Student News


Invocations is an academic journal and online interactive platform for critical religious discourse. Furnished by undergraduate contributions, we hope to provide an opportunity for Indiana University students to engage across the traditional boundaries of specified fields of study and participate in interdisciplinary conversations on topics with a divine common denominator. It features an array of short articles, ethnographic reviews, creative works, and community response, the collection of which aims to foster a rewardingly interactive intellectual experience.

Editors Rachel Carpenter and Sarah Kissel welcome submissions of all sorts. New content is published on the first of every month, and those interested are advised to submit pieces by the second Friday of each month to allow time for review and discussion. Like Invocations on Facebook and follow on Twitter (@invocations_RS) for publications, news, and opportunities to engage in conversation with professors in the discourse section. Please send submissions to, and feel free to direct any questions or comments to that address, or Sarah and Rachel directly. Visit for more information!


11/23/2015 - The Indiana University Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team will make its second straight appearance in the national championship competition on February 21, 2016, in Reston, Virginia. IU qualified for the national championship with a fourth-place showing at the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl, hosted by Marian University in Indianapolis on Saturday, November 21. With this national championship appearance, IU hopes to improve upon their performance in last year’s competition, where they finished as national semifinalists.

IU sent two teams to the regional Ethics Bowl; the top five universities advanced to the national championship. Each team competed in a series of three matches against other universities. IU’s teams finished with records of 3–0 and 2–1; the undefeated IU team ranked fourth in total points. Team members are Ali Henke and Nikhil Nandu (team captains), along with freshmen Seth Carter, Reyan Coskun, Hannah Eli, Jessica Gingles, Daniel Hao, Alex Johnson and Roger Morris.

Coach Joe Bartzel, associate instructor and PhD student in religious studies, said, “I’m incredibly proud of this team. Competition at Central States is notoriously tough every year, so for a team of so many newcomers to put on as strong a showing as they did is a testament to the talent we have on this team.” When asked about the upcoming national championship, Bartzel responded, “The practice season is shorter, and the deeper we get into the competition, the level of competition we’ll be facing is only going to get higher. It definitely doesn’t get any easier from here on out.” Still, he expressed confidence in his young team: “These students showed a lot of poise at regionals, and I expect that their hard work and positive attitude will carry them a long way at nationals, too.”

Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl is an academic competition in which students offer moral assessments of some of the most complex ethical issues facing society. Unlike debate competitions, Ethics Bowl is a team-based event that emphasizes civil discourse and consensus building; teams research and develop positions on cases in medicine, technology, professional ethics, interpersonal relationships and public policy. Teams are judged on their ability to offer coherent and succinct arguments that identify the central ethical dimensions of the cases under discussion and give thoughtful consideration to alternative perspectives. IU Ethics Bowl alumni have gone on to great success in a wide variety of careers; they consider Ethics Bowl one of their most formative college experiences, and employ the skills they developed as team members daily in their personal and professional lives.

IU’s Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team is sponsored by the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, a research center of the Media School. The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition is organized by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics and held in conjunction with its annual meeting. IU has fielded Ethics Bowl teams since 2001; in that time, IU teams have won three Central States regional championships (in 2007, 2011 and 2014) and two national titles (in 2004 and 2009).

-Joe Bartzel


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.



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Undergraduate Gallagher essay contest:

Undergraduate Honors Thesis:

Graduate Essay Contest:


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.

-Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger

Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger
Professor Patricia Ingham, Dr. Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger, Professor Constance Furey


Graduate Student news

Monteith Wins Fall 2104 Stein Fellowship

Religious Studies Graduate Students Receive Funding Through The Felix G. Ilarraz Memorial Fund

Francoeur Receives Mellon Dissertation Fellowship


Undergraduate student news

Undergraduates Receive Honors

Ursa Meets With Professor Sideris For A Lively Discussion


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