Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Company man

Realized the other day with some shock that my next semester will be All New School, All The time. On top of the lecture course my friend J and I are teaching on the history of the school, "The New School Century," I'm part of the Middle States review process (surveying the curricula of all divisions, with particular attention to "general education") and also seconded to a university-wide review committee which will look over at least forty cases from across the university... I foolishly put my name in for the strategic planning process on which our college's new dean wants to embark, too. Past, present and future, but all New School. Whew!

Where's the religious studies in all this? Good question! I'm looking forward to ferreting out religious and religious studies elements to New School history - early Presbyterian supporters! Horace Kallen's views on the religion of art! Alvin Johnson's pro-Christian opposition to fascism! Leo Strauss' medievalism! Reinhold Niebuhr's lectures in the 1950s! Hans Jonas' views on gnosticism! our powerhouse sociologists of religion! Talal Asad! Queer Christianities! - though they probably won't find their way into the course. It's not, I assure you, that New School has become my religion! But it does seem to be pretty common for religious studies professors to be good university citizens... mea culpa.

Not that any of this seems very real, one week from departure for India!

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