Monday, June 20, 2005

Photojournalism in Sudan

Though I've seen his material sevearl times, I think it is worth posting. A 2002 graduate of Calvin College, Ryan Spencer Reed has some moving on-line photo exhibits of his travels to Sudan.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

World History Association in Morocco

The WHA just posted a tentative program for this year's meeting in Morocco. The conference has a great mix of panels on new directions in research and discussions about teaching world history.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

New Book on Sudan

Just noticed that journalist Gabriel Meyer has a forthcoming book with Eerdmans, War and Faith in Sudan. Francis Deng, a Dinka and longtime U.S. diplomat, wrote the forward. Kudos to Eerdmans for engaging this important topic.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Summer Goings-on (Part II); Sudan

I forgot to mention several other books I'm giving my students the option of reading. In my opinion these are some of the most important books on the list. They all read Francis Bok's Escape from Slavery for a school-wide interdisciplinary program last year, so I hope my students choose one or more of these other books on Sudan: Mark Bixler, The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience, Abraham Nhial and DiAnn Mills, Lost Boy No More, Joan Hecht, The Journey of the Lost Boys, and Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak, with Judy Bernstein, The Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan.

Bringing public attention to the situation in (southern) Sudan and Darfur (western Sudan) is something I'm committed to and passionate about, so I try to find as many ways to bring this into the classroom as possible.

These books all give a nice historical overview of what's going on in Sudan. For another perspective on the conflict, read Mende Nazer's (a Nuer [southwest Sudan] woman who is Muslim) memoir called Slave. There are also currently three documentaries about the "Lost Boys": Lost Boys of Sudan, Not Lost: From South Sudan to North Texas, and A Great Wonder: Lost Children of Sudan. I've not seen the third one (it is too expensive at $85), but I would recommend Not Lost, as it captures the historical dynamics of the conflict and effectively presents the human side of Sudanese life in America.

And speaking of Sudan, I found out this morning that an essay I wrote on Sudan was accepted for presentation at the Sudan Studies Association meeting in August. Given the scale of events in Sudan right now, this meeting will be especially important in terms of current scholarship, advocacy, and action.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Summer Goings-on

Returned from the CTS convention late last night after a cancelled flight and a lot of waiting in the Atlanta airport. I understand it's the busiest airport in the world, and after witnessing the surges of people here and there, I can see why.

The conference went well, I thought, and it was an interesting experience being among theologians, priests, and several nuns. I had a number of good conversations about teaching. Apparently the CTS gives annual awards for books and articles, and the two award winners, Bill Portier and William Shea, both wrote on topics dealing with "evangelical Catholics." My conference paper examined the other side of the coin -- "catholic evangelicals." I hope the conversation continues at next year's meeting.

Groggy-eyed but caffinated, this morning I began my annual summer gig -- teaching a 6-week U.S. history course to high school students who wish to get ahead. I give students the option of reading an outside book for extra credit; they have to write a 5-page book report and then I give an oral evaluation/discussion/quiz for each book. In addition to Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, I've added some new books to this summer's list: Roy Moore's So Help Me God, Stephen Mansfield's The Faith of the American Soldier, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's To Baghdad and Beyond: How I Got Born Again in Babylon, and Cornel West's Democracy Matters.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Today I received word that my paper, "Global Pedagogy: Locating World Christianity in the Classroom," was accepted for presentation in November at the Pruit Memorial Symposium at Baylor University entitled "Global Christianity: Challenging Modernity and the West."

In the paper I discuss a class I taught, "The Future of Christianity," during the 2003-04 at Second Baptist School. This class explored the reasons for and dynamics of the explosive growth of Christianity throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The second half of this essay assesses the state of what one might call world Christianity historiography, the importance of bringing this to the classroom, and how the topic of world Christianity fits into a "religion in world history" framework.

I'm also putting the finishing touches on another teaching essay of mine, "Africa in World History and World History in Africa: Sudanese Dimensions in the Classroom," scheduled for presentation on June 28 at the annual World History Association conference, to be held this year at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrance, Morocco. I plan to blog daily while there. Stay tuned.

This essay describes some curriculum I created in the fall of 2004 at Second Baptist School that surrounded the expereinces of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan. The latter portions of this paper suggest several ways that teaching Sudan fits within a world history framework.

Research and Writing

I'm in the process of revising a paper for presentation on Sunday at the Collge Theology Society conference in Mobile, Alabama. I've never presented at a "theology" conference, so it will be interesting to mingle as a historian. The paper features some research I did on Protestant evangelicals and the use of ancient Christianity to construct religious identity.

I met the session commentator, Daniel Van Slyke at the Conference on Faith and History meeting last October in Michigan. I'm also presenting alongside a good friend and mentor Mike McClymond, a professor at Saint Louis University. Mike's newest book, Familiar Stranger, just received a Christianity Today book award.