Archive for the 'Course News' Category

Mon 12/9: Final Exam Review, and a Trip to Furnace Mountain

by admin - December 9th, 2019

Please bring your Course Reader, and the Beal book if you have it, and/or a laptop. We will be reviewing material from the last half of the class and discussing the format and content of the take-home final exam, which will be opened up on Dec 15, due back by 3:30 pm on Dec 18.

We will also view a 2011 KET television documentary about Furnace Mountain Zen Center, one of the subjects of Beal’s final chapter. Lastly, students will complete a course evaluation.

Your research paper is due tonight by 11:59 pm, uploaded to Blackboard under Content –> Unit 3

Update: No Class Monday Dec 2

by admin - December 1st, 2019

Worcester State is cancelled on Monday, Dec 2 due to inclement weather. We will defer our discussion on Course Reader Day 23 (Religion and the Law) to Wednesday, Dec 4 and move our Dec 4 assigned reading (Course Reader Day 24) to Monday, Dec 9.

NOTE that the Day 23 reading has a homework assignment along with it: as you read the articles, make a list of cases *and* the core religious issue at the center of each one. And if you know of other relevant or ongoing court cases that would contribute to our discussion, please bring them to class to share.

I still plan to email you feedback on your paper drafts by the end of the day on Monday, Dec 2.

Stay warm, see you Wednesday!

Reminders for Final Weeks of Class

by admin - November 24th, 2019

Mon, Nov 25: Print and bring TWO COPIES of a draft of your paper, for Peer Review Day

After the Thanksgiving Holiday, our last classes will be dedicated to looking at contemporary religious pluralism, polishing your research paper, and preparing for the final exam.

Mon, Dec 2: You will get feedback from Dr. Hangen on your draft by this date, by email. Prepare to discuss Reader Day 23, Religion and the Law

Wed, Dec 4: We’ll discuss Reader Day 24, Pluralism Under Fire *and* Beal, Chapter 5.

Mon, Dec 9: Final version due, uploaded to Blackboard assignment portal by 11:59 pm. In class: Final Exam Prep and course wrap-up.

Our designated Final Exam slot is Wednesday Dec 18 at 12:30 – 3:30 pm, but we are not meeting in person. The final exam will be posted to Blackboard as a take-home exam by Dec 15 and will be due on Dec 18 at 3:30 pm, uploaded to Blackboard.

Nov 18: The “Source Plus” Assignment

by admin - November 17th, 2019

Instructions for Monday’s Class Nov 18 – “Source Plus”

You have now turned in a topic proposal and have begun researching your chosen topic. On Monday, Nov 18, we will have a roundtable in which each person should present one of the sources they are using for their paper. Due in class: (preferably printed out rather than emailed) a piece of writing about your source, 1-3 pages long, following the criteria below. This piece of writing could end up being a draft for the section of your paper in which you analyze or discuss this particular source, so it’s a helpful intermediate step in the paper-drafting process.

If you are bringing a Primary Source to share:

  • When was this source created, by whom, and for what purpose?
  • Describe the source (its contents, its material dimensions if applicable, any other useful descriptors).
  • Emphasize any specific strengths or weaknesses of this source.
  • Why did you choose this one to share with the class?
  • How is it applicable to or useful within your particular project?
  • How does this source benefit religious historians, or what can we (collectively, in our class) learn about American religious history from it?

If you are bringing a Secondary Source to share: (such as a book or journal article)

  • Explain title, author, publisher or journal, and date. Help us “meet the author.”
  • Summarize the abstract or main topics, scope, and purpose of the source.
  • What does it say? (i.e. what argument is the author making, or what new or interesting information does s/he present?)
  • What do you think about what it says? (i.e. how is it applicable to or useful within your particular project? Are there specific strengths or weaknesses you’d like to mention?)
  • Why did you choose this one to share with the class?
  • How does this source benefit religious historians, or what can we (collectively, in our class) learn about American religious history from it?

Unit 3: Expanding into Your Own Research Topic

by admin - November 4th, 2019

To date in this course, I’ve provided materials and topics for your exploration into American religious history. In the final unit of the course, you’ll be conducting your own research project on a topic of your choice, resulting in a 12-15 page research paper. I’ve added new material to the Unit 3 folder on Blackboard for you to use as you work on this project.

Research Paper Guidelines

Your process begins with a close look at some relevant historiography (if that’s a new word for you … I’ve added a supplemental module in Blackboard under Unit 3) on Wednesday Nov 6, when we discuss Day 18 in the Course Reader, three articles tackling religious historiography from three different perspectives.

I also STRONGLY RECOMMEND everyone have a one-on-one meeting in person (or via Skype) with me between Nov 4-12 to discuss possible topics and approaches.

No class on Monday, Nov 11 — the long weekend should hopefully give you a chance to do a final brainstorm on your topic and what sources you’d like to use.

On Wed Nov 13 we will have a research session in the library with Ross Griffiths, the History library liaison and archivist; hand in your proposal that day as a printed paper.

MicroHistory Project

by admin - October 21st, 2019

Monday 10/21 – Course Reader Day 13: 1893, 1965, and 1993 – with a reading to set each date in context, to help understanding the background to religious pluralism in the U.S. and in our city.

Explore on Internet Archive

Wednesday 10/23 – Debrief Day and Visit Report due. Bring your Site Visit as a printed paper, to be handed in at the end of class after our discussion.

Monday 10/28 – Change to Syllabus – Class Cancelled. We will not hold class on the 28th, I will be out of town. Use the day to make progress on your research, visit(s), or interviews.

Wednesday 10/30 – bring laptops for a working research & writing session for the Microhistory Project

Monday 11/4 – Microhistory Project showcase and presentation day, end of Unit 2

Unit 2: Intro to the Pluralism Microhistory Project, Wed 10/16

by admin - October 15th, 2019

Please remember, as mentioned on the syllabus, to bring laptops to class on Wed 10/16 so we can use them to explore, research, and get started working on the Pluralism Microhistory Project. For more information on the project, see the tabs on Blackboard and the course website.

Welcome to HI 345, Fall 2019

by admin - August 30th, 2019

Welcome, class members for Fall 2019. I look forward to meeting everyone at our first class, Wednesday Sept 4 at 2:00 pm, in Sullivan 314.

I have posted the syllabus in Blackboard and on our course website.

Please bring the small Beal book, Religion in America: A Very Short Introduction to class with you on Day 1. You will want to read the Introduction ahead of time.

This website is also the archive for previous versions of the course; you can ignore any post tagged Fall 2012.

Last Week of Class (2012) – Bridge Building

by admin - December 2nd, 2012

For our last week of discussion sessions, please bring the Diana Eck book to class all three days – we will be reading and discussing Chapters 5, 6 and 7 and considering, first, the place of Muslims in America and then, the challenges posed to both civic and political life by religious pluralism, and finally, how to get closer as a society to the stance of “active acceptance” not just “passive toleration” that such diversity demands. Continue reading →

Week of Monday 11/26

by admin - November 23rd, 2012

Back into the swing of the last 2 weeks, we’ll be reading Chapters 2-4 of Diana Eck’s book this week and talking about Hinduism and Buddhism in America – past and present – Hinduism on Monday (Ch 3) and Buddhism (Ch 4) on Wednesday.

Other reminders: don’t forget to peruse the links under the Unit 5 tab above, for examples of contemporary world religious communities online in the US. There’s a Friday forum up for this Friday 11/30 also – it’s posted on Blackboard. And your research paper is due Friday!