Religious Studies Courses

The Lived Religion in Wisconsin Program (LRIWIP) is a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort to support the documentation and study of ways in which Wisconsinites (historically and currently) live out and live with religious expression, the roles religious behavior and identity play in public and private life in Wisconsin, and the impact locally and globally of the religious expressions of its citizens. The Program considers “religion” broadly construed as human meaning-making, both in and out of traditionally-defined religious contexts and categories. In its first stage, the project focuses on undergraduate experiential learning in the designated LRIWIP course, projects in affiliated courses, and independent research, internship, and service learning.  LRIWIP aims to make findings accessible and usable for multiple constituencies in Wisconsin including public schools and media, primarily through digital means. LRIWIP is an initiative of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, but invites partners and collaborations across disciplines and institutions.

Spring 2015

RS 403: Lived Religion in Wisconsin: Food and Sustainability | Prof. Corrie Norman

LRIWIP announces the inaugural offering of its designated undergraduate-level course in Spring 2015, taught by Associate Director of Religious Studies Corrie Norman. NOTE: This listing is pending approval; the course may count for Social Science or Humanities and Ethnic Studies credit.

The thematic focus this time will be Food and Sustainability. Some topics to be considered include
–Cultural sustainability and the roles of food in ethnic, racial, and faith-based contexts in WI
–Responses to food disparity, health-related issues and other challenges to community sustainability by Wisconsin faith-based and other intentional networks, locally and globally
–Meaning-making, worldview, and the food movement in Wisconsin: individual and communal expressions
The course will employ comparative and interdisciplinary approaches, challenging students to understand Wisconsin in relation to global and national contexts. It introduces students to significant theories about food and cultures and basic ethnographic methods. It focuses on connections between material culture, “everyday” activities and symbolic expression. It will consider conflicts and connections between various explanations of food issues (scientific, political, etc.) as presented in popular media and the ethical/lifestyle choices of individuals and groups. Guest speakers, case studies and experiential learning via field research or reflective service learning projects, as well as sensory approaches (eating! cooking!), will contribute to learning in this course. No prior coursework in religious traditions or in food studies is required. While previous coursework in RS (esp. RS 101 or 600) would be helpful, students with other disciplinary interests in food are welcome to contact Dr. Norman about participating in the course.