Special Session Reflections
We will have one film and at least one guest speaker during this class. Following each event, you will need to respond to a guided prompt to connect the film or guest lecture to major concepts in the course. These papers give you the opportunity to practice the analytical skills you will need to bring to your final paper. Submit in Canvas/Assignments.
Special Session Reflection #1
The purpose of this reflection paper is to assess your skill level in engaging analytic lenses on a subject.
In this paper, you need to examine the development of Rastafari life-ways or religio-culture through the analytic of gender. Since the history of Rastafari also involves its debated status as a “religion”, its colonial origins, and current globalized circulations, you may bring one or all of these key concepts into your discussion, but gender needs to remain the unifying focus throughout your paper. Aim for 2-3 pages.
Comparing Edmonds’ description of Rastafari in Rastafari: A Very Short Introduction with one of Dr. Alhassan’s readings and her Q-A guest session, how does knowledge about Rastafari shift when women and gender issues are brought into consideration? How might gendered presentations religio-cultural life, history, economics, and/or politics produce different understandings of religion in any one of these contexts?
Special Session Reflection #2
This assignment provides practice in using an analytic category to examine a primary text. Specifically, this assignment requires you to apply the analytic category (lens) of Oppositional Consciousness & Identity development in the film Thunderheart. If you choose to connect your use of this analytic category to others we have studied in this course, you may, but be careful to keep oppositional consciousness and/or identity development the main focus of your paper.
Discuss the film Thunderheart in terms of either Sandoval’s oppositional consciousness OR Cross’s Life Stages model of identity development.
If you focus on oppositional consciousness you need to address the following:
- What consciousness is being opposed and by whom?
- What types of consciousnesses are present in the story?
- Are there types of consciousness that do not fit within Sandoval’s typography? How can we account for this other type of consciousness?
- How do these different types of consciousness interact within the story?
- How can what we call “religion” factor into oppositional consciousness?
If you focus on Cross’s “Life Stages” model of identity development you need to address the following:
- Focus on the character Ray Levoi.
- Trace his movement through the different stages of Cross’s model.
- Does Ray Levoi complete the stages? Explain why or why not you think this?
- What role does what we call “religion” play in Ray’s movement through these stages?
Your midterm exam will be an essay submitted online in Canvas/Assignments. In the essay you will reflect on the relevance of the material covered in the first half of the course to a major area of your life. This essay needs to be 4-5 pages long and do the following:
- Briefly, describe your major(s) discipline and, if applicable, minor or job/career. Craft your description to orient someone totally unfamiliar with your field(s) such that they will understand how the following discussion fits in your field.
- In more detail, describe how religion and globalization intersect with your discipline and, if applicable, your current job/career. (HINT: THIS IS YOUR THESIS.)
- Identify three categories of analysis from the first half of the semester that are the most useful/ constructive for you in understanding the role of religion and globalization in your studies and, if applicable, your current job/career.
- Do any of these categories provide you insight into your own position as a member of globalized communities? If none of the relevant categories of analysis inform your self-understanding, you need to state this and suggest an alternate category of analysis that might be more constructive.
Final Research Project
Purpose: My informal goal for 100 & 200 level courses is developing a conceptual literacy and research skillset that enables you to participate constructively in conversations about major issues about religion and globalization in your future workplaces and communities. No single news item will ever provide you enough information to make informed opinions or constructively participate in conversations or debates about issues that impact your communities. Thus, your final exam will be a project that supports two goals:
1) The project will walk you through a skillset and a process for cultivating yourself as an informed member of your local, state, regional, national, and international communities.
2) The project will assess your understanding of major categories of analysis covered in this course and your ability to put these concepts to work for you on issues that matter to you and your communities. Continued on next page.
The Overview: Your final paper will present an analysis of a current issue involving religion and globalization. This analysis will need to bring in information about the religion concerned, relevant historical background, and two or three major categories of analysis you learn in the course. Often these categories will intersect and interact with each other; so you will need to describe each aspect and explain how they interact and what results from those interactions. The paper will conclude by outlining 2-3 new key questions that policy makers, voters, consumers need to consider.
