New Courses Fall 2013
Two new special topics courses will offered during the fall 2013 semester by Dr. Marcus Harvey:
RELS 373.001: African Religions in the Americas and the Caribbean
(Crosslisted as AFST 373.002; note difference of section number)
This course engages students in an interdisciplinary study of religious traditions in the Americas and the Caribbean sharing cultural connections to West Africa. We will explore a diverse range of religious cultures as well as the theoretical frameworks and methodologies scholars utilize to account for the presence of these cultures in the Western Hemisphere via the transatlantic slave trade and other transnational realities spanning the last five centuries. Moving beyond the common assumption that African-derived religions are best understood merely as syncretic traditions, we will investigate ways in which they reflect foundational aspects of African cosmologies and contribute to processes of cultural identity formation in the African Diaspora. Religious traditions and geographic regions covered include Candomblé (Brazil), Lucumi (Cuba), Obeah (Jamaica), Kumina (Jamaica), and Vodun (Haiti and North America).
RELS 373.002: Zora Neale Hurston and Black Religion: Theoretical Foundations
(Crosslisted as AFST 373.003; note difference of section number)
Zora Neale Hurston is celebrated as a preeminent twentieth-century folklorist, anthropologist, and novelist whose work elucidates the complex meanings of black folk culture in the southern United States, vodou traditions in Haiti and Jamaica, and black life in a raced American society whose institutions oppose the black quest for holistic identity. Regrettably, the relevance of Hurston's work to the study of black religion in America is often superficially interpreted or ignored. Departing from the latter tendency, this course explores Zora Neale Hurston's theoretical contribution to the study of black religion primarily through an investigation of her novels Their Eyes Were Watching God and Moses, Man of the Mountain. These novels will be read not only as sources of data on black religion, but also as texts containing seminal insights that establish a theoretical framework for the study of black religion. We will also read portions of Hurston's The Sanctified Church along with several other secondary texts. With the approval of Dr. Payne, majors and minors taking this course may satisfy their distribution requirement for "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Religion."
Last edited by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 10, 2013