Our department* regularly organizes and hosts exciting events including brown-bag research talks and a visiting-speaker series (inviting prominent scholars in religious studies from across the globe to share their research with our faculty and students) that enrich the intellectual life of the college and the community. Most of these events are open to the general public. Moreover, our faculty and students actively participate in and support numerous college-wide events that have relevance for the study of religion. Check out upcoming and past events below!
*courtesy our department's dedicated Programming Committee
Professor Christophe Rico (Director of Polis Institute in Jerusalem)- "The Names of Jerusalem in the Bible: From Meaning to Symbol and Destiny." Tuesday, February 12th 2019- 4:30pm, Tucker 127A
Nabiha Syed (Vice President and Associate General Counsel at BuzzFeed)- "Bastions of Freedom, Pockets of Tyranny: the First Amendment in the Twenty-First Century." Monday, February 18th 2019-12:50-1:50pm, W&M Law School, Room 120
Sylvester Johnson (Princeton University) - Title TBD (Topic: The FBI and Religion: Faith and National Security before and after 9/11 )-Thursday, March 28th, 2019- 5:00pm, location TBD
Hans Tiefel Lecture in Religion and Ethics. Sylvia-Chan Malik (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Title of talk “Being Muslim: Women of Color in/and American Islam.” April 2nd 2019, 12:30-1:50 pm, location TBD
Brown-Bag Lunch Series
Michael Daise – Title TBD - Wednesday, February 20th - Noon-1:15pm; Wren 315
RS Majors / Senior Theses Presentations Date TBA
Fall 2019 (tentative schedule)
Ayodeji Ogunnaike (Harvard University) Topic: Traditional Yoruba religions in Nigeria and Brazil or Using Yoruba mythological hermeneutics to theorize contemporary social issues. -Time/Date/Location TBD.
Brown-Bag Lunch Series
Spring 2020 (tentative schedule)
Nicole Kirk (Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago) Topic: Talk on her book -Wanamaker's Temple: The Business of Religion in an Iconic Department Store
- The synagogue attack in Pittsburgh is disturbing, painful and prompts us to ask many questions. What questions does this event raise for you? What feelings does it provoke?
- How do you see the events in Pittsburgh and around the country affecting people in your home, in your school, and in your community? Who in your community, including you yourself, might be feeling particularly vulnerable right now?
- What small acts of hate—slurs, name-calling, graffiti— and what other factors contribute to a climate in which perpetrators of hate crimes feel emboldened?
- What are some meaningful actions we can take, even if only in our own home, neighborhood, or school?
Diversity & Inclusion Dept. Workshop
Wednesday, September 26th - Noon-1:30pm; Wren 315
Brown-Bag Lunch Series
Anne Rasmussen (Music) – Title TBD (Topic: Islam & Music in Indonesia)
Wednesday, October 31st - Noon-1:15pm; Wren 315
Marc Raphael – Title TBD (Topic: A Career Retrospective)
Wednesday, November 14th - Noon-1:15pm; Wren 315
Fall Tack Faculty Lecture
Anne Rasmussen (W&M Music Dept.)
Tuesday, October 9th - 7:00pm;
Shankar Nair (University of Virginia)
“The Contours of Islamic Pluralism: A Muslim Interpretation of Hinduism in Early Modern South Asia" Tuesday, October 23rd - 5:00pm; Tucker 127A
Kristian Petersen (Old Dominion University)
"Muslim Ethics in China" Tuesday, October 30th - 3:30pm-4:50pm; Wren 301
Maria Massi Dakake (George Mason University)
"The Past and the Future of Women's Commentary on the Qur'an"
Thursday, November 8th - 4:00pm; Tucker 127A
Joy Buolamwini (MIT Media Lab)
"The Coded Gaze: Unmasking Algorithmic Bias" - 100th Anniversary of Women at W&M, Monday, November 12th - 4:00pm; Location TBD
Prof. Matthew Pereira (Loyola Marymount University) gave a lecture entitled "From the Margins to the Mainstream: How Borderland Monks Reconfigured the Christian Tradition of the Late Roman Empire."
Blow Hall 333, College of William & Mary
From the Late Roman Empire to the present day United States, institutional centers (religious and political) have perpetuated the illusion of coherence by marginalizing borderland communities. Criminalizing borderland people as “heretics” or “illegal aliens” is part of the systematic silencing of peripheral voices, which nonetheless have occasionally made their way to the “center” to transform “mainstream” views or bring new legitimacy to alternative ways of knowing.
In dialogue with current political discourse on "building walls" and the militarization of the U.S. southern border, this presentation explores one instance of the borderlands entering the "centers" by bringing to light the Scythian monks, a Latin monastic enclave located on the Greek eastern edge of the Late Roman Empire, who arrived in Constantinople in the early 6th century, were swiftly rebuked and, refusing to return to the borderlands, then travelled to Rome where they intervened in a major reconfiguring of the imperial Christian tradition.