You will develop your research questions and select key categories of analysis around 1-3 media items on a shared topic that you will select by the second week of class. These are your “primary sources”. This project will be broken down into smaller phases that will be due throughout the semester. For each phase, I will provide links to how-to resources in the course Canvas page. One revision/redo will be offered as needed at each stage up to (but not including) the in-class presentation & peer reviews feedback, and final exam submission. The research phases earn 100 points total. The final paper earns 100 points. Together this is 30% of your course grade. Submit all phases except in-class presentations in Canvas/Assignments.
Primary Sources: You will locate 1-3 substantial media items from different media. “Substance” means that the news item provides more than a cursory overview of the issue. Substantive items will provide detailed description of an event or issue, including at least two perspectives. These can include investigative reports, in depth interviews, publicly published government or community statements, public monuments, and video programs. If I determine that one or more of your sources will not support this project well, you will have the opportunity to replace the selection(s). These sources form the foundation of your research plan and so the quality of the set of sources is especially important. Primary sources are due [date].
Research Questions: Based on your primary sources, you will form one main research question and up to two supporting questions. These questions will determine what secondary sources you will need for your research and the overall structure of your final paper. Research questions are due [date].
Secondary Sources: This stage has two stages and four due dates.
Stage 1: LIST You will identify 3 sources for developing the background knowledge you will need to do the analysis required by your research questions. You will need at least one source describing the religious tradition involved in your primary sources and at least one source explaining the relevant history involved in your primary sources. The third source should fill out any gaps not covered by the first two sources. Your list of Secondary sources is due February 14. If you plan to condut your own interview of an expert in some ase aspect of your research, this will count as a fourth source. include option for interview with a local expert??
Stage 2: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY You will provide an annotation for each of your three sources. Each annotation will consist of the bibliographic entry for the item and your formal annotation of the source. How-to resources on writing annotations can be found in Canvas. There will have separate due dates in order to help you pace your work. With each dues date, you will include the annotation due that round and the previous round(s). This will help me assess how well the sources complement each other and support your research question as a whole.
First annotation is due [date].
Second Annotation is due [date].
Third Annotation is due [date].
Fourth Optional Interviews: If you plan into conduct your own interview of a expert regarding an aspect of your topic, be sure to let me know and set due date with me. Interview annotations need to include either transcript or voice file as well as an annotation of the interview.
Abstract: You will provide a 100-150 word answer to your research question(s). This answer needs to show the structure that your analysis will take. This will include statements about relevant religious information, relevant historical context, and identify 1-3 key concepts from the class that explain the globalized aspect of the issue in your primary sources. You will build your outline from this abstract.
Outline: This may be in conventional outline format or a graphic organizer / conceptual map. Either format needs to show what supporting points you will add to expand and clarify the basic answer laid out in your abstract.
In-class presentation: Due to the size of this class, you will present your work in small groups of 3-4 peers during class. Your peer group will provide guided feedback to you including their understanding of your key questions, what they understand your answers to be, and questions they think you should be sure to cover in your final paper. Peer reviews will be submitted to me during class. I will provide the peer reviews to the presenters the following Friday. Your experience presenting and the written reviews will support you in writing/revising your final paper.
Peer Review groups: I will assign groups by Friday April 24.
In-class presentation dates: Monday April 27 and Wednesday April 29.
Peer Reviews to presenters: Friday May 1
Final Paper: You have three options for your final project’s format.
A) INDIVIDUAL OPTION: You can write a traditional final paper, 1,200-2,000 words (5-8 pages) long plus a bibliography not included in the page count.
B) INDIVIDUAL OPTION: You can write a write an in-depth 1,200-word Op-Ed and submit it to a news organization. While this is a shorter written option, it also requires highly condensed writing in order to successfully fulfill the assignment in that short space and written to a real audience. Models will be posted in the Project Module. You will also need to submit a copy of the organization’s Op-Ed guidelines and proof of submission. If the organization’s length is substantially shorter than 1,200 words, then submit the shorter version as an abstract before the longer piece.
C) GROUP OPTION: You can form a 3-4 person team with classmates working on the same topic-area to produce a 10-15-minute talk-show or talk-radio style in-depth conversation about shared topic that reflects the secondary source research you each have done separately. If you record this show in Zoom, you will also receive a transcript which you can edit and also submit. This option will result in a longer page count but may also be easier to produce and more personally meaningful.