Fall 2019 Schedule

REL502 Foundations: Public Religious Studies – Fall 2019 Schedule

Abbreviations:

Prep – Preparations for that day’s class sessions.

PH – Public Humanities

PRS – Public Religious Studies

DH – Digital Humanities

REL – University of Alabama’s Department of Religious Studies

8/26 Introductions

Prep

Compose a provisional statement of your MA research interests for class discussion.

Check your email for an invitation to the REL502 website. Set up password and have a look around.

Check your email for an invitation to the REL 502 Slack channel. Register and install the app on your primary work device. Then scroll up and take a look at previous REL502 course activity on Slack.

See the course page and obtain the PDF or hard-copies of our textbooks.

Peruse this course schedule.

In class

Introduction and research interest descriptions.

Introduction to the course and our course organizational tools: Slack, REL502 WordPress.

Review a 2015 summary of digital religious studies methods, “Religion, Media, and the Digital Turn” (pages 3-16) Christopher D. Cantwell and Hussein Rashid.

Tour the sites of digital resources on campus: Office of Information Technology, Center for Instructional Technology, ADHC, Sanford Media Center, IT Service Desk, and the UA libraries research data guides, equipment, software, whisper booths and group study spaces.

Sign up for website review in next class.

9/09 PH and the Public Scholar, Part 1

Prep

Skim the below and then sketch out a rationale for the individual public scholar. Post your rationale on our Slack.

Rethinking Public Humanities” Anne Ruggles Gere – a short history of PH since 1965.

Take Your Scholarship Public”, Brady Krien

“Personal academic websites for faculty & grad students: the why, what, and how,” Alex Bond

“3 Rules of Academic Blogging,” David Perry

“So You Want to Blog (Academic Edition),” Liana Silva

Glance over this example from the School of Oriental and African Studies blog.

Review the below and then sketch out a rationale for online public humanities. Post your rationale on our Slack.

Review the site you chose last class and compare it with your rationales from above. Please be prepared to review your site with the class.

In class

Discussion of the Preps.

WordPress workshop.
Late discovery: “The American Soldier” at Virginia Tech, which uses Zooniverse for the public to participate in making 65,000 images of handwritten notes text searchable to allow for various publics to read, mine and interact with the sources. Is there a comparable RS project out there?

9/16 PH and the Public Scholar, Part 2

Prep

Explore your research interest on Twitter:

    1. Locate five individual scholars specific to your interests.
    2. Locate three organizations specific to your interests.
    3. Locate at least one scholarly website associated with one of the above.
    4. Post all of these to our Slack channel.

Watch

Religion and Public Scholarship in an Age of Anger”, Anthea Butler’s keynote address to the Center for Media, Religion and Culture.

Read

Writing for a Public Audience” Kelly J. Baker.

Public Scholar, Beware” Helene Meyers.

Everything But the Burden: Publics, Public Scholarship, And Institutions”, Tressie McMillan Cottom.

Listen

RSP Podcast interview with Megan Goodwin on “Challenges and Responsibilities for the Public Scholar of Religion.”

Optionally, skim “Public Humanities’ (Victorian) Culture Problem,” Mary L. Mullen (linked through UA libraries).
Also optional reading: “Wakefulness and Digitally Engaged Publics,” Ian O’Byrne.

In class

Discussion of prep.
Virtual Guest: Dr. Hussein Rashid, co-author of “Religion, Media, and the Digital Turn.”

Sign-up to review PH and PRS projects for next class. See the list for next session’s prep.

Review Twitter and research interests (given discussions with advisors) to locate specific research areas: topics, concepts, key figures, and their appearances in journal databases.

9/23 PH and PRS, with an introduction to Voyant

Prep

Written reflection #1: compose a post on the REL502 blog outlining your rationale (personal or organizational) for public scholarship. Save as a draft. Do not publish your draft!

Register for Digitorium. Keep records of your registration for reimbursement!

Read

The Public Digital Humanities”, Jessie Stommel.

Humanities Data: A Necessary Contradiction.” Miriam Posner.

Review your example of PH. Post a brief summary on our Slack with a link to the project.

Review your example of PRS. Post a brief summary on our Slack with a link to the project.

In class

Discussion and review of websites.

Demonstration of Voyant Tools to investigate website content.

Digitorium registration check-in to verify registration and collection of records for reimbursement.

9/25 StoryMap JS workshop at the Alabama Digital Humanities Center

This is an optional workshop/brown bag activity that you may attend to fulfill your MA program requirements.

The workshop begins at 11 AM in room 109A of the Gorgas Library.

9/30 Voyant: Hermeneutica 1, 2 and 9

Prep

Closely read sections 1, 2 and 9 of Hermeneutica: Computer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities, Geoffery Rockwell and Stéfan Sinclair. You may optionally skim other sections.

