Find me at michaeljaltman.com

In 2010, I started this blog started by posting an old conference paper from the 2008 AAR. That paper was about Juggernaut. Seven years later, that paper became part of my dissertation and then my first book. A couple of weeks ago I published a post based on the OUP Blog about Juggernaut, as a way … Continue reading Find me at michaeljaltman.com

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I Voted for Bush in 2004 and Now I’m a Liberal College Professor

n the wake of last week's elections results and our new president-elect, I keep scrolling through my Spotify lists to a bunch of punk rock. Three bands have been in rotation this week-- The Dead Kennedys, NOFX, and The Descendents. The combination of these bands and the election brought me back to a much earlier point in my life. It was 2004. I was a twenty-year-old college junior majoring in religious studies and English. I had lived in the South my whole life and grown up the son of an evangelical pastor in evangelical Protestant churches. I thought of myself as a smart intellectually sophisticated conservative. I remember voting for John McCain in the South Carolina primary that year. I remember Howard Dean came to campus and I was intrigued but didn't go see him. I voted for George W. Bush in November.

What I Am Saying to My Class After the Election

After reading what my friend Matt Hedstrom said to his American Studies class yesterday, I realized I needed to say something to my Religion, Politics, and Law class today. Here's what I've written down. Thanks for the inspiration and the motivation, Matt.

A Fall Research Update: 3 New Journal Articles You Should Read

I haven't been writing on this blog much. I only have so many words in me and they have been going elsewhere. Where have those words gone, you ask? Well, glad you asked. Most of them went to my book. I am happy to report that I sent my final manuscript of Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American … Continue reading A Fall Research Update: 3 New Journal Articles You Should Read

UPDATED: The AAR Vice Presidential Election and the Illusion of Choice

I just started (binge) watching the USA show Mr. Robot. It's good. You should watch it. One thing  really like about the show is that it often turns critical attention the language of freedom and choice in our society. The whole show is really built on the question of how free we are in modern … Continue reading UPDATED: The AAR Vice Presidential Election and the Illusion of Choice

How Not To Be a Senior Scholar

I remember almost two years ago when American historian Edmund Morgan died. I had read Morgan's Visible Saints as part of my doctoral exams but, not being a historian by training or researching the colonial period, I hadn't read much else of his work. But after his death I read a lot about Morgan. I read … Continue reading How Not To Be a Senior Scholar

Why I Don’t Blog As Much Anymore

There have been a spate of posts lately about why scholars blog. This is not a new genre. People have been encouraging academics to blog for almost a decade now. But as Russell McCutcheon, Thomas Whitley, Adam Miller, and Steven Ramey show, scholars are still thinking about whether or not they should blog and what … Continue reading Why I Don’t Blog As Much Anymore

How To Use Your Scholarly Society to Promote Young Scholars

The following post comes from my new newsletter. I've decided to blog less and use the newsletter for thoughts like these. You should subscribe here to get the goods.  The North American Association for the Study of Religion, or NAASR, just released its program for the 2015 meeting this November in Atlanta. And it is an excellent example … Continue reading How To Use Your Scholarly Society to Promote Young Scholars

Four Takeaways from the AAR / SBL Jobs Report

The American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature released a new report about the job market based on data drawn from the AAR/SBL job listings for the 2013-2014 academic year. The report builds on previous data that dates back to January 2001. Graduate programs in religious studies and theology should hand this … Continue reading Four Takeaways from the AAR / SBL Jobs Report

What the AAR Can Learn from the MLA: The Conference Should Not Be Synonymous With “Job Market”

I was recently listening to the Digital Campus podcast when they did a segment (skip to 38:03 mark) discussing the need, or lack thereof, for the conference job interview. They based the discussion on the recent column from Rosemary Feal, the Executive Director of the Modern Language Association. Feal makes some really interesting points in the column that I … Continue reading What the AAR Can Learn from the MLA: The Conference Should Not Be Synonymous With “Job Market”