What makes a presentation "workshoppy"?
We hope the speakers (regardless of scholarly rank) will, in the course of their talks, make suggestions about how to structure work, how to theorize data or design research, or introduce techniques new to the study of religion.
We encourage our speakers to use the workshop as an occasion to renew previous ties, pursue collaborative work, and engage new colleagues. Our speakers should shape presentations and workshop programs in conversation with each other and the committee.
When we speak of “breaking the fourth wall” or “peeking behind the curtain,” we mean that we hope for explicit conversation about research design and implementation. We aim for discussion that clarifies aspects of the research process through smart, exacting scholarship.
We expect registered participants to skim (at least) the “Suggested Readings.” It is assumed that those asking questions have familiarity with the readings or topics under discussion.
We ask our speakers to list “Further Readings” so that participants can follow-up on their own, and so that they might “check” their reading-lists vis-à-vis recommendations from established scholars.
We assume (or really hope!) that participants will pursue intersections between workshop topics and their own research interests. “Affirmation of registration” correspondence generally indicates this intent.
Finally, we welcome adjuncts, early career scholars, and anyone else who may use the workshop to gather energy before starting (or resuming) work in areas under discussion.
Editors: David Walker, Ipsita Chatterjea, Bill Arnal, with thanks to Michael Jerryson (1974-2021) for his feedback.
This statement was originally released as “the Workshop’s Speaker and Participant Ethos” in 2014, and appears now with a minor modification.