Posted by: akgoodma | December 11, 2009

Final Blogs

I’ve been going through your final blog projects and they look amazing! I really like what I see and will post the final grades this weekend. Thanks for all the hard work – it really paid off, guys. Have a great winter break. –akg

Posted by: akgoodma | December 9, 2009

Talks on Campus (that you should go to)

2009 F.E.L. Priestley Memorial Lectures in the History of Ideas
From Tuesday, 08 December 2009 –  4:30pm
To Thursday, 10 December 2009 – 6:00pm
Every day
University College Presents

“The Materiality of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages”

Caroline Walker Bynum
Professor of Medieval European History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
University Professor Emerita, Columbia University

Tuesday, December 8
“Weeping Statues and Bleeding Bread:  Miracles and Their Theorists”

Wednesday, December 9
“Living Synecdoche:  Parts and Wholes in Medieval Devotion”

Thursday, December 10
“The Materiality of the Visual: How Did Medieval People See?”

In the period between 1150 and 1550 a number of Christians in western Europe made pilgrimage to places where material objects–among them paintings, statues, relics, pieces of wood, earth, stones, and Eucharistic wafers–allegedly erupted into life by such activities as bleeding, weeping, and walking about. In these three lectures, Prof. Bynum will describe the miracles themselves, discuss the problems they presented for both church authorities and the ordinary faithful, and probe the basic assumptions about matter that lay behind them. She will also analyze what modern theorists call “medieval art” and argue that it called attention to its materiality in sophisticated ways that help explain both the animation of images and the iconoclastic resistance to them.

December 8, 9 & 10, 2009
4:30 p.m., Room 140, University College
15 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto. View a map.
Reception in Room 240 following lecture on December 8

Members of the faculty, staff, students and the public are cordially invited.

No registration necessary.
Call (416) 978-3160 for more information.

About the speaker:

Caroline Walker Bynum studies the religious ideas and practices of the European Middle Ages from late antiquity to the sixteenth century. She obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard in l969. She taught at Harvard from l969-76, at the University of Washington from l976-88, and at Columbia University from l988 to 2003. In January 2003 she became Professor of European Medieval History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She holds honorary degrees from thirteen American and foreign universities and in 1999 she was Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor the U.S. federal government awards to a scholar in the humanities.

In the 1980s, her book Holy Feast and Holy Fast was instrumental in introducing the concept of gender into Medieval Studies. Her recent work, in Wonderful Blood (2007) and in her forthcoming Christian Materiality (Zone Books, 2010), is a radical reinterpretation of the nature of Christianity on the eve of the reformations of the sixteenth century.

About the Priestley Lectures:

F.E.L Priestley retired in 1972 from his position as a Professor of English at University College in the University of Toronto after some fifty years of teaching. The F.E.L. Priestley Memorial Lectures in the History of Ideas were established by several of his former students. The lectures are interdisciplinary and may focus on literature, economics, history, geography, philosophy, theology, science, political science, as well as business, law, and medicine. Three in number and given on successive days, the lectures reflect their namesake’s broad interest in the history of ideas, as well as his dedication to teaching and scholarship.

Posted by: akgoodma | December 9, 2009

Final Blog Projects

So your final blog projects are due this Thursday, Dec. 10. I will check your blogs that day – if you have created a separate blog for your project, make sure it is highlighted on your original class blog so I can access it easily.

Good lucks guys – I’m really looking forward to seeing what you come up with! And have a great break. –akg

Posted by: akgoodma | November 19, 2009

The Final Stretch

So an updated schedule for the final couple of weeks:

Nov. 26: complete your final blog entry on the required readings

Dec. 3: each student will be required to give a short presentation (not more than five minutes) on their final project

Dec. 10: i’ve extended the due date for your final projects, which now must be online and complete by Dec. 10, not Dec. 3.

And again, keep working out your final projects, formulate SPECIFIC QUESTIONS that emerge from the available sources and you’ll do just fine. I’m excited to see how all your projects take shape. And do feel free to email me or stop by with drafts – I’m happy to look over them. See you next Thursday.  -akg

Posted by: akgoodma | November 16, 2009

Nov. 19 assignment


Just wanted to remind you that your fourth and final short critical summary is due this Thursday, Nov. 19. I’d like you to write a precis of Jay Dautcher’s book, Identity and Masculinity in a Uyghur Community, selections of which are found in the course reader.

