Folklore | Popular Religion and Cyberspace
F253 | 9887 | Janelli

F253 Popular Religion and Cyberspace (Sect. 9887)  Roger L. Janelli
Course Description.  The Internet has recently emerged as a major
site for the expression of individual religious experiences, beliefs,
and practices that are not officially sanctioned by well-established
religions.  This course explores popular religion and its expression
on this burgeoning electronic medium through readings, class
discussions, and original research.  As part of a liberal arts
curriculum, the course has a second objective of helping students to
enhance their skills in interpreting different religious ideas,
actions, and means of expression and thereby develop more informed
understandings of the world's diverse religiosity.
	This section carries s & h requirement and meets second eight
weeks only.
Evaluation Policies. Grades are determined as follows:
(a)  A midterm and final examination (20% each).
(b)  A research paper of approximately 10 pages on vernacular
religious topic your choice.  It should be based primarily on
Internet sources.  It may also make use of fieldwork, academic
sources, media, or some combination thereof.  A summary of each paper
is presented in class for discussion, after which the paper may be
revised.  Final versions of the papers are due at the last class on
April 30 (20%).
(c) A number of two-paged, double-spaced (i.e., about 500-600 words),
synopses of weekly reading assignments, to be submitted on various
dates throughout the eight-week session.  One question suitable for
class discussion should be added to the synopsis. These five synopsis
and questions are to be typed or computer-printed and submitted at
the beginning of class (20%).
(d)  A 10-minute presentation of your research to the class. (15%)
Evaluations will be based on the richness and organization of
material presented.
(e)  Participation in class discussions contributes the remainder of
each person's grade. (5%)

Course Texts:

Karen McCarthy Brown, Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.  Paperback, ISBN: 0-

About a dozen accounts of various popular religious expressions on
the Internet will be available through the IU Library's Electronic
Reserves.  Topics include virtual religious communities of
technopagans, Buddhists, terrorists, new religions in Japan, and
Native American religions.

Reference Works

Gibaldi, Joseph. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th
ed.  New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1999.
Paperback, ISBN: 0-87352-986-3.

Citing Electronic Resources Using MLA Style.