2010-12

2010-12

Mapping Death: Religious Preparations for Afterlife

Faculty Leader: April D. DeConick, Isla Carroll & Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies
Student participants: Grant Adamson (Religious Studies), Matt Dillon (Religious Studies), Rebecca Gimbel (Anthropology), Franklin Trammell (Religious Studies), and Adriana Umana (French Studies).
The goal of this two-semester collaborative research seminar is to cross-culturally map death journeys and religious preparations for them in order to investigate the relationship between the anticipated afterlife journey and the group’s metaphysics and praxis. The participants will be engaged in the creation and cultivation of a rich interdisciplinary approach to the comparative study of traditions, a ‘new’ history-of-traditions approach that is conscious of the historical contexture of traditions, their referentiality, communal generation and conveyance, responsiveness, changeability, accumulative nature, and variability in transmission.
The Mapping Death seminar was so successful in 2010-11, the faculty leader and students opted to extend the seminar for another year through an intensive writing workshop.

Dickens in the 1860s: Pollution, Violence, Empire, and Authorship

Faculty Leader: Robert L. Patten, Lynette S. Autrey Professor in Humanities
Student participants: Kattie Basnett, Heather Elliott, Margaret Harvey, Heather Miner, and Joanna O'Leary (all from the English Department).
Celebrations of Dickens’s bicentenary begin in August 2011 and extend through the summer of 2012, with conferences and other events scheduled all over the world. This seminar will explore Dickens’s last decade of life—spent producing novels, essays, a weekly magazine, collaborative Christmas stories, public readings, an immense global correspondence, and an American tour, all the while conducting a shadowy affair with a young actress and suffering from ill health. This body of work raises numerous questions about crucial Victorian issues: pollution (the Thames was a sewer and highway of infection); imperialism; birth, death, and resurrection; education reforms; capitalism and industrialism; society; values; celebrity authorship; characterizations of women, classes, and violence; late style; and the dramatizations and circulations of his work around the globe. Download a complete description.