Graduate Division of Religion Course Atlas

Graduate Division of Religion

Spring 2020 Course Atlas

(Please check back for changes and updates - last update 10.16.2019)


ICIVS 710 - Historiography of Islam
Vincent J. Cornell
Tuesday, 4:00-7:00

Introduction to Historiography as it applies to Religious Studies and Islamic Studies. The first part of the course is an introduction to the “New Historiography.” Students will be introduced to the most important figures in this field including R. G. Collingwood, Marc Bloc and the Annales school, Jan Vansina’s work on the historiography of oral tradition, and theorists of historiography as literature, such as Hayden White and Elizabeth Clark. The second part of the course is an introduction to historiographical problematics in the field of Islamic Studies. The research paper will require students to apply one of the Historiographical methods studied in class to a problematic related to their personal research interests.

RLHT 735 - Comparative Africana Womanisms

Dianne Stewart
Tuesday, 1:00-4:00

This course examines the emergence and legacies of womanist scholarship across a range of disciplines in the academy. With emphasis upon the role of spirituality and religion in womanist discourse, we will read texts that account for womanist (and in some cases feminist) thought and practice in the Americas and the Caribbean as well as Africa. Among a range of critical issues addressed in the course are the particular role that the Christian theological school of womanism has played in the development of the field and the relationship between womansims and feminisms in broader Africana intellectual traditions.

RLR 700- Reading Religious Texts Comparatively

María M Carrión
Tuesday, 10:00-1:00

This seminar explores theoretical and practical methods to read religious texts comparatively. The course weaves analyses of narrative and performative elements, units, structure, forms, and formats of meaning and reference in religious texts with readings in comparative theology, intercultural and transnational studies, textuality, and narrative and performance theories. Readings, class discussion, and exercises in comparative readings are designed for students to become more cognizant of the units, structures, and superstructures that support the design, creation, publication, dissemination, and canonization of religious texts, as well as their relationality with texts from other religious traditions. Class discussions and comparative reading exercises will be informed by readings by Francis Clooney, Walter Benjamin, Georges Battaille, Jean-Luc Nancy, José Muñoz, Paulo Freire, Jacques Derrida, Gile Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Franz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Mayra Rivera Rivera, and Calvin Warren, among others.

RLR 700

Joyce Flueckiger & Jim Hoesterey
Wednesday, 10:00-1:00

This seminar will introduce students to a range of ethnographic fieldwork methodologies and analyze modes of ethnographic writing--with the assumption that modes of writing are, in part, dependent on particular fieldwork methods and help to shape theoretical arguments. We will read one ethnography every other week. On alternate weeks, we will we will read several articles and participate in writing exercises.


RLR 700 - Sexuality Theory and Religion--in the Global South
Scott Kugle
Wednesday, 1:00-4:00

This graduate seminar explores recent debates over sexuality and religion from the perspective of “the global south,” the formerly colonized zone of Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist civilizations (ranging from Africa and Arabia to Turkey and Iran through India and Indonesia). The seminar will focus on female sexuality, transgender behavior, homosexuality and masculinity within the context of deeply rooted patriarchy in religious traditions. We ask how religious traditions conceived of sex and gender, and how sexual diversity challenged religious norms, and how sexuality found expression through religious ideals.
The seminar will examine how recent theoretical debates have affected and been affected by new research into the classical and early-modern past, including the archives of theological dispute, poetic expression, and mythic literature. The seminar will also draw upon contemporary ethnographic studies about sexuality, morality and national law. The context is to understand more deeply how post-colonial global modernity and its regimes of sexual identity fuel or curtail the creative interaction between sexuality and religion. The seminar is open to graduate students and qualified undergraduates (with prior permission from the professor).


RLR 700 - Kierkegaard
Jill Robbins
Wednesday, 10:00-1:00

RLR 700 -
Choon-leong Seow
Thursday, 9:00-12:00

RLR 700 - Gender and Christian-Muslim Encounters: West and South Asia

Deanna Womack
Thursday, 12:00-3:00

This course critically analyzes the influence of gender norms on Christian-Muslim encounters in Muslim-majority contexts of the Middle East/North Africa and South Asia, from the eighteenth century to present. The course centers around the impact of gender constructs on: 1) daily life and religious practices of Muslims and Christians; 2) relationships between Muslims and Christians, historically and today; and 3) western intellectual, religious, and military interventions in these regions. Subjects of discussion related to these three areas include feminism, women’s history, masculinity, sexuality, orientalism, western missions, da‘wa, world Christianity, colonialism/imperialism, religious hybridity, minority rights discourses, and secularism. Course readings are drawn from history, ethnography, post-colonial theory, and gender studies. Students who work on other regions of the world will be encouraged to incorporate their research into class projects.