Through my classes in religion at UVM I have become more aware of how religion is related to understanding society and social justice issues like: racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, etc.NINA CARR ’21
Why did you major in Religion?
I was in Professor Sugarman’s religion classes in the Integrated Humanities Program my freshman year. During one of my IHP classes Professor Clark came in to do a guest lecture on women in medieval Christianity, specifically Hildegard of Bingham. I found it incredibly interesting, and I found the material to be very different from that of the other classes that I had taken so far; much more about story telling. After class I asked Professor Clark about joining one of her upper level classes “Seeing the Sacred,” which she encouraged me to do.
After taking that class I completely fell in love with the study of religion, and have loved every religion class that I have taken since. I think it is really revealing and important to study how people think about the world and how people conceive of reality from a religious point of view. Through my classes in religion at UVM I have become more aware of how religion is related to understanding society and social justice issues like: racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, etc. People stereotype and have prejudices against certain religions and against certain people because of their religious beliefs. It is really interesting to think about power dynamics through the lens of religious studies.
Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I imagine myself in grad school, after having traveled the world for many years, and after having had many “real world” experiences. I imagine myself doing some grad program that will help me to better be involved in addressing social justice issues. I imagine myself running consistently, and perhaps training for marathons, or just 5K road races. I imagine myself doing what I can to help those around me, being healthy, spending time outdoors, and maybe starting a family.
Imagine a first-year student has asked your advice about REL courses. What’s the one she shouldn’t dream about missing? Why?
There are too many to choose from. They are all amazing and you can’t go wrong. One that sticks out to me and that I particularly enjoyed was “African Gods, and Western Museums” with Professor Brennan. It was a fantastic combination of religious studies, colonial studies, anthropology, art history, the list goes on. It was very intersectional in nature. The readings that we did were dense but super interesting. I thought it was really powerful that we applied what we had been learning to something tangible, like the Fleming Museum.
If you could write any book, what would it be?
WOW, big question! I would write a book about people, and about different life experiences, somehow. My book would be about unifying different experiences while showing the differences between peoples’ lives. I think that there is something really important to be said about the fact that we are all living different lives, with different amounts of privilege, different focuses, and aspects, but that we are all fundamentally the same and have similar needs and desires (so many people have written books about this already… Humanity I guess?!
Any fond memories of 481 Main Street you want to share?
I loved the time spent in the seminar room. I have so many fond memories of walking over there for class and having such intellectually stimulating discussions every day. I love the cozy feeling of the room, and the wooden chairs and table. It was such a great atmosphere to learn in. Sometimes there wasn’t quite enough space but everyone was always friendly and happy to be there no matter how crowded. I also loved sharing snacks, and particularly during finals week when the teachers would put out treats for us to eat while we studied. Thank you so much for that!