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Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

Invisible Faiths: Paganism and Religious Diversity at the University of Illinois

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Title: Invisible Faiths: Paganism and Religious Diversity at the University of Illinois
Author(s): Anth411 07-23
Subject(s): religious diversity paganism silencing tolerance religion ANTH411_F07
Abstract: In this research, I seek to understand religious diversity here at the University of Illinois. Using ethnographic methods, I propose a project to interpret the ways in which cultural expectations frame the experiences of Pagan students on campus, while at the same time, also frame the ways in which the University administration views the student body as a whole. Building on preliminary research conducted in fall of 2007, this research seeks to determine the environment here at the University of Illinois for students of alternative religions. Considering a violent history against Pagans, this research takes careful account of potential risks to Pagan students and members of alternative religions. In this way, this project may also provide a foundation for future applied projects to encourage greater resources for religious diversity on campus.
Issue Date: 2008-02-15
Series/Report: ANTH 411: Methods for Sociocultural Anthropology, Prof. Nancy Abelmann. This course introduced students to a variety of ethnographic methods. Students tried their hand at some of these methods through a focused project. I had students think about their semester-long work as "pilot research"; although they did write up a short paper on their findings (their "discuss" section of the database), the culminating assignment was a research proposal in which they envision building on their preliminary findings in a longer/larger project. In the beginning of the semester, students did some warm-up exercises not directly related to their projects (an observation, an analysis of a university document, and an interview) -- some students elected to remove these from their databases while others left them in because of their connection to the final project. Students' "question" and "plan" sections of the database include multiple entries as I encouraged them to continue to refine these over the course of the semester in dialogue with their own emerging findings. I also asked students to search both the U of I Student Life and Cultures Archives and well as this EUI IDEALS collection to find archives relevant to their pilot/proposed research. All students were asked to "reflect" on the research experience and to make "recommendations" to the University on the basis of their research findings. The course syllabus is available at: www.eui.uiuc.edu/docs/syllabi/ANTH411F07.doc
Type: Text
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/3614
Publication Status: unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS: 2008-02-15
 

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.
  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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