Empire of Sacrifice

Jon Pahl

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Pahl is the Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor in the History of Christianity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary and an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University. He stopped by my office on May 22, 2013 to discuss his 2009 book, Empire of Sacrifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence, from New York University Press. Throughout his career Jon Pahl has been interested in the intersection of religion, violence, and peacemaking. In this work, he describes the religiously-oriented sacrificial logic behind much of the violence in America. He uses case studies on youth, race, gender, and capital punishment to show how violent sacrifice is made normative in our culture. One of the hallmarks of Jon Pahl’s pedagogy and this book is his use of film to illustrate important themes. On finishing Empire of Sacrifice, I realized that I need to pay far more attention to the role that film plays in shaping our culture.

In a future book, provisionally entitled The Coming Religious Peace, Jon Pahl will analyze the role that religions play in peacemaking. I look forward to inviting him back to discuss this new work.

Audio Download Link

Audio Embed Code

—Fred Rowland

Library Prize Interviews, 2013

Here are the interviews with this year’s three winners of the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and their faculty sponsors. Take some time to listen to these three accomplished undergraduate scholars discussing the road to the Library Prize.

Eamonn Connor, “Miasma and the Formation of Greek Cities”
GRC 4182: Independent Study (Fall 2012)
Faculty Sponsor: Sydnor Roy

 

Audio Download Link (for later)

Emily Simpson, “”Represion!” Punk Resistance and the Culture of Silence in the Southern Cone, 1978-1990”
History 4997: Honors Thesis Seminar (Spring 2013)
Faculty Sponsor: Beth Bailey

Audio Download Link (for later)
Nicole Wolverton, “The Murder at Cherry Hill”
English 3020: Detective Novel and the City (Fall 2012)
Faculty Sponsor: Priya Joshi

Audio Download Link (for downloads)

—Fred Rowland

Three Classics Majors Get Dirty

On March 18, 2013 I spoke with three Temple classics majors about the archaeological digs they participated in during the summer of 2012. Andy Pollack was at the Temple University field school in Artena, Italy, working on a Roman villa; Eamonn Connor was a volunteer at the ancient agora near the Acropolis in Athens, Greece; and Samantha Davidson attended the Davidson College field school at a rural site in Atheneiou, Cypus. We met in my office at 8 AM. With coffee in hand, we had an interesting conversation about the similarities and differences between the three sites. We talked about artifacts, preservation, tools, the daily routine, and the surrounding geography and history of each site.

Audio Download Link

Audio Embed Code

—Fred Rowland

Kathleen Fitzpatrick on scholarly communication & the digital humanities

KathleenFitzpatrick

 

 

 

 

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is the Director of Scholarly Communications at the Modern Language Association and a visiting faculty member in the English Department at New York University. She has published two books, The Anxiety of Influence: The American Novel in the Age of Television (Vanderbilt University Press, 2006), which analyzed the anxiety and vested interests surrounding the purported demise of literature, and Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (New York University Press, 2011), a fascinating and incisive look at the future of publishing and scholarship in the academy. She has a blog, also titled Planned Obsolescence, and she is a co-founder of MediaCommons, “a community network for scholars, students, and practitioners in media studies, promoting exploration of new forms of publishing…”

Kathleen Fitzpatrick gave a lecture at the Center for the Humanities at Temple (CHAT) on March 7, 2013, entitled “The Humanities in and for the Digital Age.” Before her talk, she kindly stopped by my office to discuss her work in scholarly communication and the digital humanities.

Audio Download Link

Audio Embed code

—Fred Rowland

Talking About Starbucks

simon2.jpgTemple history professor Bryant Simon is the author of Everything But the Coffee: Learning About America From Starbucks, published by University of California Press in 2009. It describes how the Starbucks phenomenon reflects many of the social and cultural trends in American society and business. On March 24, 2010, he stopped by Paley Library to talk to me about his new book. He discussed the history of the company, the research methods he employed, the coffeehouse tradition, the shrinking of public spaces in America, and how we might renew our civic culture.

Listen to the audio of the interview

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Subscribe to this podcast series

 

—Fred Rowland

Discussion with Temple Classicists

tompkins.jpg robin.jpg roy.jpg

On March 18, 2010 I had the opportunity to speak with Classics professors Dan Tompkins, Robin Mitchell-Boyask, and Sydnor Roy. I wanted to understand how Classics research–and humanities research more generally–had changed in the course of the past few decades in the wake of broad transformations in academia, technology, and society.

