September 12, 2019

Here’s an interesting call for papers from an organization in Spain, the International Congress of Fantastic Genre, Audiovisuals and New Technologies, which is an academic wing of the Elche International Fantastic Film Festival – FANTAELX, in collaboration with the Miguel Hernández University. Some of the English is a bit garbled, but I’m sure that calls for papers for conferences in the English-speaking world regularly make it into other languages in comparable form. See their website (and Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube… Read more

September 11, 2019

Bob Cargill shared this meme that illustrates the problem with the so-called paradox of tolerance nicely: As you may recall, Ankur Gupta and I use precisely this illustration in our article about the need to prioritize various ethical commitments that we have. Here’s the relevant part of our article: [W]hen the United Federation of Planets claims to embrace the Vulcan ideology of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, and yet fights against the Borg, it is not showing that inclusivity is… Read more

September 10, 2019

Call for proposals for Strange Novel Worlds? Star Trek Novels and Fiction Collections in Popular Culture Since James Blish published his novelizations of Star Trek episodes (Bantam, 1967sq), over 840 tie-in novels, anthologies, novelizations, and omnibus editions have made their way to fans eager to follow the continuing adventures of their favourite Starfleet officers and aliens. Though none are to be considered canon, Star Trek tie-in books have supplemented the franchise, providing more stories starring favourite and original characters, furthering plotlines… Read more

September 9, 2019

I will be involved in this year’s Spirit and Place festival, which always has lots of interesting and meaningful things happening around Indianapolis, and yet which I’ve not tended to be directly involved with in the past for some reason. What am I doing exactly? Talking about composer John Rutter’s Requiem. Here is the blurb from the website: Explore how art and music can help heal the soul through a performance of John Rutter’s Requiem, a visual art show, and a discussion… Read more

September 8, 2019

From an interview in USA Today with Guillermo del Toro: His religious grandmother instilled a passion for both the supernatural and separating right from wrong. “It was a lot of Catholic scare about sin and hell. ‘You’re going to be in purgatory if you’re not careful, and blah, blah, blah … Maybe even if you are careful!’ ” he says with a laugh. … “I’m eager to explore themes that lend themselves easily to metaphor,” he says. “The fantastic is the only tool we… Read more

September 7, 2019

I wonder how many scholars, including everyone from feminists to old-fashioned male chauvinist defenders of patriarchy, aren’t even aware of the scarcely-acknowledged contributions women in general and wives in particular have made to some of the best-known works in their fields. A recent blog post by Carol Christ offers one example. She writes: I found Rebekah Miles’ article “Was Ursula Niebuhr Reinhold’s Coauthor?” Miles suggests that after Reinhold’s stroke in 1952, it is probable that Ursula played a large role… Read more

September 6, 2019

Here’s information about another upcoming speaking event related to the intersection of popular culture and religion. The schedule for this year’s ΘeoCon has been posted. It includes A. David Lewis speaking on “World Religions, Comics, and Social Impact,” Ram Devineni speaking about “Love, Power, and Resilience: How Graphic Novels Exhibit Resilience and Hope,” a range of shorter sessions on a host of interesting topics, and in the mix, a panel that I’m involve in with the title “Cards for Divinity.”… Read more

September 5, 2019

It is apparently official now: I’ll be presenting a session called “Gods on Star Trek” at Starbase Indy this year. Here’s the blurb, which relates directly to a book chapter that I wrote and which is forthcoming in a volume on Star Trek and Theology: This presentation will explore the various godlike entities that appear throughout the Star Trek franchise, from Apollo and Trelane to Q, the Prophets, and the Red Angel. It will be suggested that it is not… Read more

September 4, 2019

I’ve not experienced the level of anxiety I have felt as the start of this semester drew near for quite some time. I’ve been telling people that I think I probably teach better when I have that anxiety that leads me to overthink, overprepare, and often find myself unable to sleep or waking up unduly early because of how anxious I am, as I continually think about what I am teaching. In case you haven’t heard, I’m teaching a class… Read more

September 3, 2019

This continues my recap of the “Future of Gen Ed” event that Inside Higher Ed hosted. Sorry that I have allowed such a long time to pass since part 1! Since I last wrote, Inside Higher Ed has had countless pieces related to the themes of this day workshop on general education and core curriculum requirements. These include: Articles Overstate Millennials’ Loss of Interest in Higher Ed Shape of Higher Ed to Come Study Student Learning Outcomes Beyond Distribution Requirements Finding… Read more

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