Religion, Textuality, and Cultural Imagination encourages graduate students to interrogate imbrications of the category of religion in and through artifacts expressive of human cultural imagination—including but not limited to narrative, poetry, visual and material arts, music, film, drama, and other modes of performativity. In addition to competence in specific genres of cultural expression, you will master legacies of theoretical and cultural criticism, specialize in at least one region/tradition/methodology in the study of religion (Religion in the Americas, East Asian Religions, Islam, or Ethics, for instance), and complete necessary language requirements.
Religion, Textuality, and Cultural Imagination
Sample exam structure
Religion, Textuality, and Cultural Imagination qualifying exams consist of at least four written exams (3 hours each) taken over the course of two weeks and followed by an oral examination. You should, in consultation with faculty, acquire and develop exam bibliographies early in your coursework.
- Primary genres:
You may elect a major and minor genre of cultural expression for the exam. Genres may include lyric poetry, tragedy, opera, the novel, or other forms selected in consultation with the primary advisor and approval of the core faculty.
- Method: Theory and Criticism:
You will construct a diachronic bibliography of significant cultural criticism ranging from ancient to contemporary examples.
- Area of religious expertise: This exam qualifies you for university level teaching in a chosen subfield while promoting mastery in a specific region, tradition, or methodological approach in the study of religion.
- Special topics:
An exam that may be related to the dissertation topic.