Connor Austin sent us an update from his time at the UC Davis Religious Studies Conference and Shakti Fest. Connor has graciously allowed us to share his message–and his presentation paper! See below for the message and the link to Connor’s research…
Dear Religious Studies Faculty,
Thank you all so much for assisting me in my journey to the UC Davis religious studies conference last semester. My presentation went extremely well! Also, I was able to connect with some of the most intelligent students I’ve ever met and learn quite a lot in the process. The topics presented were as interesting as they were diverse. Students spoke on issues ranging from the social and spiritual implications of reading the Koran on a kindle to the changing societal narratives regarding assisted suicide and how the phenomenon interfaces with modern Christian perspectives. Listening to papers from 9am to 5pm was exhausting, but also highly rewarding! Throughout the weekend I had a chance to discuss my research with some wonderful professors from all over the state who shared with me some valuable knowledge about RS graduate programs.
Being able to attend Shakti Fest really took my research to the next level. It’s funny, merely three days actually engaging with the cultures I had been studying forced me to reevaluate my entire stance and question quite a lot of my so-called “research”. It was an eye-opening experience, and the support of the RS faculty was instrumental in making it happen. Thank you again for everything! Below I’ve attached a copy of my research paper, please read it if you get a chance.