Dan Tompkins received his PhD from Yale University in 1968 with a dissertation entitled Stylistic Characterization in Thucydides. Robin Mitchell-Boyask graduated in 1988 from Brown University with a dissertation entitled Tragic Identity: Studies in Euripides and Shakespeare. Sydnor Roy is a 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation is entitled Political Relativism: Implicit Political Theory in Herodotus’ Histories.

We began by discussing their respective dissertation experiences: where they studied, what kinds of sources they used, the technology that was available, and the scholarly community that surrounded them. Since the three dissertations spanned the years from 1968 to 2010, the discussion revealed interesting similarities and differences in the academic environment over the past forty years. Below is Part 1 of our discussion. Parts 2 and 3 will follow.

Listen to the audio of the discussion, Part I

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Subscribe to this podcast series

 

—Fred Rowland

Daddy Grace and His House of Prayer

Daddy Grace was a flamboyant preacher of the 1930′s, 40′s, and 50′s who created a religious organization with churches situated mainly up and down the east coast of the United States, including Philadelphia. His church was pentecostal in orientation and known for extravagant rituals, parades, and festivals. Until now, Daddy Grace and his United House of Prayer for All People has been relatively neglected in the scholarship of religious studies. Temple’s Adjunct Associate Professor Marie Dallam has gone a long way in filling in the gaps in our understanding of this fascinating figure in American religious history with her new book, Daddy Grace: A Celebrity Preacher and His House of Prayer, published by New York University Press.

On March 10, Marie Dallam stopped by Paley Library to discuss her new book with librarian Fred Rowland. Below is a link to this audio interview.

 (mp3)

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Subscribe to this podcast series

Don’t forget that if Daddy Grace: A Celebrity Preacher and His House of Prayer is checked out from Paley Library, you can request it through E-ZBorrow.

—Fred Rowland

Paley’s Carol Brigham Elected to IUG

Library automation systems are crucial to the operation of contemporary academic libraries. They provide the searchable online catalogs; the circulation, cataloging, and interlibrary loan systems; and much more. At Temple there are twenty-three university libraries that contain over 2.9 million print volumes that need to be cataloged, shelved, searched, checked out, checked in, placed on reserve, or sent off as interlibrary loans. The explosion of electronic resources in recent years has placed an additional burden on automation systems. Since May 1999, Temple has used automation software from Innovative Interfaces Inc., one of the world’s leading providers with systems installed in diverse libraries in over forty countries.

Librarian Carol Brigham

As with any widely used computer system, Innovative needs to constantly improve, upgrade, and expand its software offerings to libraries. The Innovative Users Group (IUG) was established as an independent entity in 1991 to “serve as a forum to influence the development and improvement of Innovative products for the benefit of IUG members” (quote taken from the IUG web site). Paley Library Access Services librarian Carol Brigham has been involved with IUG since 1988 and was recently elected to a two-year term as an IUG member-at-large, an honor that indicates her high standing within the library community. Previously, Carol served as secretary and member-at-large of the (regional) Middle Atlantic IUG.

As a member-at-large Carol will represent a broad user population from diverse libraries by soliciting, elaborating, organizing, and communicating recommendations for Innovative’s continually evolving automation software, an annual cycle called the “IUG Enhancement Process”. Throughout the year, IUG members make suggestions for enhancements that are then vetted by IUG experts for feasability. The potential enhancements are then sent out to IUG member libraries to vote on. Currently, libraries are casting their ballots for the 2005 enhancements, with a deadline for voting of July 8, 2005. The winning enhancements will then be sent to Innovative for implementation. Facilitating this process takes deep technical knowledge, excellent communicaton skills, an understanding of the working milieus of many different types of libraries, and a whole lot of patience. Carol will do a great job! She will also play a role at IUG conferences and events. At the most recent national IUG meeting in San Francisco, Carol coordinated and was a panelist on two circulation forums.

Carol came to Temple from LaSalle five years ago and has made a big impact on Paley operations where she helps to formulate Access Services policies, works on special projects, and generally aims at improving operational efficiency. If you’ve ever been to the Circulation Desk in Tuttleman you’ve probably seen Carol. Take a look at her picture. She was probably moving very fast with a pen and legal pad in her hand, as she moved between problems, projects, and meetings.

BTW: The department in which Carol works, Access Services, is responsible for the following library functions:

  • Circulation (checking out and returning books);
  • Interlibrary Loan Borrowing and Lending (borrowing and lending books and journal from and to other libraries);
  • Course Reserves (faculty members put books on reserve for classes); and
  • Stacks (shelving and reshelving and shelving and reshelving…).

–Fred Rowland