Incoming MA Student Awarded National Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship

We’re extremely pleased to announce that Keeley McMurray, who will be starting our M.A. this Fall, has been awarded a National Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship by the University of Alabama.

Keeley will graduate from the University of Alabama in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and English. Though her curiosities in the study of religion are broad and still growing, she is currently studying the rhetorical utility of the idea of “sincerely held beliefs” in contemporary American politics and law; she aims for this project to expand into a study of “conscience” in the history of tolerance and secularization. She will be working with Prof. Altman¬†as her supervisor.

The highly competitive fellowship that Keeley has been awarded, for which she was nominated by the department, is open to in-state students from across all disciplines on campus; it is given to approximately 30 students annually and the funds for these awards are generated through the state of Alabama’s customized UA license tag — learn more here.

Graduate Council Fellowship Awarded to Incoming M.A. Student

We’re pleased to announce that Savannah Finver, who will begin our M.A. in the Fall, has been awarded a Graduate Council Fellowship, by the School of Graduate Studies, for the 2018-19 academic year. This award, which was also given to current M.A. student Sarah Griswold for 2017-18, is an outright scholarship and entails no teaching assistant duties.

Savannah graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy/Religious Studies. Her interests are focused around the rhetorical strategies employed by groups which identify both as ‘religious’ and ‘nonreligious’ and their influence on the American political sphere. While at UA she’ll be working with Prof. Touna as her supervisor.

The Graduate Council Fellowship, for which students must be nominated by their home department, is UA’s most prestigious award for graduate students. Approximately 100 GCFs are given each year, mainly to incoming Masters or Doctoral students.

Wondering what our MA students study…?

Yes, REL has an MA Program now — our students recently created a curated, online project, for one of their classes, to test out how to use a new software.

Want to know what else they’re doing?

Heard of Our M.A.? from UA Religious Studies.

Interested? Then check out the first half of
our latest podcast episode to hear more from
Emma, Sarah, and Sierra.

Digital Religious Studies

Photo of old computer punch cards

If you’ve followed our Department then you might know about our new MA, which started this Fall. While it’s focused on helping students develop their social theory skills, it also has a focus on the digital skills that have become increasingly relevant in scholarship — whether to communicate with wider audiences, via a variety of online projects (what might be called the public humanities), or to enhance the traditional research that we do.

That’s why every incoming group of grad students takes two required Fall classes, one on social theory and the other on digital tools. Continue reading