RELS255 - MEDIA AND RELIGION

This course will look at the ways that religion intersects with media in South Asia-- exploring how the medium is the message. The class begins with a discussion of how it is difficult to define "religion" and "media" in the Global South, specifically in South Asia. We will analyze how religion and media are inextricable, and also how news media has gone about the business of turning religion into news. The class will familiarize students with a variety of media forms aside from the obvious sources of internet, TV and newspaper-- these include traditional architecture, devotional texts, devotional poetry, music, visual-sensorial worship, modern film, recorded music, clothing, and live performance. We will conclude with a look at religion in forms of contemporary media, with particular attention to new media (TV, radio, internet). The course also offers students lectures providing a foundation of knowledge on a few of the primary religious traditions that will be central to the regions under discussion: Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianiasm, and Christianity. There will be guest speakers and a visit to Penn Museum. While much of the course will be immersed in the history and the past, we will conclude by considering contemporary contexts, both globalized and local. There is no prerequisite for the course. All students are welcome.
Section 301 - LEC
Religion and communications media have been inextricable for millennia. This course will look at the ways that religion intersects with media – exploring how the media is the message. The class begins with an overview of the evolution of religion and media in the West and in the Global South. Then we turn to four different contemporary contexts – American, British, Indian, and Pakistani – to understand how news media has gone about the business of turning religion into news. The class will familiarize students with a variety of media forms—including traditional architecture, devotional texts, devotional poetry, music, visual-sensorial worship, modern film, recorded music, clothing, and live performance. We will conclude with a look at religion in other forms of contemporary media, with particular attention to new media (TV, radio, and the internet). There will be guest speakers and a visit to Penn Museum. While much of the course will be immersed in the history and the past, we will conclude by considering contemporary contexts, both globalized and local. There is no prerequisite for the course. All students are welcome. The course requirements are: a midterm examination (30 percent); class participation (10 percent); 5 blog posts on the class website (30 percent); a short response paper (5 percent); a term paper (25 percent).
TR 1030AM-1200PM
ROBB, MEGAN
CLAUDIA COHEN HALL 203