Fall Chair Report

October 11, 2017


Fall 2017


Welcome to the fall semester! The weather has turned cool and pleasant, and we’re waiting for the trees to display their fall colors across the way at Van Cortland Park. 


As the new Chair of Religious Studies, I’m delighted to write for our newly expanded newsletter and share a bit about what we’re up to in the Department of Religious Studies at Manhattan College. 


I suppose I’ll begin with a quick introduction. I’ve been with the department since 2005 and I teach a variety of courses related to religion and culture. Most of my classes engage topics related to my research in religion, science, and technology. I’ve studied the connections between religion and robots, artificial intelligence, and videogames. More recently (and for the foreseeable future), my research has engaged religion, science, and technology in contemporary India. I lived in India during the 2012-13 school year and returned in 2016 for research into the Ayudha Puja festival. I hope that next year while I’m on sabbatical again I will have additional opportunities to visit India and conduct fieldwork for my new project on India’s traditional handcraft technologies. You can see more about my work at http://robertgeraci.com if you’re interested.


We’ve got some exciting events happenings this fall semester, including visitors from New Delhi, India and Bogota, Columbia. We continue our commitment to social justice with a lectured delivered by Dorothy Day’s granddaughter, a lecture on Christianity and Nazi ideology, and a film screening and discussing of I Am Not Your Negro, based on a 1979 letter by James Baldwin. Be sure to check out the events page for details on all these events!


I’m delighted to report that we’ve got some innovative classroom experiences happening also, from Dr. Setzer’s trip to Rome with her students to study abroad courses in Rome and Paris with Br. Rob and Dr. Skotnicki, respectively. We’re also delighted to have two courses in Art History cross-listed with our department: Prof. Mulligan will teach his class on the Catholic Mass in Rome and Dr. Lerer will teach a class on Argentinian art and religion in Argentina. 


Most excitingly, the department is hiring. We are looking for a tenure-track assistant professor in womanist ethics and a three-year visiting assistant professor in East or Southeast Asian religions. We’ll be inviting candidates to campus early in the spring semester, so it should be an interesting year for us. We look forward to welcoming new colleagues next year!


Thanks for checking out our newsletter, we look forward to seeing you with us at our events and in our classes. 

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