2023 Undergraduate Student Conference on the Study of Religion

The Undergraduate Student Conference hosted jointly by the Department for the Study of Religion (DSR) and Religion Undergraduate Students' Association (RUSA) was a hybrid event, with the option of attending in person at Hart House or online via Zoom. 

Students presented on work related to the study of religion during the conference, which was held on Sunday, April 2, 2023 from 12:00-5:00pm.

If you have any questions about this event, please email Phoebe at religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

→ See photos

Time Program
12:00pm - 12:15pm

Welcoming Remarks

  • Professor Sarah Gallant, Conference Committee
  • Professor Bob Gibbs, Acting Chair and Graduate Chair, Department for the Study of Religion
12:15pm - 1:30pm

Religion and Technology

  • Arist Bravo, Double Major in Religion and Computer Science: Better Software for Religious Stakeholders - Insights from Wittgenstein to Benedict

  • Hammad Syed, Major in History of Religions, Minor in French Studies and South Asian Humanities: Twitter Darbār: in the Presence of HadithGPT

Religion and Diaspora

  • Julia Gould, Double Major in Political Science and Diaspora & Transnational Studies: Tropey Wife: Constructing the Jewish American Princess and the Shiksa

  • Samuel Weinstein, Double Major in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (Ancient) and Philosophy: The Holy Seed: Diasporic Unease, National Identity, and the Formation of  the Other in Ezra-Nehemiah

  • Alexander Lawson, Double Major in History and Peace, Conflict and Justice, Minor in Religion: The Price of Belief: Applying Costly Signaling Theory to the Spread of Ancient Cults

1:30pm - 1:45pm Break
1:45pm - 2:30pm

Religion in the Public Sphere: Popular Culture and Media

  • Trent Atkinson, Double Major in Religion and Diaspora & Transnational Studies: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Golem: On Reproduction of the Golem in American Superhero Comics

  • Julia Shokeir, Double Major in Anthropology (General) and Religion, Minor in Medical Anthropology: Museumification and its Dangers: The "Enlightenment" of Korean Buddhism

  • Swamini Sagar, Double Major in Religion and Philosophy, Minor in Writing & Rhetoric: Reinstating Spiritual Meaning: Museum Legacies of Colonialism and Religious Artifacts

2:30pm - 2:45pm Break
2:45pm - 4:00pm

Religion in the Public Sphere: Global Case Studies

  • Ashvini Giridaran, Double Major in Religion and American Studies: Behind Bill 21: Laïcité and the Preservation of Power

  • Eleanor Park, Double Major in Religion and English: Religious Freedom: Assessing South Korea's New Religious Movements and the State's Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Ahlam Haouach, Major in Economics and Society: Religious Freedom and Legal Pluralism: An Analysis of the Intersection of Human Rights and Sharia Law in Europe through the Molla Sali v. Greece Case

Religion in the Public Sphere: Philosophy

  • Rayan Magon, Double Major in Psychology and Philosophy: The Gestalt Glue of Personal Identity: Reflections on Hindu Transcendental Egoism as a Reply to Parfit

  • Odessa Hewitt-Bernhard, Double Major in Philosophy and Ethics, Society, and Law: Love Thy Neighbour as a Challenge to Political Theology: Understanding the Neighbour as an Ethical Position through the Work of Emmanuel Levinas and Simone Weil

4:00pm - 4:05pm

Closing Remarks

  • Professor Laura Beth Bugg, Acting Associate Chair, Department for the Study of Religion

  • Owen Huisman, RUSA President

4:05pm - 5:00pm Social

With special thanks to the students serving on the Undergraduate Student Conference Committee this year:

  • Owen Huisman, RUSA President
  • Kayla Klanreungsang, RUSA Director of External Affairs
  • Katie Jones, 3rd Year Religion Major
  • Emma Li, RUSA ADE Committee
  • Eleanor Park, RUSA 2nd Year Representative