RELIxperience Video: “This is Carolina Religion”

RELIxperience Video: “This is Carolina Religion”
 

The first of the three winning videos from our RELIxperience Video Contest is titled “This is Carolina Religion,” and it features the different members of the group (Devyn Davis, Kalleen Kelley, Rachel McMillen, and Mallory Meek) describing their experiences with religious studies at Carolina. The video stood out for its focused reflections on the importance of religious studies to a well-rounded undergraduate education as well as for its overall production quality:

For the announcement of our RELIxperience video contest winners, click here.

Posted in News & Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on April 10, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

Recent Lecture Events: J. Derrick Lemons and Jennifer Eichman (McLester Colloquium)

Recent Lecture Events: J. Derrick Lemons and Jennifer Eichman (McLester Colloquium)
 

On March 2, Dr. J. Derrick Lemons from the University of Georgia came to speak on the topic of how millennials read the Bible regarding the issue of same sex marriage. The talk was co-sponsored by the Department of Women and Gender Studies, the Program in Sexuality Studies, and the Provost’s Committee on LGBTQ life. Students who attended were highly engaged, as shown by their many questions after the talk and by the fact that the room was literally overflowing.

Lemons flyer

  Lemons lecture flyer

Lemons

J. Derrick Lemons before the lecture attendees

On March 22, Dr. Jennifer Eichman of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London was featured for our last McLester Colloquium of this academic year. The lecture was titled “Women and Animals: Culinary Dilemmas and Karmic Entanglements,” and the talk explored issues surrounding women, Buddhist attitudes toward the eating of meat, and societal changes in China after the end of imperial rule. This event was similarly well attended and offered another opportunity for faculty and students to interact over a topic of critical interest in religious studies.

Eichman

Jennifer Eichman at the McLester Colloquium

Eichman flyer

  Eichman lecture flyer

Posted in Events, Graduate Student News on April 7, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

Recent Faculty Awards: Carl Ernst and Todd Ochoa

Recent Faculty Awards: Carl Ernst and Todd Ochoa
 

Two members of our faculty have recently received support and recognition for their scholarship with major awards:

ErnstCarl Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor in Religious Studies, is one of the inaugural recipients of the Global Humanities Translation Prize from the Global Humanities Initiative, a program of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Professor Ernst’s project will involve producing an annotated translation of the classical Arabic poems of the Persian mystic Mansur al-Hallaj, and the finished work will be published by Northwestern University Press in 2018. For the official award announcement, see here.
 
 

OchoaTodd Ochoa, Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, has won a National Humanities Center fellowship for the 2017-18 academic year, representing one of only 35 fellows chosen out of 630 applications. Professor Ochoa will be working on a research project titled “Conjecture for a Bembé: Religious Recombination in the Black Atlantic,” and the fellowship provides the opportunity for interaction with the other resident fellows over the course of the academic year through seminars, lectures, and conferences. The announcement and full list of 2017-18 fellows can be found here.
 

Congratulations, Carl and Todd!

Posted in Faculty News on April 4, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

RELIxperience Video Contest Winners

RELIxperience Video Contest Winners
 

Video Contest

We are pleased to announce the three winning groups for our 2017 RELIxperience Undergraduate Video Contest:

  • Jessica Coates, Avery Mavroudis, and Marlena Moore (students in Patrick D’Silva’s course, RELI 165: Mysticism) for their video “Mysticism–What is it?” [link]
  • Mistyre Bonds, Margaret Humble, and Claire Johnson (students in Harshita Kamath’s course, RELI 424: Gender Theory and the Study of Religion) for their video “Tarheel Religions” [link]
  • Devyn Davis, Kalleen Kelley, Rachel McMillen, and Mallory Meek (students in Harshita Kamath’s course, RELI 424: Gender Theory and the Study of Religion) for their video “This is Carolina Religion” [link]

Each group will be receiving a $100 prize. We will also be featuring each of these videos in a separate post on our website in the coming days, so stay tuned! (Update: links are being added to the list above as videos are posted.)

We wanted to thank every group that submitted a video, and so for helping to make our video contest a success.

