: Health or Perceived Health Benefits

The following exchange between Prof. Russell McCutcheon and Sierra Lawson, a graduate student in our MA program, reflects on the recent meeting of REL’s monthly journal reading group, part of our Religion in Culture MA.

Russell: Sierra, in your undergrad here at UA you did a double major in Anthropology and Religious Studies, and I know that you have an interest in medical anthropology. So presumably that helped direct your choice of this article for our journal group (written by our UA colleague, Jason DeCaro, a faculty member here in the Department of Anthropology) and one of their recent doctoral grads, Becky Read-Wahidi)? Continue reading

The Nature of Truth, Categorization, and Other Blurry Matters

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By Brooke Champagne
Brooke Champagne is an instructor of English and the Assistant Director of First-Year Writing at The University of Alabama. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from Louisiana State University. While she makes her living as a teacher, she is a perennial student of writing, religion, and language, including REL 419 in Spring 2014.

If categorization is an ideological act, then the literary nonfiction genre is undergoing a major existential crisis. While there are many permutations surrounding nonfiction writing (journalism, memoir, etc.), over the centuries the one steadfast criterion for the genre was that it had to be true. Continue reading

The Quarterback

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By Brooke Champagne

Brooke Champagne is an instructor of English and the Assistant Director of First-Year Writing at The University of Alabama.  She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from Louisiana State University.  While she makes her living as a teacher, she is a perennial student of writing, religion, and language, including REL 419 in Spring 2014.  

On July 13, 2013, 31-year-old Glee star Cory Monteith died of a heroin and alcohol overdose.  He was found alone in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver accompanied only by two empty bottles of champagne, a spoon, and a used hypodermic needle.  That harrowing final image does not comport with the one we see above:  a strong, confident quarterback in his prime.  Any minute he could drop back for a pass, or, knowing Glee, break into song. Continue reading