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Elon students present undergraduate research at religious studies conference

Thirteen Elon students traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, March 2-4 for the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR), the annual regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.  Six of the students presented undergraduate research mentored by professors from the Department of Religious Studies, while the other seven observed in preparation for presenting in the future.

Elon students and professors at the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion

With the generous support of the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Department of Religious Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society, and Theta Alpha Kappa, the Religious Studies Honor Society, 13 Elon students traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, March 2-4 for the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR), the annual regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. 

Six of the students presented undergraduate research mentored by professors from the Department of Religious Studies, while the other seven observed in preparation for presenting in the future. 

In the past decade, student travel to SECSOR to observe and present research has become a valued tradition in the department, motivating students to engage in the academic study of religion and equipping them for further scholarship.

Four of the student presenters have been mentored by Amy Allocco, associate professor of religious studies. 

Kimberly Byrne presented research on hybridization and ritual practice dealing with spirits, possession, and the presence of ghosts among Thai and Chinese ethnic groups in Thailand. Daniela Ceron’s research paper explored the relationship between power and possession, in both the Hindu and Islamic traditions, as it is mediated through ritual specialists during the performance of ritual possession in the Western and Central Himalayas. 

Elon students Daniela Ceron, Anya Fredsell and Katira Dobbins share their research at SECSOR.

Katira Dobbins’s research examined religious and cultural pluralism in South India, as demonstrated through the relationships and overlaps that can be seen in Hindu and Indian Catholic ritual practices. Anya Fredsell offered a research paper examining the intersections of religion and modern yoga in the United States and India. 

Having worked with research mentor Assistant Professor Ariela Marcus-Sells, Joel Green presented research on the evolution of the thought of Malcolm X regarding the social construction of race and possible solutions to the problems of racial injustice. 

Finally, Alexandra McCorkle’s work with research mentor Lynn Huber, professor of religious studies, delineated the religious and cultural parallels between CrossFit and Muscular Christianity.

During the conference, students were also able to learn about research conducted by professors and graduate students as well as undergraduate students at other colleges and universities throughout the Southeast. 

Engaging in conversation with their peers from other institutions, students gain a better sense of the breadth of the field of religious studies while building networks for future cross-fertilization and collaboration. Many of these same students will also be presenting their research at Elon during the Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) on April 24.

 

 

L. D. Russell,
Faculty
3/7/2018 9:50 PM