The World Religions course is a fabulous opportunity to teach students to think critically about the various representations of the world’s religious traditions. With the critique of the world religions paradigm and its colonial roots (see Masuzawa’s Invention fo World Religions), as well as problematic assumptions contained in any singular description of world religions (see, for example, my Culture on the Edge post The Harm of World Religions), it is vital to challenge singular narratives and to help our students […]
“What Do I Talk About At the Job Interview?”
I’ve written a number of blog posts over the years about the skills that students in the academic study of religion acquire. It’s worth thinking about because too many people seem focused only on the content of an undergrad degree, assuming that the thing that you study is the thing that you’ll do. It’s an effect of the longstanding professionalization of the university, of course (whereby specialties once reserved for separate, two-year colleges or tech schools moved into the university […]
Back to the Basics
We’ve been working for some time, here in REL, to shift attention from the data to the skills — did you ever notice how our Department logo steers clear of a kaleidoscope of world religions symbols and, instead, focuses firmly on the place where we do our work? That wasn’t an accident. […]
What Remain Constant
Whatever job you take, the specific subjects you studied in college will probably prove somewhat irrelevant to the day-to-day work you will do soon after you graduate. And even if they are relevant, that will change. People who learned to write code for computers just ten years ago now confront a new world of apps and mobile devices. What remain constant are the skills you acquire and the methods you learn to approach problems. – Fareed Zakaria In Defense of […]
What’s the Point?
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. […]
I’ve noticed myself stressing curiosity more and more in class and when I talk with students. Curiosity as a skill to be cultivated. — Michael J. Altman (@MichaelJAltman) March 3, 2015 […]
It’s Not Always About Credentials
One of our faculty posted this article the other day — “Why Google doesn’t care about hiring top college graduates” — and I thought it worth re-posting here. In the article, Google’s head of people operations, Laszlo Bock, discussed the qualities that the company seeks in people they hire: “And increasingly, it’s not about credentials.” […]
Did you read what our recent guest lecturer had to say about her time in REL? […]
I Wonder What Caitlin Makes?
Last summer, Kiplinger–of the “Timely, Trusted Personal Financial Advice” fame–published a list of the worst college majors for your career. Guess what made the number four spot on the top ten list? […]