Posted in News & Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on March 30, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

Fall 2017 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
 

(Updated 4/5/2017) Course registration for Fall 2017 begins the week of April 4. Below are many of the courses we are offering in the fall semester (click on an image to open the PDF flyer):

Posted in News & Events on March 20, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

Sand Mandala at UNC’s Asia Week 2017

Sand Mandala at UNC’s Asia Week 2017
 

Last week, as part of the festivities for UNC’s Asia Week 2017, a Tibetan Monk from the Kadampa Center in Raleigh, Geshe Palden Sangpo, was invited to the FedEx Global Education Center to build a sand mandala over the course of several days. The building of the sand mandala, and its subsequent destruction, are part of an ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition that embodies themes of harmony and the transitoriness of life.

A student in our department, Brodie Heginbotham, who is a double major in Religious Studies and Journalism at UNC, wrote an article describing the event and covering the different dimensions of its significance. To read the article, click here.

Mandala

Building the sand mandala

Mandala-complete

The completed sand mandala

Posted in Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on March 1, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Benjamin Zeller

McLester Colloquium with Benjamin Zeller
 

On Wednesday of last week, our faculty and graduate students gathered in Graham Memorial Building for our first McLester colloquium of 2017. The speaker was Benjamin Zeller, Associate Professor of Religion at Lake Forest College and a PhD graduate (2007) of our department. In his lecture, titled “Religious Suicide and the Puzzling Case of Heaven’s Gate,” he gave a historical overview and analysis of the religious movement known as Heaven’s Gate, which drew media attention in 1997 after several dozen of its members committed mass suicide at their group residence in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Zeller

Prof. Benjamin Zeller

Zeller

Question from the audience

At the beginning of the event, Susan McLester Kemmerlin, daughter of Bill McLester (after whom the colloquium is named), presented our department with a beautiful stitching of UNC’s academic seal!

UNC stitching

Susan McLester Kemmerlin with department chair Randall Styers

See you soon at the next McLester colloquium!

Posted in Alumni News, Events, Graduate Student News on February 23, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

Boyd Fellowship Deadline–February 20

Boyd Fellowship Deadline–February 20
 

The Boyd Fellowship is an $11,000 fellowship given annually to a major or double-major in the Department of Religious Studies who plans to pursue either graduate or professional education in religion. Current majors, as well as those who graduate the preceding year but did not immediately enter graduate or professional school in religion, are eligible.

The application deadline this year is February 20, 2017, so if you are interested, take note!

For details on how to apply, click here. Specific questions about the fellowship can also be directed to our Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Posted in News & Events on January 26, 2017. Bookmark the permalink.

The 9 Biggest Archaeology Findings of 2016: Noah’s Ark Mosaic

The 9 Biggest Archaeology Findings of 2016: Noah’s Ark Mosaic
 

Donkeys in Noah's Ark

The Noah’s Ark mosaic from the site of Huqoq, discovered this past summer by Prof. Jodi Magness and her team, was just selected by Live Science as one of “The 9 Biggest Archaeology Findings of 2016!”

To view the list, click here.

For more on the Huqoq excavations, including how to participate in the 2017 season, click here.

Posted in Faculty News on December 30, 2016. Bookmark the permalink.

Katie Merriman Article in The Funambulist Magazine

Katie Merriman Article in The Funambulist Magazine
 

FunambulistKatie Merriman, a PhD student in our department specializing in Islamic Studies, has recently published an article in The Funambulist: Politics of Space and Bodies, an international magazine that bridges the worlds of design and critical research in the humanities. The November-December 2016 issue is on the topic of “Police,” and Merriman’s article, titled “New York City: Multiracial Struggles and Solidarities in Islamic Harlem,” describes a series of sites in Harlem, New York highlighting the multiracial history of Muslims in the city. The article is based on a free walking tour of the area that Merriman conducts on a regular basis. From the beginning of the article:

“Harlem is home to only a handful of New York City’s nearly 300 mosques, but its history is a testament to the presence of Muslim institutions, leaders, and literature as solace and a form of resistance to white supremacy. Moreover, Muslims are part of a larger tradition that sees Harlem as a sacred site for black brilliance and rejuvenation.”

Along the way, Merriman discusses a wide range of events, figures, and themes, including: the Bengali labor strikes, Malcolm X, a Senegalese Sufi saint, international intellectual networks, multiracial civic initiatives, halal restaurants, police brutality, immigration law, and the growing impact of gentrification on communities and their sacred spaces.

To see the contents of the issue, and to purchase access to the full article (digital and/or print versions), click here.

Masjid Malcolm Shabazz

Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, Harlem, New York

Posted in Graduate Student News on December 15, 2016. Bookmark the permalink.