Joint Workshop on 5/23: Biblical Exegesis in the Trial of Denmark Vesey

The Hebrew Bible workshop and the Religions in America workshop invite you to a lunch discussion on Tuesday, May 23rd, 12:00–1:30 PM, in Swift 400:
“Crimes of the Blackest Hue”: Biblical Exegesis in the Trial of Denmark Vesey
Jeremy Schipper
Professor of Hebrew Bible
Temple University
The title comes from a statement made by Lionel Henry Kennedy on June 28, 1822 as he sentenced Denmark Vesey to death for allegedly plotting an insurrection in Charleston. Kennedy accused Vesey of “attempting to pervert the sacred words of God into a sanction for crimes of the blackest hue.
The paper for discussion is attached in the “Papers” tab of this blog. Lunch will be served.

Next Workshop Thurs, Paper is Posted

Hello RAME Community,

The paper for our next workshop on Thursday, May 11 has been posted.  We will discuss Diane Picio’s oral exam paper, “Christianizing Cinema:  A Screening of Left Behind” and Alison Davis will respond.    Please join us for lunch in the Marty Center library at 12 noon.


Next Workshop, Thurs. 4/27

Come one, come all!  The next RAME workshop is Thursday, 4/17.  We will discuss Andrew Kunze’s dissertation proposal (see the Papers tab), and Emily Crews will respond.  As usual, lunch will be served in the Marty Center Library, 12:00-1:15 p.m.  See you there!

Contact Joel Brown,, for a copy of the paper.


RAME Workshop This Thursday, 4/13

Hi All,

The Notre Dame conference compacted our regular, every-two-weeks schedule, so we have another workshop next week.  We will discuss Professor Evans’s book chapter, and I encourage everyone to be prepared with a question about the reading.  Every voice at the table is important, and we want to hear from each of you!

The paper is available on the “Papers” tab of this blog.  Contact Michele ( if you need help accessing the paper.  We are focusing on the first 40 pages.  Also, please note that this document cannot be cited or distributed beyond the workshop.  Thanks!

How do I respond to a paper??

Responding to a paper can be a little intimidating the first time.  We see that process modeled in almost every workshop meeting, but when our turn rolls around, it may not be as intuitive as we thought.  I have been providing guidelines when I ask a new person to participate as a respondent, but I thought it might be useful to post those guidelines on this blog for everyone to refer to whenever the need arises.   Hope it helps!



Here are the things usually included in a response:
1) thank the author for sharing his/her work
2) identify what you see as the main argument of the paper; you can read the sentence (it should be somewhere in the introduction) or paraphrase it.  If that’s not what the author wanted you to get from the paper, s/he will have feedback needed to revise or more strongly emphasize her/his claim.  Sometimes they give a claim in the intro but it doesn’t seem to go along with the body of the paper–you should say this, if that’s what you think.
3) identify the 2-3 major themes that the paper covers
4) ask about 3 questions that you had when reading the paper, or if you think the paper would benefit from an additional source or a different piece of evidence, or if the argument seems weak at some specific place (cite the page number), or if you just aren’t convinced by the argument–have a total of about 3 points to bring up.
5) say something that you think was strong/good/compelling/interesting (and why) about the paper
6) thank the author again (seems redundant, but it’s a good closer)

Next Meeting on Thursday, 4/6

Let’s gear up for the spring quarter!  We’ll start off this Thursday with a paper by Sam Stella, “The Second Great Awakening and the Built Landscape of Missouri.”  Erin Simmonds will respond.  You can download the paper now from the “Papers” tab.

Lunch will be served during our discussion in the Marty Center Library, 12-1:15.  See you there!


Last Winter Quarter Workshop on Thursday

I know everyone is starting to feel the grind that we call Winter Quarter.  The good news is that we have just one more workshop, this Thursday at 12:00 in the Marty Center Library, before you can take care of other pressing matters and think about spring!

We will review Kit Shields’s paper, “The Theologian and the Self-Taught Philosopher: Jonathan Edwards, Hayy Ibn YaqZan, and Enlightenment Religion.”  Joel Brown will respond.  The paper is now available under the “Papers” tab on this blog.

Please join us for lunch and show your support for your workshop.  We want to finish the quarter with a strong showing!

Michele (

Workshop on Feb. 16

Our next workshop will be on Thursday, February 16.  Alison Davis will present a chapter from her dissertation, entitled “Religion Simplified: Voluntarism, Progress, and ‘the Return to Simple Truths.’” Please join us for lunch in the Marty Center Library at noon.

The paper is available on the “Papers” tab.  Contact Michele Ferris ( if you need assistance.

Workshop on Feb 2!

Our next workshop will be on Thursday, February 2, at the usual time and place.  Miriam Attia will present her journal article, “Rebecca Miller’s Ambiguous Religious Authority at the Close of the Second Great Awakening” and Claire Hautot will respond.

The paper is available on the “Papers” tab.  Contact Michele Ferris ( if you need assistance.


Next meeting, Jan. 19

Get ready for our next workshop, on January 19.  We will discuss Michele Ferris’s, orals exam paper, “From Biergarten to Home Garden: Temperance in a Methodist Periodical.”  The paper can now be uploaded from this website.  Contact Michele if you need assistance.

Lunch will be served and as promised, there will be German beer. See you at 12:00 in the Marty Center Library!