The University of Alabama

UA’s Day Lecture Examines Intersection of Religion, Pop Culture

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Religion and pop culture intersect and intertwine in a number of interesting ways, and a new lecture series at The University of Alabama aims to examine that trend in its inaugural Zachary Daniel Day Memorial Lecture series.

Dr. Monica Miller visits the Capstone Oct. 1 in room 205 at the Amelia Gorgas Library at 7 p.m. to discuss how religion mixes into and affects hip-hop culture. Miller, a professor at Lehigh University, focuses on the study of religion, popular culture, youth subcultures and various dimensions of material culture.

“It’s easy to think of religion as something that’s cordoned off, that’s separate from the rest of social life,” said Dr. Russell McCutcheon, UA professor and chair of the department of religious studies. “However, one of our aims is to provoke the thought that those things that we commonly call religious are elements of wider cultural practices, and thus something intertwined with pop culture.”

The Day Lecture is named for a UA alumnus, Zach Day, who died unexpectedly in 2011 at 26.

Day’s father and stepmother, Charles Day and Nancy Campbell, established the annual lectureship in Zach’s honor. Zach Day was a religious studies major who graduated in 2008, while minoring in anthropology. He had an ongoing interest in the intersection of religion with music, art, videos, gaming and literature. This annual lecture will be devoted to the study of religion and popular culture.

The lecture is made possible by the Zachary Daniel Day Memorial Support Fund, and it is free and open to the public.

Religious studies is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, UA’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, Truman Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.