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The grade in this course will be made up of three components:

(1) Class attendance and participation in seminar discussion (20%)

(2) Critiques/summaries of readings (the annotated bibliography, 40%)

(3) A final research paper in which you dig more deeply into a particular millenarian movement (40%) 

What will I turn in?


(1) Attendance / Participation:


The regular seminar discussions in this course are critical to helping you understand millenarianism, the various ethnographic and historical examples we will cover, and the variety of theoretical frameworks that have been developed to understand millenarianism as a phenomenon. Students are expected to help summarize and critique key arguments and concepts on the table for discussion in any given day. This includes taking the initiative in discussion to present the core arguments of a set of readings and provide a substantive analysis of both the core reading and some additional reading that helps us gain greater ethnographic or analytic depth for that day. Genuine, deep engagement in this discussion is critical for us to collectively struggle with and draw insights from the material on the syllabus. 


Also, on occasion I may assign miscellaneous tasks related to millenarianism along with a short write-up or other findings to bring to a seminar session. These will be due as they are assigned. It is also essential that all readings are completed before each lecture/discussion in order to facilitate productive discussion and critiques of the various research approaches we will cover. Both attendance and participation in discussions will factor into these considerations. Participation in seminar discussions will be graded on the following dimensions by the instructor for each student at the end of the semester:


1. Come to class clearly having engaged with the text(s) for that day, ready to summarize, question, critique, debate, or ask clarifying questions about the reading (5 points possible)

2. Make specific references to the readings (including citing page numbers) in the seminar discussion (5 points possible)

3. Productively make connections across readings, helping the seminar group develop a comprehensive understanding and analysis that draws connections and comparisons across the literature (5 points possible)

4. Undertake miscellaneous assignments in good faith, and bring substantive insights and results to the seminar discussion to productively contribute to the seminar (5 points possible)


(2) Critiques & Summaries (annotated bibliography):

Annotated Bibliography: You will produce an annotated bibliography of the readings for this course, as well as a set of readings that you cultivate for your final paper. You will write summaries of the central argument for each piece, and at least one point of critique for each reading. The annotated bibliography will include two sections: "Syllabus" and "Final Paper." In the "Syllabus" section of the annotated bibliography you will choose at least two pieces from each week of the course readings and write the summary/critique for those two pieces. For the "Final Paper" section, over the course of the semester you will find, read, and analyze at least ten (10) academic sources related to your final paper topic, and write a summary/critique for each of those pieces as well.

You will upload a draft of your updated annotated bibliography each week to Canvas, and you will turn in the complete annotated bibliography at the end of the class (due the last day of class). In some cases where a week includes more than two readings, I may highlight one or two that may be best to focus on when making your decisions as to what reading to emphasize in your annotated bibliography.


Format: The annotated bibliography will list at the top of the first page the TOTAL page count for all of the pieces included in the bibliography (summed together) which the student has actually read, and the TOTAL number of pieces read, as well as the average reading score across all pieces (see below).


For each piece in the bibliography you will give 1) the full citation for each source you read in Chicago Author-Date citation format (see, 2) a reading score (on the scale described below) for how thoroughly you read the piece, 3) the total number of pages in the piece, 4) the summary paragraph(s), and 5) the short critique paragraph(s). Upload the drafts (on a weekly basis) and the final copy to Canvas as PDF files. A template for what this bibliography should look like can be found here.


For the reading scores for each piece, please honestly report the depth with which you engaged the piece on this scale:

3-I have read deeply and thoughtfully, and I feel like I have a good grasp of the theoretical or ethnographic narrative in this piece, and I have some well- thought questions and/or critiques of the piece that relate to my work.

2-I did a decent skim of the piece, and I think I at least read over the main points enough to engage to some degree with the main ideas vis-á-vis my project.


1-I looked at it superficially, but maybe only understand a point or two, since I didn't really get to reading it through thoroughly.

(3) Empirical project / Research paper


You will write up a comprehensive analysis of some millenarian or revitalization movement. You can choose any movement, and you may use academic, historical, or ethnographic sources to research the group that you choose to write on. You must use the analytic tools that we develop in the seminar to provide more than just a description of the group’s practices and outlook. You must provide a theoretical understanding of the rituals, beliefs, and practices of the movement and place it in the context of religious studies scholarship on millenarianism. This paper is due by April 19, and is to be turned in via Canvas. The paper should be between 4,000 to 6,000 words in length. As with any research paper, make sure to appropriately document your sources, and draw from the literature on the reading schedule where appropriate in your analysis. If there are clearly relevant sources on the reading list that bear on your analysis and these are not included or cited, this will work against you. Use Chicago formatting conventions and the “Chicago Author-Date” citation format. We may opt to have you provide a brief presentation on your evolving research topic at some point in the semester.

Work Desk
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