Scholarly Presentations and Service

November-December Events

The 2020 American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meetings will be held virtually November 29-December 10, with the following grad students participating:

Kaitlyn Lindgren-Hansen: As a current member of the AAR Graduate Student Committee, Kaitlyn represents the interests of graduate students in the Upper Midwest region at national and regional AAR meetings, and has been busy coordinating the Graduate Student Roundtable sessions for this upcoming conference.  She will also be moderating one of the roundtable discussions (to be announced).  

Dec 2:   Andrea Scardina will serve as a panelist on the theme: "Advocate for Yourself Instead of Fighting Yourself: Succeeding in Graduate School with as a Neurodivergent Scholar".

              Darcy Metcalfe will present, "The Rootedness of "White Normativity": Heightened Dangers for Black Women in a New Era of Genetic Technologies".

Dec 8:   Darcy Metcalfe will be a panelist on the theme: "Special Topic Forum--Making our Home as Scholars: Creating Spaces of Hospitality within the Academy".

              Carlos Ruiz Martinez will preside over a panel on the theme:  "Transnationalism, Migration, and the Church".

Dec 10:  Emma Rifai will present, "DNA Dieting: Genetic Testing, Nutrigenetics, and American Secularism".

Past Presentations

Kaitlyn Lindgren-Hansen will present “Teaching the World(s): Untangling Religion, Eurocentrism, and Pedagogy in American Universities” in the Teaching Religion, Theology, and the Bible unit at the 2020 Upper Midwest Regional American Academy of Religion conference in St. Paul, MN.

Cuma Ozkan was the organizer of a panel and also presented a paper titled, "Contesting Sinicization: Jin Tianzhu’s (1736-1795) Qingzhen Shiyi (Dispelling the Doubts about Islam)” in Hui Muslims in the Qing Dynasty: Identity, Religion, and Culture, American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, Denver, CO., Sunday - 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, 18th November 2018.

Emma Rifai presented, "Uploading the Body; Embodying the Online: Bodies, Digital Space, and the Pro-Ana Movement" in the Religion, Ajject, and Emotion Unit, American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, Denver, CO., November 19, 2018.

Pranav Prakash participated in the 2018 Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies in Washington, D. C. on March 22 and 25, 2018.  Pranav's paper, “Reenvisioning of Genres and Social Criticism in Ḥasan Sijzī Dihlavī’s The Book of Love,” was part of a special panel by four junior research fellows of the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), Chicago, called “AIIS Showcase on New Research: “Text in Contexts: Genres as Socio-Cultural Agents in South Asia.”  

Pranav Prakash:  As part of a new research initiative by the Max Weber Stiftung (WMS), and its newly established M.S. Merian–R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies (ICAS: MP), and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), a workshop on the theme of “History as a Political Category” is being organized in New Delhi on December 11-12, 2017. Pranav presented his research paper, “Notes on the Political Origins of Maithili Literary Histories,” as part of their panel on “History and Democracy.” 

Gwendolyn Gillson gave three presentations at the American Academy of Religion Conference in Boston in November 2017:

"Buddhist Ritual against Vulnerability: Japanese Women's Use of Pure Land Ritual to Create the Emotional Basis of Social Bonds" for the Anthropology of Religion Group;
"Supplementing the 'Uchi' through Buddhism: Japanese Women’s New Visions of Stranger and Neighbor" for the Religion and the Social Sciences Group; 
Conducting a workshop entitled "Student-Centered Learning: A Practical Guide" as part of the Student Lounge Roundtable Series. 

Cuma Ozkan presented a chapter of his dissertation titled, "Contesting Sinicization: Chinese Muslims’ Intellectual Productions as a Way of Preserving their Cultural and Religious Identities" at the Graduate Student Colloquium on Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies. This event was Co-Organized By Diyanet Islamic Research Institute & Ali Vural Ak Center For Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, Lanham, MD, April 9, 2016.  

Jason Sprague, PhD Candidate presented the following:

  • "Odawa Catholicism, the American State, and the Protestant Mission", 2015 Great Lakes History Conference, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, October 9, 2015.
  • "Kin, Commerce, and Catholicism: The Odawa of L’Arbre Croche and the Issue of Catholic Native American Neutrality in Pontiac’s War", 2015 Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., June 5, 2015
  • "The Odawa Mission: Education and the Development of Catholicism in Northern Michigan" at the James A. Rawley Conference at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln on April 2, 2016.

Emma Rifai, PhD Pre-Candidate presented, "Fashioning Identities: New Relationships with Fashion and Modesty in Turkey" at the Doing the Body in the 21st Century Conference, The University of Pittsburgh on March 31-April 2, 2016.

Dr. Stephen Scheperle, former PhD student in the UI Department of Religious Studies took part in a panel discussion entitled, "Does Religion Do More Harm or Good?", April 24, 2016, at the Iowa Memorial Union.

Brandon Dean, former PhD student in the Department of Religious Studies spoke at the 2015 American Academy of Religion Conference in Atlanta, November 21-24. 

Dr. Dan Boscaljon, former PhD student in the UI Department of Religious Studies gave a reading of Vigilant Faith at Prairie Lights on August 28, 2015 at 7:00pm.