Tag: Public Humanities


Things You Didn’t Think You’d Learn in Grad School: Coding

Erica Bennett, now in her second and final year of the REL MA, is from Louisiana and earned her undergraduate degree from Millsaps College. Working with Prof. Touna as her supervisor, she is also a T.A. this semester for Prof. Simmons’s REL 100 and Prof. Altman’s research assistant on the American Examples grant. She is interested in studying new religious movements. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that our society revolves around, and cannot function without, technology. From Netflix party hangouts […]

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Should I “Public Humanities”? A Process for Thinking about Whether to Get Involved

puddle with reflection of legs wearing converse sneakers

  The Event I recently hosted a two-day workshop with Richard Newton as part of the American Examples project. Our aim was to think about “public humanities” with the 12 participants in the 2021 cohort. The first day’s over-arching question was, “should I “PH?” I thought it might be useful to share the process that guided our session, since others may be asking that question, too. We planned this workshop with the assumption that none of the participants have a […]

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Computational Thinking in the Humanities

Woman in 1955 working with an early, large computer

As previously announced, REL has established its own digital lab (RELdl), directed by Prof. Jeri Wieringa. The lab is an outgrowth of REL’s long investment in integrating computing skills into the life of the Department and its degree programs; among our goals is to see the lab inject energy and expertise into a variety of collaborative research projects and curricular initiatives. […]

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Got a question? 1-800-REL-HELP is here with an answer.

Sometimes there are tough questions in the academic study of religion. That’s why there’s 1-800-REL-HELP, a hotline for your most difficult religious studies quandaries. Written by participants in the 2020 American Examples working group and produced by recently graduated MA students Jack Bernardi and Jeremee Nute, these videos answer questions about everything from atheism to ritual and cults to charisma. The videos are posted on the American Examples YouTube channel (Subscribe!) or you can watch them on the playlist below. […]

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Our Pre- & Inter- Pandemic Teaching was Never “Normal” (p.s. nor our post-pandemic teaching, too!)

carnations of different colors

Two Perspectives I wish to talk about specific methods I and my colleagues adopted for pre-, inter and post-pandemic teaching.* I come at this with two perspectives: Teaching – As a freshly-tenured professor of religious studies at a public, R1 university (University of Alabama). My current research coordinates and publishes research with the Global-Critical Philosophy of Religion project. Administration – As the faculty technology liaison for UA’s college of arts and sciences. I consult 1:1 with faculty on teaching technologies, supervise […]

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Good Riddance 2020, But Wait . . .

2020 has been a strange and rough year in so many ways, but, speaking as REL’s Graduate Director, our Department still has much to celebrate among our M.A. students and the program’s alums. They did not simply survive the shift to online learning and the challenge of moving to a new city in a pandemic; they have thrived in so many ways. In May, in the middle of the first wave of the pandemic, we graduated 4 M.A. students, our […]

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Have You Read the Latest Bulletin for the Study of Religion?

Prof. Richard Newton introduces us to the latest iteration of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion, now a joint collaboration between Equinox Publishing and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. […]

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American Examples: Adapting to a Fall 2020 and Beyond

When we announced the American Examples program, funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, we were super excited about the three workshops we would be offering in 2020. We were able to hold one of them in person in early March. Then the world changed, and, with it, our plans. Many of the REL faculty pitched in late in the spring and into the early summer to adapt to our new COVID reality by hosting a series of […]

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American Examples: “An intriguing experimental workshop.”

Travis Cooper holds a double PhD in Religious Studies and Anthropology and lectures at Butler University. His dissertation project, “The Digital Evangelicals: Contesting Authority and Authenticity after the New Media Turn,” examined religious boundary maintenance strategies in the era of social media. His current research focuses on the various social architectures that structure everyday American life-worlds, rituals, and traditions—systems ranging from media ideologies and print culture to the ideologies of urban design and the built environment. An ethnographer of the American Midwest, […]

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