Religion: Re-Envisioning Identity, Borders, and Belonging
Drs. Girim Jung and Ted Vial
Office Hours by Appointment
The contemporary world offers different deployments of the politics of inclusion/exclusion. What roles do religion and theology play in creating a sense of belonging and in shaping identities? This interdisciplinary course makes use of the theories and tools of several disciplines to begin to analyze these questions. In particular, we will examine the identities and actions of African diasporic communities and alt-right white nationalist movements in the U.S.? Through reading classic and contemporary works on religion and identity, students will gain sophisticated theoretical frameworks to help analyze phenomena that increasingly seem to shape events.
Iliff has prepared two course schedules for the fall--one includes travel to Denver for Gathering Days, and one is fully online (in case the pandemic makes travel and physical gathering unsafe). If we meet in Denver, there will be 4 sessions of 4 hours each: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday October 11, 12, 13, and 15.
Intro to the course:
Mechanics of the Course:
The following books are for purchase:
Hucks, Tracey E. Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism (University of New Mexico Press, 2012) (available as an ebook through Taylor library).
Finley, Gray, and Martin eds. The Religion of White Rage: Religious Fervor, White Workers and the Myth of Black Racial Progress (Edinburgh UP, 2020). (Available for $4.99 as a pdf from Edinburgh Press)
Beliso-De Jesus. Electric Santeria: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion (Columbia). (Our amazing librarians have now been able to provide access to this book as an ebook!)
Further readings will be provided via Canvas.
Degree Learning Goals:
First Year Interdisciplinary Course (4 credits): This course is team-taught and will introduce students to terminology, reading of primary texts and how to write academic papers as well as expose them to the complexity and significance of theological reflection. The course must be taken within the student's first 40 credit hours.
By the end of this class students will:
Statement of Inclusivity:
If you have a preferred pronoun that you would like for the class to address you by, please let us know so that we can honor that for you.
Important Guidelines you will want to read before writing a paper or making a post:
Throughout the quarter, we will have several discussions which will compose a large part of our engagement with each other in this online learning space. For these discussions to be meaningful conversation spaces, we all need to take responsibility for consistent and substantial participation. Over the course of a conversation, substantial engagement means:
Each post need not do all of these things, but your overall participation in each conversation should demonstrate all of these components. You might have several short posts and a handful of longer posts in a week or you might have only a few strategic substantial posts (minimum of 2 posts per discussion). Either way, your overall participation in each conversation will be evaluated for substantial engagement. The goal of this discussion design is to encourage and reward interchange, so post often and engage each other with meaningful questions that open to other questions.
We are looking for posts that help us understand and analyze the text at hand. Application of our texts to new situations is of course the ultimate goal, but we can't do that responsibly without understanding what the author is doing first. And that can be hard!
If your first post (due Wednesday) focuses on one of the assigned papers/readings, please focus your second post (due Friday) on a discussion about another paper/reading.
Each student will prepare 2 papers of 5 double-spaced pages each.
On a week you have signed up to write, you will submit your paper by Monday night on canvas.
Papers will be graded according to the following 4 criteria:
In a short paper the claim typically appears as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph (if it is not there the writer needs clearly to mark where it is, since otherwise readers will assume that sentence is the claim). A claim states the conclusion of the argument put forward in the paper. You have a great deal of freedom here. A claim might state what is the most important idea in the reading, or what the author must assume to make his or her argument, or what the logical extension of that argument might be, or how that argument relates to other readings on our syllabus, or what the author gets right or wrong, etc. In a short paper you will likely not be able to summarize the all the points the author makes, nor should you try. Part of your task of analysis is to prioritize what is most important to lift up for discussion for our class. Your paper will likely not follow the same organization as the reading under analysis, since the logic of your argument will not be the same as the logic of the argument of the reading. If your paragraphs tend to begin “And then . . .; Next . . .” then it is probably time to go back and do at least one more draft and re-think what you are presenting and how. Papers for this class are a little closer to the summary end of the spectrum than a term paper might be, since they are the basis for our discussion. But they are still papers that make engage the text by making a point about the text.
The purpose of the papers is three-fold:
Papers will be graded on the following scale:
4 = A
3 = B
2 = C
1 = D
0 = F
|Sep 16, 2021||Thu||Week 1 Discussion: African Diasporic Religious Nationalism||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 16, 2021||Thu||Intros||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 16, 2021||Thu||Sign up for artifacts||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 16, 2021||Thu||Sign up for backgrounds||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 16, 2021||Thu||Sign up for papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 17, 2021||Fri||Synchronous Zoom Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 18, 2021||Sat||Week 1 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 21, 2021||Tue||Week 2 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 22, 2021||Wed||introductory work week 1||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 23, 2021||Thu||Week 2 African Diasporic Religious Nationalism; Writing Resources||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 23, 2021||Thu||Synchronous Zoom Discussion||due by 03:00PM|
|Sep 25, 2021||Sat||Week 2 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 28, 2021||Tue||Week 3 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 30, 2021||Thu||Week 3 Discussion: African Diasporic Religious Nationalism; Library Resources||due by 05:59AM|
|Sep 30, 2021||Thu||Synchronous Zoom Discussion||due by 03:00PM|
|Oct 02, 2021||Sat||Week 3 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 05, 2021||Tue||Week 4 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 07, 2021||Thu||Week 4 African Diasporic Religious Nationalism; Academic Honesty||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 09, 2021||Sat||Week 4 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 11, 2021||Mon||Week 5 African Diasporic Religious Nationalism; modified diasporic Gathering Days||due by 02:59PM|
|Oct 11, 2021||Mon||Monday discussion: 9-10 MST||due by 03:00PM|
|Oct 12, 2021||Tue||Week 5 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 12, 2021||Tue||Tuesday Discussion 8-9 MST||due by 02:00PM|
|Oct 14, 2021||Thu||Wednesday 9-10 MST||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 15, 2021||Fri||hold for possible zoom discussion||due by 03:00PM|
|Oct 16, 2021||Sat||Friday 9-10 MST||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 19, 2021||Tue||Week 6 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 21, 2021||Thu||Week 6 White Nationalism||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 21, 2021||Thu||Week 6 Synchronous Zoom Discussion (9-10am Mountain Time)||due by 03:00PM|
|Oct 23, 2021||Sat||Week 6 Discussion Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 26, 2021||Tue||Week 7 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 28, 2021||Thu||Week 7 Discussion: White Nationalism||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 29, 2021||Fri||Week 7 Zoom discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|Oct 30, 2021||Sat||Week 7 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Nov 02, 2021||Tue||Week 8 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Nov 04, 2021||Thu||Week 8 Discussion: White Nationalism||due by 05:59AM|
|Nov 06, 2021||Sat||Week 8 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Nov 09, 2021||Tue||Week 9 Papers||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 11, 2021||Thu||Week 9 Discussion: White Nationalism||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 13, 2021||Sat||Week 9 Continued||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 16, 2021||Tue||Week 10 Papers||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 18, 2021||Thu||Week 10 White Nationalism||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 20, 2021||Sat||Paper Re-Write||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 20, 2021||Sat||Week 10 Continued||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 23, 2021||Tue||Background||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 23, 2021||Tue||Artifacts||due by 06:59AM|
|Nov 23, 2021||Tue||Participation||due by 06:59AM|