In addition to Datcher’s book, we’ll discuss the role of women’s mosques in China from last week’s readings. And we’ll also devote some time to talking about your final projects, about blog design issues, and so on. See you then. –akg

Posted by: akgoodma | November 5, 2009

Nov. 5 Class Cancellation

I have a family emergency that will require me to cancel class tomorrow, Nov. 5. As you know, your final project proposals are due then. Because we will not be meeting, I would ask that you EITHER send me a copy of your paper over email OR drop off a hard copy of your proposal in my office mailbox (Religion Dept, 3rd floor, Jackman Humanities Bldg.) not later than the end of business (4:30pm) tomorrow, Nov. 5.

I apologize in advance for the cancellation. And because next week is fall break, we won’t be meeting again until Nov. 12. If you would like me to return your proposal before the break, please let me know by email and we can arrange a time for you to pick it up. See you in a couple of weeks. -akg

Posted by: akgoodma | October 28, 2009

Oct. 29 Numata Buddhist Studies Lecture at UofT

For those of you interested in Buddhist history, Buddhist art, and the history of the Silk Road:


Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, 2 – 4 pm, Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, Jackman Humanities Building Room 317

A Lecture by Professor Christian Luczanits (University of Vienna):

“Inconceivably Remote Future Accessible Now The Bodhisattva and Future Buddha Maitreya during the Kuṣāṇa Period”

Posted by: akgoodma | October 21, 2009

RLG356 Final Projects

RLG356. Final Project Guidelines

This semester you will be asked to carry out a course-related research project on your personal blog. You are free to choose the topic and will be asked to submit a project proposal by Thursday, November 5. Your proposal should include a working title, a short research statement (roughly one paragraph), and an annotated bibliography of sources (5-10) you will be using. An annotated bibliography includes the bibliographical information for each source you intend to use, as well as  a brief explanation of how each source contributes to your overall research project.

Because your project will be presented in blog format – and not in a traditional research paper format – you are free to use any type of media to support and/or supplement your regular library research. This could include images, video, and audio files, as well as links to other websites. You are encouraged to be as creative as possible with your project, but all projects must include roughly 5-7 pages of original student writing. Depending on your project, the written portion of your project could take the form of a single essay, a series of short essays, descriptive captions, timelines, and so on.

In order to assist you in your research I have uploaded a lengthy bibliography of scholarly works on topics related to Islam in China under ‘Course Documents’ on the course Blackboard site (aka The Portal), so please check that out. And again, you are free to choose a topic of interest to you (Muslim women in China, Chinese Islamic architecture, recent theories on modern ethnic identity formation, and so forth) as long as there is sufficient scholarship to support your research.

Final Project Timeline:

Nov. 5: Final Project Proposals Due

Dec. 3: Final Projects Due

NOTE: No extensions on the final project will be granted, and no late work will be accepted, without a documented medical excuse.

Posted by: akgoodma | October 15, 2009

October 22 Writing Assignment

For next week, October 22, we’ll be discussing Chinese Muslims in the 19th-20th Centuries. Lecture will consist of an historical overview, and discussion will be based on the two required readings listed on the syllabus.

Your third short paper (Paper 3) is also due. For Paper 3 I would like you to write another critical summary/ precis of the Gladney article from the course reader entitled, “Indigenizations: Ethnogenesis or Ethnogenicide,” in Dislocating China: Reflections on Muslims, Minorities, and Other Subaltern Subjects (London: Hurst and Co., 2004. Same format applies – you are trying to capture the main themes and key ideas of the article, and you must do so in 1-2 pages.

You are also asked to read James A. Millward, “Between Empire and Nation,” in Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang (Columbia UP, 2007).

And for those of you who didn’t yet pick up your graded Paper 1, they can be found in my office mailbox in the Religion Dept. on the third floor of the JHB.

See you next week. -akg

Posted by: akgoodma | October 13, 2009

Paper Grading

Just wanted to provide you with a list of shorthand comments that may appear on your graded papers. Before submitting your next assignment, please take time to edit your work in order to avoid the following potential pitfalls:

awkward construction

(poor) word choice

(lacking a proper) transition

run-on/incomplete( sentence)

informal (tone/style)

italicize (all foreign terms, at least the first time they appear in your writing)

One tactic for catching obvious mistakes – both grammatical and stylistic – is to read your paper aloud. It is sometime easier to hear mistakes than see them on the written page. Whatever your method, please do proofread your work before submitting it. See you Thursday.  -akg

Older Posts »