Currently Browsing: Academy

It’s (the American Academy of Religion) Conference Time

It’s (the American Academy of Religion) Conference Time
I received an e-mail today thanking me for supporting the American Academy of Religion for the past 20 years and accordingly inviting me to pick up an “appreciation gift” at the upcoming meeting in Boston (Nov 18-21). Last week, my colleague Monica A. Coleman and I also led our (Claremont School of Theology’s) monthly PhD Colloquium wherein we spoke to doctoral students about academic conferences in general and the AAR in particular. Both of those events has gotten me thinking about this year’s AAR. Some of my current and former students are equal parts excited and terrified about it: they are presenting their research (a handful for the first time ever at the national level), interviewing for faculty positions, and meeting up with senior scholars. When solicited, I’ve done what I can to help prepare them for these high-pressure situations and now wish them well. Fortunately for me, this is neither a year where I am conducting interviews, nor interviewing. I do, however, have three papers to deliver (n.b. one is for a pre-conference event, so I am safely within the limit) and other professional responsibilities to attend to (viz., steering committee obligations, an editorial board meeting, appointments with current and prospective publishers). Now, about those papers…. I. The pre-conference event will be held on Friday, November 17 at the Old South Church (645 Boylston). We will be “Celebrating Asian North Americans in Theological Education with Frank Yamada.” The occasion for this session is Dr. Frank Yamada’s recent ascendancy to the Executive Director position of the Association of Theological Schools—the first Asian American to hold such a vaunted position. The panelists are Faustino Cruz, Boyung Lee, James Lee, and me. Along with the ATS, the panel discussion and dinner is sponsored by a host of Asian American organizations (please see the flier). I do look forward to this most happy occasion.   II. On Sunday (1-2:30pm, Hynes Convention Center-108 (Plaza Level), I’ll be on a “Teaching Animals and Religion” panel that is jointly sponsored by Animals and Religion and Teaching Religion. Here’s the description (A19-206): David Aftandilian, Texas Christian University, Presiding For this roundtable, presenters will discuss 1 or 2 specific pedagogical approaches that they have found to work well in teaching about animals and religion. Presenters have been selected to represent a wide range of types of institutions, courses, and instructional practices. Many are also senior scholars in the field who will bring years of experience in teaching about animals and religion to the roundtable. To allow more presenters to participate, and to leave more time for audience participation, the roundtable will follow a lightning-style format. In 5 to 6 minutes each presenter will specify the contexts (type of institution and course) within which they have taught using this approach, describe the pedagogical practice, and discuss how both they and their students have assessed its success. Finally, the audience will be invited to share their own practices of teaching (and learning) about animals and religion in various contexts. Panelists: Eric D. Mortensen, Guilford College Jay McDaniel, Hendrix College Aaron Gross, University of San Diego Barbara K. Darling-Smith, Wheaton College Barbara Ambros, University of North Carolina David Clough, University of Chester Lea Schweitz, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago Grace Kao, Claremont School of Theology I look forward to talking about my pedagogical approach in the Animal Theology & Ethics course that I’ve taught on three separate occasions since I began working with graduate students in 2009.   III. On Monday (9am-11:30am, Sheraton Boston-Beacon B (Third Level)), I’ll be a part of another panel with the theme “Animal Expression, Theological Thought: How Animal Encounters Ground Theological Construction.” Here’s the description (A20-104):...
read more