10/30/2015 - Undergraduates Sarah Kissel and Hannah Murray have been awarded Mary Jo Weaver Scholarships. The Mary Jo Weaver Undergraduate Scholarship Program is intended to provide ongoing support in the amount of $500 per year to one of two Religious Studies majors. Funds are available so long as the awardee continues to matriculate at IUB as a Religious Studies major and maintains a GPA of 3.5 in RS courses, and 3.0 overall. These awards are discretionary, and may not be awarded every year.
Sarah Kissel, from Zionsville, IN also majors in English and political science. She is an active member of URSA and cofounder of the Religious Studies department’s new journal of undergraduate research, Invocations. Hannah Murray, from Annapolis, MD, is a double major in Religious Studies and English (with a concentration in creative writing). She’s currently at work on a creative thesis and also serves both as an editorial intern at IU Press and a writing tutor for Writing Tutorial Services on campus.
3/4/2015 - PhD candidate Dana Logan was awarded $500 grant by the The Devonia and Steve Stein Fund for the Study of American Religions to support her participation in the Spring 2015 Church History conference. She organized an innovative panel entitled “Future of the American Religious Past” that put John Lardas Modern and Mark Noll in dialogue with one another. The panel broke new ground at Church History by adopting an untraditional format in which two senior scholars engaged one another around the pressing questions of young scholars. The students’ questions encouraged them to clarify basic issues of historical agency and theoretical genealogy within their work. The panel also served a crucial pedagogical function of clarifying the argument and stakes of both scholars’ books for the field at large.
Undergraduate Gallagher essay contest:
- 1st place: Shelby Everett, "The How and Who of an Androcentric Tradition."
- 2nd place: Coy Hobson, "Red Cathedral: The Soviet Consecration of Red Square."
- 3rd place: Joelle Swatez, "Kol Sasson Congregation, Mobile Space, and Intentionality."
Undergraduate Honors Thesis:
- Rafal Swiatkowski, "Stories of the Unique: The Narrative Nature of Human Identity."
Graduate Essay Contest:
- Christine Libby "The Object of His Heart: Subjectivity and Affect in Mystic Texts."
Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger received her PhD from the department in December for her dissertation, “Mysticism and Metaphor: Visionary Literature in Fourteenth-Century England.” The project examines the relationship between mysticism and materiality through new readings of canonical texts. Focusing on the surprisingly shared formal features of two different Middle English genres (poetic dream visions and mystical texts written in prose), she argues for a reconsideration of metaphor as, paradoxically, a site for the concurrence of materiality and mysticism. Metaphors do not simply point “beyond” language to what cannot be said; rather, as she shows through careful close readings of Middle English texts, metaphorical language enacts the ineffable through a coincidence of opposites. Her dissertation thus intervenes in the longstanding scholarly conversation about medieval mysticism by using the methodology and theoretical approaches of literary studies, drawing attention to how the formal features of these texts (the material element of their language) are the locus of their mystical content.
3/4/2015 - The Indiana University Ethics Bowl team advanced to the semifinals of the national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition in Costa Mesa, CA, on February 22. The competition is held each year in conjunction with the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics International Conference. IU’s two teams placed first and second in the Central States regional competition in October, awarding IU a slot in the thirty-two-team national competition. IU made it to the final four before being nudged out by the eventual national champions, Taylor University.
In addition to advancing to the semifinals, IU also won the Spirit of Robert Ladenson Award, which is named for the founder of the Ethics Bowl competition and recognizes excellence in exemplifying the Ethics Bowl competition’s core values of respect and civility. The Ladenson Award is awarded by the votes of fellow Ethics Bowl competitors who have either observed or competed against the schools for whom they cast their votes. “The Ladenson Award is really the most important trophy at the Ethics Bowl competition, especially since it represents the consensus of the team’s peers,” said coach Emma Young. Fellow coach, and religious studies PhD candidate, Joe Bartzel added, “I couldn’t be prouder of our students. They’re sharp thinkers, they work incredibly hard, and they compete the right way. As a coach, I really couldn’t ask for anything more out of a team.”
The Ethics Bowl competition requires teams to argue for and defend their assessment of complex moral issues across a variety of fields, including biomedical ethics, public policy, technology and personal relationships. Teams received the fifteen cases to be debated at the national competition five weeks in advance and were required to analyze and research them prior to the competition. Unlike a traditional debate format, Ethics Bowl students compete in teams of three to five members and do not know in advance which cases will be called or what questions they will be required to answer about them. IU’s team members at the national competition were Radhika Agarwal (biochemistry and biology), John Hanks (economics, English and philosophy), Alexandria Henke (chemistry and political science), Grant Manon (economic consulting) and Nikhil Nandu (business). The team is sponsored by the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, a research center of IU’s Media School.
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