Workshop this Thursday, 11/19

Just can’t get enough of those dissertation proposals?  Join us this Thursday, 11/19, as Kit Shields presents her dissertation proposal and Rachel Watson responds.  Lunch will be served.

Download the paper from the “Papers” tab on this blog.  If you need the password, email Michele Ferris

The RAME Workshop meets 12:00-1:15 in the Marty Center Seminar Room, on the 2nd floor of Swift Hall.

Sign up for notification of future meetings:

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Next Meeting: November 5

12:00-1:15, Marty Center Seminar Room

Do you want to know what a dissertation proposal looks like?  Join us Thursday as Greg Chatterley presents his dissertation proposal.  Emily Crews will respond to the paper and lunch will be served.

Download the paper from the “Papers” tab on this blog.  If you need the password, email Michele Ferris

Sign up for notification of future meetings:

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Next workshop: 10/22

Get ready for our first workshop centered around a paper!  We will discuss Prof. Tom Tweed’s “After the Quotidian Turn:  Interpretive Categories and Scholarly Trajectories in the Study of Religion Since the 1960s.”  There will be no respondent; instead, this will be a moderated discussion with opening remarks by Prof. Evans.

Lunch will be served.

Download the paper by clicking on this link:

Tweed paper

See you at 12:00 in the Marty Center!  (Note, this time we will start meeting in our regular space, the seminar room at the opposite end of the hall from the library.)

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Kick-Off Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Welcome back to campus!  We hope you will join us this Thursday, October 8, for our first meeting of the workshop to kick off the new year.  There is no paper scheduled for this introductory meeting.  Come enjoy Medici pizza and salad over lunch (12:00-1:15) while we talk about the goals for the workshop this year and get to know each other better.

Note:  we will be in the Marty Center Library for this meeting, only.  The Marty Center is on the second floor of Swift Hall, next to elevator.  Enter the double doors and walk to the end of the hall.

See you there!

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2015-2016 Call for Papers

The Religions in America Workshop is pleased to announce its

2015-16 Call for Papers

We invite graduate students to submit proposals for work-in-progress, including a dissertation proposal, dissertation chapter, conference paper, article draft, orals exam paper, or new piece of research that engages the broadly construed topic of religion in America. Please send the tentative title, brief description, type of submission, your program/department affiliation, and the month in which you would like to present your work to   Your paper will be due the week prior to the presentation, in order to allow workshop members adequate time to review the paper.

The Religions in America Workshop explores the role of religion in American culture from the colonial period to the present day. The workshop engages in historiographical, theoretical, and methodological discussions about the place of religion in American life by focusing on issues and topics such as gender, race, consumer culture, the separation of church and state, politics, literature, theology, and music. The workshop welcomes scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, including the Divinity School, History Department, English Department, Sociology Department, Political Science Department, Music Department, and Anthropology Department. Presentations by students and faculty, as well as by distinguished guest speakers, take place in a relaxed, discussion-oriented environment designed to further the research, inquiry, and knowledge of both presenters and participants alike.

We meet on alternate Thursdays from 12:00-1:15 in Swift Hall. When lunch is not provided, we invite you to bring your brown bag to the workshop.

For more information about the Religions in America Workshop, please visit our website

To receive notices about upcoming meetings, you can subscribe to our listserv


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Hello, Workshoppers:
Welcome to the spring quarter! Our first meeting will be a dissertation proposal workshop with Alison Davis. Not only will this be an opportunity for Alison to get some feedback on her proposal, but it will be a chance for students who may be writing their own proposals in the future (like me!) to get some insight into the process. Please invite anyone you know who would find such a meeting helpful.


Dissertation Proposal Workshop with Alison Davis

DATE: Thursday, April 9

TIME: 12:00 – 1:15
PLACE: Marty Center Seminar Room (2nd floor of Swift Hall)
To obtain a copy of Alison’s proposal draft, please email meat
— Kit
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Greetings, fellow workshoppers!

Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 29 and our presenter will be a particularly promising and attractive student named Kit Shields. I kid! But seriously, I am our next presenter. My paper is attached to this email. Here are the deets:

Reading Right and Feeling Right in Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Kit Shields at the Religions in America Workshop
DATE: Thursday, January 29
TIME: 12:00 – 1:15
PLACE: Marty Center Seminar Room, second floor of Swift Hall

Critical for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s project of humanizing her enslaved characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the redemption and reinstatement of a way of thinking that views sympathy, shared experience, and true religion–rather than law, honor, and order, for example–as the basis for a moral society. This heart-centered mode of thought and discourse was, for Stowe and many others in her time, essentially feminine. The virtues of this alternative feminine value system are often illustrated and promoted in scenes depicting different characters reading. I will argue that through scenes of reading, Stowe seeks to show how a masculine value system has allowed slavery to continue, and offers an alternative, feminine value system that would abolish slavery by redeeming sympathetic shared experience as a superior foundation for moral society.

I sincerely hope to see you there. In fact, I hope to see you there more than any of the other times I have said that to you. Please come.


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Dear Workshoppers,
Welcome back from the winter break! Our first workshop of the quarter will be a mock job talk with Paul Chang, co-sponsored by the Global Christianity Workshop. Not only will this be an opportunity to hear about Paul’s work and give him some feedback, also to get some insight into how job talks work. Invite your colleagues!
“The vine… so long that it encircles the globe”:
The Significance of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee in Global Christianity

A mock job talk with Paul Chang

Presented by the Religions in America and Global Christianity Workshops
Date: Thursday, January 15
Time: 12:00 – 1:15
Place: Pick Hall Lounge
The Christian ministers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are two of the most creative and influential Chinese religious leaders of the 20th century. Their ideas gave rise to a number of movements that now number in the millions, with indigenous leaders on all six continents. I will contextualize their thought by placing it in conversation with the larger traditions of Christian and Chinese thought. I will also offer my working definition of Global Christianity to show how Nee and Lee’s ideas contribute to our understanding of Global Christian phenomena.

Note that we will meet at our usual time, but not in our usual place. Also, there will be no reading distributed prior to this meeting. Please email with any questions.
— Kit
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Hey, y’all!
Our next meeting will be Thursday, November 20. Amber Thomas will be our presenter. See below for a description of her work and the details of our meeting!
Religions in America Workshop with Amber Thomas
Date: Thursday, November 20
Time: 12:00 – 1:15
Place: Marty Center Library (2nd floor of Swift Hall)
“Evangelicals Meet the ‘Me Decade’: U.S. Evangelicalism and Cultural Accommodation as Seen through the Urbana Student Missions Conference, 1948-1979”

Beginning in 1948, evangelical campus ministry InterVarsity Christian Fellowship urged multiple thousands of university students to pursue careers in overseas, cross-cultural missions during a triennial conference held at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Celebrated missionaries, scholars, and speakers in the Anglo-American evangelical circuit infused theologically and sociologically grounded appeals with a heavy dose of emotionally stirring rhetoric to support the “call” to the field. Through analysis of Urbana’s keynote addresses, as well as it organizational methods, a shifting ethos from self-denial in the 1940s and ’50s to self-fulfillment in the 1970s can be detected. This change, it seems, mirrored broader trends in postwar U.S. culture, which, according to contemporary essayist Tom Wolfe and later sociologists and historians, produced the radically self-entered 1970s–the “Me Decade.” Though generally portrayed as resisting and combating post-1960 mores and values, certain evangelical networks, as represented by Urbana and InterVarsity, appear to have considered accommodation to be a better strategy.

Please email to obtain a copy of Amber’s paper.


— Kit

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Hi, workshoppers! Here are some details for our next meeting.


Date: Thursday, November 6

Time: 12:00 – 1:15

Place: Marty Center Library (2nd floor of the Swift Hall)



Greg Chatterley will be our presenter. To obtain the reading for this meeting, please email





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