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Plate Discusses Religion and Local Refugees


 S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate
S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate

As part of his work on the Pluralism Project with Georgetown and Harvard Universities, Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate presented via Skype during “Religion and Resettlement: The Role of Religion in Diaspora Communities in the US” on Feb. 25 at Georgetown.

His presentation examined refugees in Utica, N.Y., and included a clip from In God's House: The Religious Landscape of Utica, NY, a documentary film made with Professor of Art Robert Knight, along with Alison Ritacco ’14, Hannah-Grace O’Connell ’14, Shannon Boley ’17, Sawyer Konys ’16 and Jasmin Thomas ’16. Produced in 2013 and 2014, the film was partially funded by a Levitt Center Group Research Grant. 

Boley also worked with Plate on the Pluralism Project. In her research last summer, Boley focused on Utica’s Karen refugees from Burma, looking at how their religious life intersects with their resettlement experience.

In addition, Plate published an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books. In “Marginalia and Its Disruptions,” he discussed the debate about the appropriateness of writing in books and the loss of marginalia as the use of digital media increases.

Plate also discussed how Christmas celebrations are changing in an interview for Religion Dispatches. Titled “Festivus, Atheist Santa, and the Invention of Blasphemy,” the interview covered topics including the “democratizing” of Christmas, anti-holiday cards and Christmas traditions and symbols.

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