Working With…

workingwithA new book series coming later in 2014 from Culture on the Edge — a series edited by our own Vaia Touna — invites respondents to work with the group on key theoretical issues of relevance to the study of identification. Each volume — edited by a different member of the group — tackles a specific topic, e.g., Origins, Code Switching, Strategic Essentialism, Authenticity, etc., and asks a set of new readers to work with revised posts that originally appeared at edge.ua.edu — pressing them forward, critiquing them, or providing further illustrations of social processes at work.

Aimed at students and classes that are looking for ways to complicate their work on identity claims, each of the little volumes in Working with Culture on the Edge contains ten or more succinctly paired main chapters — that retain the informal tone of the blog — in which respondents take the group’s work in novel directions, along with an introduction to the volume, an extended theoretical conclusion, as well as a list of suggested readings and a transcript of the group discussing the topic and the commentaries that their work elicited.

Taking scholarly blogging in new collaborative directions, Working with Culture on the Edge offers readers an invitation to join the contributors in applying the critique, thereby making identity, at a wide variety of sites, all the more interesting.

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Vol. 1. Fabricating Origins
Russell McCutcheon (ed.)

The members of Culture on the Edge will be joined in the inaugural volume in this new series — devoted to the problem of origins discourses — by the following contributors:

Kate Daley-Bailey is currently teaching at the University of Georgia and writing on the topics of narrative and the human body as orienting metaphors in the study of religion. She recently presented her research on the construction of ‘human nature’ in world religion textbooks at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion.

Elonda Clay is the Digital Services Librarian/Archivist at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is also a doctoral student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Her research interests include DNA ancestry testing and origins, religion and hip hop, and religion and the internet.

Steffen Führding works as a research assistant and Instructor at the Department for the Study of Religions, Leibniz University, Hannover (Germany) while also completing his doctoral dissertation. His areas of interest include the history of Religionswissenschaft and the role of “religious” rhetoric’s in identity construction.

Alexis Glenn is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University in Religious Studies, specializing in their Religion and Critical Thought subfield, focusing primarily on political theory, virtue ethics, and early modern Anglo-American history.

Michael Graziano is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religion Department at Florida State University. His dissertation explores the relationship between American intelligence agencies and religious institutions during the Cold War.

James Dennis LoRusso is a Ph.D. candidate in American Religious Cultures at Emory University in Atlanta. He is currently completing a dissertation on the connection between spirituality in the American workplace and neo-liberalism.

Tara Baldrick-Morrone is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in religions of western antiquity in the Department of Religion at Florida State University. Her research focuses on rhetoric and conceptions of the body in late antiquity, as well as issues of theory and pedagogy in the introductory classroom.

Martha Smith Roberts is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her current research investigates the intersections between American religious pluralism, race and ethnicity, and the public display of the human body in twentieth-century museums and exhibitions.

Brad Stoddard is a Ph.D. candidate in Florida State University’s Department of Religion. His dissertation explores the intersections of religion, law, and the carceral state.

Karen deVries uses feminist science studies approaches to analyze religious and secular knowledge formations in the contemporary United States. She is currently finishing her doctoral dissertation in the History of Consciousness department at the University of California at Santa Cruz.