Religious Studies faculty and students participate in SECSOR conference
Five faculty members from the Department of Religious Studies and five undergraduate students participated in the recent Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion conference in Greenville, S.C.
The conference, which extended from March 15-17, attracted more than 300 scholars from the southeast region for paper sessions, plenaries, and pedagogy and roundtable discussions.
Two department members presented papers as part of a panel considering a recent book, Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture by A. Whitney Sanford. Geoffrey Claussen presented “Holi, Sukkot, and the Fate of Agriculture: A Jewish Perspective on A. Whitney Sanford’s Growing Stories from India,” while Amy L. Allocco’s paper was titled “Notes on Narrative in A. Whitney Sanford’s Growing Stories from India.” Allocco convened the book panel, which included papers by two other scholars and a response from the book’s author. Allocco also served as respondent for a panel titled "Hindu Narrative and Ritual: Seeing, Playing, and Telling" and, in her capacity as Co-Chair of the Religions of Asia Section, had responsibilities associated with three additional paper sessions.
Michael Pregill both organized and participated in a panel discussing Carl Ernst's new book, How to Read the Qur'an. The discussion was co-sponsored by the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) and featured Pregill and two other scholars from the region, as well as a response from Ernst.
These faculty members were joined at the meeting by five students who are majoring or minoring in Religious Studies: Brett Evans ‘13, Pamela Gutermuth ‘15, Tina Musilli ‘13, Erin Palmer ‘13, and Sarah Wells ’14. Erin Palmer and Brett Evans were invited to present papers in the Undergraduate Research Section, which accepted only 8 papers out of more than 30 submissions. Palmer’s paper, titled “Imagining Spaces: The Heavenly Throne Room and the New Jerusalem in Revelation,” was selected for the 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award. This is the second time that this honor has gone to a student mentored by Lynn Huber; a paper written by Kiva Nice-Webb ‘11 won the award in 2011. Brett Evans presented “Engaged Jain Traditions and Social Nonviolence: Ethnographic Case Studies of Lay Animal Activists and Service-Oriented Nuns,” a paper that is based on research he conducted in India in 2012. Tina Musilli presented a paper titled "Possibilities for Resistance: Female Demonic Possession in Contemporary Hinduism” in the Method and Theory in the Study of Religion Undergraduate Research Section; both Musilli and Evans are being mentored by Allocco. The students’ participation in the SECSOR conference was supported by LD Russell, who secured funding from Elon’s Undergraduate Research Program and facilitated student interactions at the meeting.