Thursday, 19 April 2012


Last Wednesday, in my "Religion in Southern Culture" class, we finished reading Paul Harvey's Freedom's Coming. In the book, Harvey explains that the phrase "Freedom's Coming" was interpreted differently by southerners in postbellum America. For some, it meant the hope of racial equality, but for others it meant the restoration of the South to its gloried state prior to the Civil War.

For me, "freedom's coming" has an entirely different meaning. Tomorrow (Friday, April 20) is the last day of class for the spring semester at UTC. Since I am not giving any exams, Friday will mark the conclusion of my first year of teaching at UTC and the beginning of a long, and much needed, break. Sometimes bemoaning the fact that I make the equivalent of an assistant manager at a convenient store, I must admit that one of the perks of being a professor is the extensive break between the spring and fall semester.

I do have some projects that I want to complete, and so it will not be all fun and games. I need to read a pile of books (see my list on the left-hand side of the blog) on religion and politics and American religious history in order to write lectures for my two upcoming fall courses on those subjects. I also have some book reviews to write (one for the Journal of Religion, for instance, on Alister Chapman's Godly Ambition and another on Vincent Carretta's Phyllis Wheatley), and there is more work to be done on the seemingly endless anthology that I have been chipping away at for the last year.

In a little more than a month, I will be traveling to Britain where I will be doing research in London, Bristol, and Edinburgh. And sometime in July I plan on loading up the family and touring the northeast where we will combine visiting historical sites with archival research. This should be a great summer!

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