student info

My office can be found in the Religious Studies Department, Rutledge College, Room 324. My phone number is tel. 803-777-1400 and my email is

The Religious Studies Department is located on the Horseshoe, two flights up from the Chapel (for more instructions and a campus map see here).  This semester, my office hours are Monday and Wednesday, 1-3 PM and by appointment. It is a good idea to send me an email if you’d like to stopy by! 

If you have special needs, make sure you are registered with Student Disability Services and notify me early on in the semester as well. I like to know what I can do to make this class a success for you. If you are an out-of-state students, have transferred, are a scholarship recipient, a sophomore or a student of color and think you need assistance, contact the Special Student Populations Office at the USC.

Help With Writing  or  call 777-2078 for an appointment at the USC Writing Center.

How to write a reading reaction papers
How to write a book review
How to prepare for a class presentation
How to compile an annotated bibliography

You can find additional research resources, mostly in Jewish studies here. There are a number of excellent guides on writing for Religious Studies out there, I recommend you look at this one here, created by the UNC, and a more technical guide, from Harvard.

Citation: All written assignments include citations, and you should follow the Chicago citation style.

Plagiarism(don’t do it!)

Academic Integrity: You are expected to practice the highest possible standards of academic integrity. Any deviation from this expectation will result in a minimum academic penalty of your failing the assignment, and will result in additional disciplinary measures including referring you to the Office of Academic Integrity. Violations of the University’s Honor Code include, but are not limited to improper citation of sources, using another student’s work, and any other form of academic misrepresentation. If I catch you cheating, for instance plagiarizing, you will automatically receive an F in the assignment and, depending on the severity of the case, fail the course, receive a note on your transcript, and have a serious chat with your Dean. So don’t do it: it’s not worth it! For more information, please see the Honor Code. Remember that the first tenet of the Carolinian Creed is, “I will practice personal and academic integrity.”

If you need more information, check out this  tutorial over at the UNC.

Grading scale:

100-90=A; 86-89=B+; 80-85=B; 76-79=C+; 70-75=C; 66-69=D+; 60-65=D; < 59 =F

Late assignments (again, don’t do it!)

If you are absent on the day a major paper is due, then the paper must  still be turned in before class, or one grade installment per day late will be deducted. This includes every day of the week and weekend, not just class days. So, a paper due on Friday receives a B+. However, because it was turned in Monday and is 3 days late, the final grade will be C. 

Note that I am rather lenient as long as you are proactive. If you cannot finish an assignment on time, let me know well in advance and we will find a solution. If you are having trouble conceptualizing your paper, come to me. However, if you write me an email after the final, letting me know that you really need a B+ as a final grade (while averaging, say, a C), that might just be a tad late.

Submit your paper as $YOURLASTNAME.pdf to

What to expect in class

Arrive for class on time, with your notes, and your blue book. Have your cell phone turned off, be prepared to discuss your ideas! Be respectful of other participants in class, which means, among other things, engaging with other people’s ideas in a respectful, constructive manner.

Participation is a crucial part of learning. For that reason, I encourage you to make your voice heard. I tend to open most classes with brief introductory lectures that might introduce the day’s topic or link it to the readings or discussion. Primary texts are another focus of my classes, and we will spend a lot of time deciphering those. A number of additional learning styles will be applied, including brief individual self-assessments and group work, preparing you for an increasingly interconnected workforce. If you are shy and worried about your participation grade, I suggest you come to my office hours or post questions online, e.g. on an accompanying Facebook page or on BB.

Prepare for class: Read the assigned texts or watch the video  and note the questions that often accompany the readings. Look up unclear words and terms! Note questions, remarks etc. you would like to raise to others.

Absence policy
Attending class on a regular basis is crucial for your success as a student. By coming to and participating in class you will further develop not only your familiarity with the material but also enhance invaluable skills such as critical reading and debating. For that reason, I take attendance and will, as is USC policy, notify the Student Success Center after two unexcused absences. If you need a financial incentive to roll out of bed in the morning, think of the approximately $42 (according to 2010/11  tuition rates) you and your parents lose each time you miss a class or come unprepared! … and it’s probably more by now!


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