The fall is quickly upon us, and I have fallen behind on huge list of things I wanted to accomplish. But that is my MO, and I have learned to live with it. But I have made some progress on a couple items...
First, I am thrilled to begin work constructing a syllabus for a course that I will offer to Elon University students -online- this coming summer. I have been teaching an online course on the Global Impact of HIV/AIDS for the past half decade, and so I have good background experience. I have decided to take a break from HIV and AIDS and focus on the sociology of atheism, something that is very important to me -and to members of this community.
I am imagining a 300-level course something like "The Sociology of Atheism", and focusing on the rise of what is being called “the new atheism” movement that is gaining considerable momentum. There is a growing literature in sociology about non-believers, and I would cover this plus add a good theoretical basis using Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Freud (among others). The main focus of the course would be on the social movement, its origins, structure, connection to other social institutions, the social make-up of the adherents and, as a major focus, the social repercussions they report experiencing from family, community, and workplace, that is, the stigma that can be experienced as a non-believer.
If anyone has any suggestions for "must read" articles/books/web sites, please let me know.
Secondly, I and working on a documentary tentatively called "Everyday Atheists" and plan to shoot the main portion on October 17 here at Elon. If you live within easy driving distance of Burlington, NC, let me know! In particular, I am looking for a person from the African-American community. [That is, of course, if you are wiling to be taped and are, in fact, and "everyday atheist, however you may interpret that phrase.] I have a crew and space lined up and a few local atheists ready to talk; this is going to happen!