News Archive: 2012

Fall Semester

Paula Arai was invited to deliver the keynote address at the Symposium on Domestic Dharma at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California on September 22, 2012. Her paper was entitled “Poetry, Power, and Personal Buddhas: Lay Women’s Healing Practices in Contemporary Japan.

Stephen Finley's article in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion was the 9th most read essay during the month of July 2012 of all JAAR articles published. See http://jaar.oxfordjournals.org/reports/most-read

Stephen Finley presented a paper at the conference of the Association for the Study of Esotericism in July. As a result, he was invited to present a Castelfranco lecture at the University of California at Davis next spring.

Stephen Finley appears in three episodes of the web series "Black Folk Don't," which is a series of documentary conversations about racial stereotypes. He appears, for example, in this episode on "Black Folk Don't Do Atheism": http://vimeo.com/45908707

 

Spring Semester

 

Delbert Burkett completed his second year as Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Paula Arai completed her second year as section head of Religious Studies. Her duties this semester included scheduling classes, chairing the review committee for Stephen Finley’s third-year review, overseeing the annual faculty performance evaluations for Religious Studies, lining up external evaluators for Michael Pasquier’s tenure review, chairing a committee to review an adjunct application, and overseeing the assessment of general education courses and the concentration in Religious Studies.

Stephen Finley has written an essay entitled “Distinctive, Not Disposable: Religious Studies and American Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century,” which will appear in the section “Spotlight on Teaching” in the May 2012 issue of Religious Studies News, published online by the American Academy of Religion. Stephen pushes for more attention and resources for Religious Studies at state schools. He argues that Religious Studies, in fact, should be one of the most important units in colleges and universities.

Michael Gueno accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater on May 7, 2012. Michael has done an excellent job as instructor and will be missed.

Stephen Finley was invited to be “second supervisor” on a graduate thesis committee at the University of Amsterdam. The student (Justine Bakker) is doing a project at the intersection of the Nation of Islam and Western Esotericism. Her advisor, Wouter Hanegraaff, is well known in the discipline of Western Esotericism in Europe.

Paula Arai received a 2012 Manship Summer Research Fellowship.

Stephen Finley received a 2012 Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award for teaching in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was recognized at the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2012 at the Lod Cook Alumni Center.

Michael Gueno received a 2012 Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award for teaching in the University College. He was recognized at the 2012 Distinguished faculty Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2012 at the Lod Cook Alumni Center.

Michael Pasquier received the 2012 Robert Udick Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was recognized at the 26th Annual H&SS Honors Convocation on April 29, 2012 at the Lod Cook Alumni Center.

Michael Pasquier was accepted on March 16, 2012, for the NEH Advanced Institute on Spatial Narratives and Deep Maps, to be held in Indianapolis at the Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities from June 18 to 29, 2012. The competition for slots was stiff—only 1 in 4 applications were accepted.

Gail Sutherland organized a lecture by Randy Nichols, a local social worker, on homelessness in Baton Rouge on March 15, 2012 in 145 Coates Hall.

Stephen Finley underwent his third-year review this semester. On February 13, 2012, with the concurrence of AAAS, the department faculty panel recommended that he be reappointed. On April 18, Dean Foster reappointed Stephen and granted him a fourth-year teaching release.

Gail Sutherland organized a lecture by Sister Helen Prejean entitled "Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues" on February 2, 2012 in Design Building 103. Sister Prejean, author of the book Dead Man Walking, has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church's newly vigorous opposition to state executions.