Band Aid 30: Colonial Christmas Is Back!


That’s right. Your 24/7 Christmas music playlists and stations are likely to have the Band Aid 30 updated version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in full rotation this season, topping sales charts with the charitable intent of raising money to help fight the Ebola pandemic in West Africa. Cathleen Falsani has written over at [Read More...]

Feminist Scholarship & Pedagogies at #NWSA2014


I’ve escaped the cold blast hitting the Midwest this week by heading to the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Today, I am spending time in a workshop for Program Administrators and Developers, as a former chair and founding member of the Gender & Women’s Studies Program at Illinois College.  [Read More...]

“When Two People Love Each Other, What Right Do I Have…?”


Marriage equality has come to Idaho.  Idaho! Of course the big news is the fact that gay and lesbian Americans now have the right to marry in 32 states, a majority for the first time in U.S. history. But I have a small story to share about one place, one courthouse. My husband grew up [Read More...]

Books, Vocation, & Education


It happens regularly … a student comes into my office, stops and looks around, says:  “So many books!” I usually smile, and say, “of course … it’s my job.” That’s only partially true, of course, since as a college professor, the students are my job. Actually, introducing the students to the books is most precisely [Read More...]

Be Afraid


I’ve never understood the appeal of haunted houses or roller coasters or scary movies. I don’t enjoy being afraid and can’t imagine how it can be a form of entertainment. I vividly remember being terrified at haunted houses as a child, and demanding at one that they let me out before the end because it [Read More...]

At The Intersections: Justice & the Divine Female

She Lives revise2

Many good people live and work at the intersections, and I occasionally invite someone to tell a story from where they stand. Today’s piece comes from Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton, whose musical work I have shared on this blog from time to time over the years. Jann is an ordained minister, author, teacher, and chaplain. She currently serves [Read More...]

Called to Act for Peace


I read former President Jimmy Carter’s latest book this summer in preparation for today. The 90-year-old is speaking on my campus today alongside Khalaf Al Habtoor, a major benefactor of the college, and former U.S. Representative from Jacksonville, Illinois, Paul Findley. A major campus initiative titled Pathways to Peace is being announced, and the college’s [Read More...]

Two Great Stories


My lack of blog posting over the past few weeks can partially be attributed to the fact that I was travelling to, speaking at, and otherwise participating in two great conference events.  Luckily, other folks put together great Storify summaries of these events. First, I attended the Vanguard Campus Convening with staff from the Interfaith [Read More...]

Interfaithing Round-Up


This weekend I’m travelling to Washington, D.C., to attend The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, along with the preceding convening of the Vanguard Interfaith Campus Network.  The Interfaith Youth Core is the connection point here, working with colleges and universities around the country on integrating interreligious cooperation, interfaith dialogue, community service, and work [Read More...]

Honorable Mention: Father Roy Bourgeois


Father Roy Bourgeois is speaking on my campus tonight, and I’m thrilled to be having dinner with him before the event.  The event tonight and one tomorrow in Springfield, Illinois, are being co-sponsored by Call to Action, the college, Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and Holy Family Inclusive Catholic Community, a new church in town I [Read More...]

Reproductive (in)Justice in Jacksonville


I wrote this piece in response to events in the Illinois town where I live, and it was first published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier on September 10, 2014: Abandonment used to be a regular form of family planning — leaving a newborn out in the elements where she or he would likely die from exposure [Read More...]

postChristian & the Sin of postFeminism


In his newest book, postChristian, fellow Patheos blogger Christian Piatt takes up some important questions about Christianity in the 21st century:  Because Christianity “is not what it should be, what it claims to be,” Piatt asks:  What’s left?  Can we fix it?  Do we care?  He frames his reflections on these subtitle questions using seven [Read More...]