Written reflection #2: compose a post on the REL502 blog that reviews PH and/or PRS related to your research interest.

In class

Discussion of preps.

Peruse hermenuti.ca.

Discuss uses and applications of Voyant for research on PH and PRS.

Use Voyant Tools to:

Digitorium registration double-check.

Time-permitting discussion of AntConc and Massmine.

10/7 DH

Prep

Skim:

“DRAFT: AAR Guidelines for Evaluating Digital Scholarship”, American Academy of Religion.

Digital Humanities and the Future of Theology”, Clifford Anderson.

Islamic and Middle East Studies and the Digital Turn”, Elias Muhanna.

Read Digital_Humanities.

    1. Skim Ch 1.
    2. Closely read Ch2.
    3. Review a case study in Ch3.
    4. Skim provocations.
    5. Skim “A Short Guide”.

In class

Discussion of preps.

Compose a research schedule for your final REL502 blog post.

Discussion of research schedules.

Choose a chapter of Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 (not 2012) related to your research interests to review for 10/14.

Time permitting: review examples of digital dissertations.

Wayang Kontemporer.” Miguel Escobar. Theatre Studies Programme of the National University of Singapore (examined 2015).

Vanishing Leaves.” Jesse Merandy. Graduate Center at the City University of New York (examined 2017).

A Gospel of Health and Salvation.” Jeri E. Wieringa. Department of History at George Mason University (examined 2019).

Lorena Gauthereau. “Are We Good Neighbors?: Mapping Discrimination Against Mexican Americans in 1940s Texas.”

10/10-10/12 Digitorium

Prep

Review the conference website and finalize your plans to attend.

At Digitorium

Attend sessions.

Take notes.

10/14 Debates in DH

Prep

Review your Digitorium notes.

Review a chapter of Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 (not 2012) related to your research interest.

Written reflection # 3: compose post for our REL502 blog that summarizes a debate in the digital humanities related to your research interests. Be sure to include relevant observations from your Digitorium notes. Then post it to our Slack.

In class

Discussion of Digitorum

Presentation/discussion of Debates in the Digital Humanities

Sign up to review a religious studies podcast.

10/21 Podcasting in PH and PRS, compared to REL

Prep

1. Select an episode of CBC’s Podcast Playlist.

2. Prepare an explanation of what you think it can teach us about the art of podcasting.

3. Find a 5-15 minute example of a religious studies podcast story/episode.

4. Prepare and explanation what you think it can teach us. Post the episode link and a summary of your explanation to our Slack.

5. Finally, compare your explanation from #4 to your explanation from #2. Post a summary of your explanation to our Slack.

In class

Discussion of prep.

Intro to podcasting platform and equipment.

Discussion of the podcast assignment: review of the assignment, finding partners, and getting started.

10/28 Podcasting vs. Video

Prep

Begin working with your partner(s) on the podcast assignment. Be prepared to share your plans for the podcast.

Find a 5-15 minute example of a video story/episode. Be prepared to explain why you think it is a good example, how it differs from podcasting, and what is possible for this medium. Post the video link and a summary of your explanation to our Slack.

In class

Discussion of prep.

Special guests for discussions about podcasting: Dr. Holland Hopson and Ms. Keeley McMurray.

11/04 Podcasting workshop

In class

Continued discussion and work on your podcasting assignments.

Special guests for discussions about podcasting: Dr. Heather Pleasants and Dr. David Robertson.

11/11 Podcasts, Final Blog Posts, & Scalar

Prep

Complete work on your podcast and post it to our Slack.

Return to the schedule for your final REL502 blog post to revise and assess your progress.

Peruse

The Nicest Kids in Town”, Matthew F. Delmont

Pathfinders”, Stuart Moulthrop and Dene Grigar.

Bodies and Structures”, by Kate McDonald and David Ambaras (won a 99k grant in Fall 2019 from NEH for DH advancement to add new spatial visualizations).

In class

Final REL502 blog post check-in.

Discussion of Scalar prep alongside Scalar 2 User’s Guide.

11/18 Final Blog Posts & Omeka

Prep

Work on your final REL502 blog post. Don’t forget to document your progress.

Peruse

Building Histories of the National Mall

Queer Digital History Project

In class

Final blog post check-in.

Discussion of Omeka and Tropy.

Special guest to discuss Omeka and its applications.

12/02 Final Blog posts and Wrap-Up

Prep

Final REL502 blog post #4: Compose a final draft of your last blog post.

Compose a summary of your project: research interest description, question and hypothesis, data, outcomes, visualizations, and, description of challenges and solutions. Post your summary to our Slack.

In class

Review and discuss the final blog posts.

Collaborative wrap-up.