Material Religion Symposium

Wed. May 6, 6-9 p.m.: Forty-seven students from Professor of Religion Ken Koltun-Fromm's Material Religion in America class will offer multimedia presentations of their final projects in the Bryn Mawr Room of the Dining Center. A buffet dinner will be served for all those who attend. Thur. May 7, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Three Haverford professors and three distinguished visitors will participate in an all-day conference in Sharpless Auditorium. Topics will include

Organized by Ken Koltun-Fromm, Religion Department. Sponsored by the Hurford Humanities Center.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Student Poster Sessions in the Bryn Mawr Room, Haverford Dining Center. A buffet dinner will be served for all those who attend.

Forty-seven students from Professor of Religion Ken Koltun-Fromm's Material Religion in America class will offer multimedia presentations of their final projects.

Thursday, May 7th, 2009 - All Day Conference, Sharpless Auditorium

Three Haverford professors and three distinguished visitors will participate in an all-day conference.

9 a.m. Introductory remarks: Ken Koltun-Fromm

9:15 a.m. "Things in Relationship," presented by Bob Orsi, Northwestern University

10:15 a.m. “A Japanese God in Buddhist Guise: The Case of Jizô,” presented by Hank Glassman, Haverford College

11:15 a.m. “On Camel Bones and Web Pages: Material Cultures of the Quran,” presented by Travis Zadeh, Haverford College

12:15 Lunch, Stokes 102, Humanities Center

2 p.m. “America’s Embrace of the Ten Commandments,” presented by Jenna Weissmann Joselit, Princeton University

3 p.m. “Oracular Bodies and Noisy Print in Eighteenth-Century London Culture,” presented by Laura McGrane, Haverford College

4 p.m. “Seeing in Groups: American Protestants and New Visual Media,” presented by David Morgan, Duke University

5 p.m. Closing remarks: Ken Koltun-Fromm

Both events—the student presentations and the faculty talks—are open to all, and we welcome your participation and constructive criticism throughout.

Participating Haverford Faculty and Guest Speakers

Ken Koltun-Fromm is Associate Professor of Religion at Haverford College. He specializes in modern Jewish thought, German Jewish identity in the nineteenth-century, American Judaism, and material religion. His books include Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity, Abraham Geiger’s Liberal Judaism: Personal Meaning and Religious Authority, as well as his forthcoming work, Material Culture and Jewish Identity in America.

Jenna Weissman Joselit is a Professor of American and modern Judaic studies at Princeton University. She specializes in the Modern Jewish experience and American vernacular culture. She is a founding member of NYU’s Working Group on Jews, Media, and Religion and a monthly columnist for Forward newspaper. Her books include The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880–1950 and A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America.

David Morgan is a Professor of Religion and Visual Studies at Duke University. He specializes in history of religious visual and print culture and American religious cultural history. His books include The Lure of Images: A History of Religion and Visual Media in America, Protestants and Pictures, and The Sacred Gaze. Morgan is co-founder and co-editor of the international scholarly journal, Material Religion, and co-editor of a book series at Routledge entitled “Religion, Media, and Culture.”

Robert Orsi is the Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies at Northwestern University. He studies American Catholicism in both historical and ethnographic perspective, and he is widely recognized also for his work on theory and method for the study of religion. His books include The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950, Thank You, Saint Jude: Women’s Devotion to the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes, and Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them.

Hank Glassman is Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at Haverford College. In addition to Japanese language and culture, he studies and teaches in the field of Buddhist Studies. He has written numerous articles on art, literature, and gender/sexuality in pre-modern Japanese religion. His forthcoming book is entitled The Face of Jizō: Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism (University of Hawaii Press).

Laura McGrane is Assistant professor of English and American Literature at Haverford College. She has written on histories of the novel, print culture, witchcraft and theater in publications including Modern Language Quarterly and Forum for Modern Language Studies. Her pedagogical interests include visual and digital cultures, periodicals, the novel, and performance in eighteenth-century Britain and America. She is currently finishing a book entitled Hollowed Voices: Sounding the Classical Oracle in London Print Culture, 1690-1762.

Travis Zadeh is Assistant Professor of Religion and Comparative Literature at Haverford College. He studies and teaches Islamic intellectual history, focusing on the Quran, mysticism, translation, geography and Persian and Arabic wonder traditions relating to the natural world. He is currently working on a monograph on early translations of the Quran.