General Information

Professor Information

Instructor Profile Picture

Instructor

Erin Weston

Office

DM 322B

E-mail

Please use Canvas Messages

phone

(305) 348-1329

Office Hours

By Appointment

Course Description and Purpose

This course will examine the role of magic, witchcraft, and the supernatural in various religious and cultural contexts from around the world. Students will analyze magical beliefs, practices, and symbols and the role they play in various global religious traditions. This course will employ interdisciplinary methods with an emphasis on anthropology, and various religious/magical practices and beliefs will be viewed from both etic and emic perspectives. While this course will look at a variety of source cultures, it will also emphasize the interaction of religious beliefs and practices with global concerns in the world today.

Course Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Outline and describe your understanding of the role of magic, witchcraft, and the supernatural in various religions and cultural contexts.
  • Identify and summarize key theories on why magic has sustained itself despite shifts in science and technology.
  • Distinguish between various magical practices, techniques, and symbols in a variety of cultural contexts.
  • Compare and contrast magical practices from both etic and emic perspectives.
  • Articulate one's own beliefs about the existence of magic and the supernatural in the contemporary world.

Global Learning Course Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Global Awareness: Demonstrate an understanding of the interrelatedness of beliefs and practices regarding magic, witchcraft and the supernatural in a variety of cultural contexts.
  • Global Perspective: Construct a multi-perspective analysis of a topic related to magic and religion.
  • Global Engagement: Demonstrate a willingness to engage in an ongoing dialogue about current global concerns in order to address problems arising from the interaction between global concerns and local religious beliefs and practices.

Important Information

Policies

Please review the FIU's Policies and Netiquette webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses. For additional information, please visit FIU's Policy and Procedure Library.

As a member of the FIU community you are expected to be knowledgeable about the behavioral expectations set forth in the FIU Student Code of Conduct.

Technical Requirements and Skills

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the What's Required webpage to find out more information on this subject.

Privacy Policy Statements for Partners and Vendors

Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

Accessibility and Accommodation

The Disability Resource Center collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable. The DRC provides FIU students with disabilities the necessary support to successfully complete their education and participate in activities available to all students. If you have a diagnosed disability and plan to utilize academic accommodations, please contact the Center at 305-348-3532 or visit them at the Graham Center GC 190.

For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

Web Accessibility Statements for Partners and Vendors 

Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for additional information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

Academic Misconduct Statement

Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Conduct and Honor Code. Academic Misconduct includes:

Cheating

  1. The unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids or assistance from another person on any academic assignment or exercise, unless explicitly authorized by the course Instructor; 
  2. Assisting another Student in the unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids, unless explicitly authorized by the Instructor; and 
  3. Having a substitute complete any academic assignment or completing an academic assignment for someone else, either paid or unpaid; and 

Plagiarism

  1. The deliberate use and appropriation of another's work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the Student's own.
  2. Assisting another Student in the deliberate use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. 

Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.

Panthers Care & Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

If you are looking for help for yourself or a fellow classmate, Panthers Care encourages you to express any concerns you may come across as it relates to any personal behavior concerns or worries you have, for the classmate’s well-being or yours; you are encouraged to share your concerns with FIU’s Panthers Care website.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential help for anxiety, depression, stress, and other concerns that life brings. Professional counselors are available for same-day appointments. Don’t wait to call (305) 348-2277 to set up a time to talk or visit the online self-help portal.

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Proctored Exam Policy

Through a careful examination of this syllabus, it is the student’s responsibility to determine whether this online course requires proctored exams. Please visit our Student Proctored Exam Instructions. webpage for important information concerning proctored exams, proctoring centers, and important forms.

Textbook and Course Materials

Magic Witchcraft and Religion: A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion
title : 
Magic Witchcraft and Religion: A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion
authors : 
James Myers, Pamela Moro
publisher : 
McGraw-Hill Education, Sep-2012
publish date : 
Sep-2012
isbn 10 : 
0078034949
isbn 13 : 
9780078034947
Magic Witchcraft and Religion: A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion takes an anthropological approach to the study of religious beliefs and practices, both strange and familiar. The engaging articles on all key issues related to the anthropology of religion grab the attention of students, while giving them an excellent foundation in contemporary ideas and approaches in the field. The multiple authors included in each chapter represent a range of interests, geographic foci, and ways of looking at each subject. Features of the ninth edition include new study questions and articles, as well as updated discussions on religion, illness, healing, and death.
The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft
title : 
The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft
authors : 
Rebecca L. Stein, Philip L. Stein
publisher : 
Prentice Hall, Dec-2010
publish date : 
Dec-2010
isbn 10 : 
0205718116
isbn 13 : 
9780205718115
Round-the-clock access to reliable content for internet research projects includes thousands of full articles from the EBSCO ContentSelect database, census data from Social Explorer™, daily news feeds from The Associated Press, and primary and secondary source documents from the Pearson bookshelf. Step-by-step tutorials present complete overviews of the research and writing process. Pearson SourceCheck™ offers an easy way to detect accidental plagiarism issues, and our exclusive tutorials teach how to avoid them in the future. AutoCite helps to correctly cite sources in a variety of formats. Our exclusive online handbook provides grammar and usage support.

Expectations of This Course

This is an online course, which means most (if not all) of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.

Students are expected to:

  • Review the how to get started information located in the course content
  • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self introduction video in the appropriate blog
  • Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Canvas
  • Interact online with instructor/s and peers
  • Review and follow the course calendar
  • Log in to the course at least 3 times per week.

The instructor will:

  • Log in to the course at least 5 times per week
  • Respond to discussion boards, blogs and journal postings within 3 days or sooner
  • Respond to [emails/messages] within 3 days or sooner
  • Grade assignments within 2 weeks or sooner of the assignment deadline

Course Detail

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via the Canvas Inbox. Check out the Canvas Conversations Tutorial or Canvas Guide to learn how to communicate with your instructor and peers using Announcements, Discussions, and the Inbox.

Structure Of The Course

This course is divided into an introduction section and ten lessons. Each of the ten lessons consists of a PowerPoint Lecture, Readings, Videos, and a Quiz. There will also be online discussions, either live or in writing, as well as private journaling. After Lessons 5 and 10, there will be two non-cumulative exams based on the questions covered in the quizzes. Finally, there is a capstone paper, where you will have to the opportunity to showcase your favorite theories that you learned over the course of the semester.

You should set aside approximately 6-8 hours per week to study materials, view lectures, finish readings, participate in discussions and prepare for quizzes/exams.

By having many small assignments, you are able to interact with the ideas presented throughout the semester in multiple ways. This course utilizes multiple mediums to present the material, with the understanding that all students learn in slightly different ways. The goal is that by using multiple methodologies ALL students will have enhanced learning.  

All assessments and assignments in this course are conducted fully online and, unless otherwise noted in your syllabus, are due on the Monday of a given week at noon.

Assessments

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

All assessments will auto-submit when (1) the timer runs out OR (2) the closing date/time is reached, whichever happens first. For example, if a quiz has a closing time of 5:00 pm but the student begins the exam at 4:55 pm, the student will only have 5 minutes to complete the quiz.

Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

Discussion Forums

There will be five discussion topics. The topics will be posted on "Discussion Topics" folder in the Course Content. Students must post well thought-out comments based on the required work throughout the semester. Participation is required and represents 15% of your final grade. Both the quantity and the quality of your posts will contribute to your grade. All students are required to participate in all the three topics (at least 200 words). Discussions must be posted during the period they are assigned and are due by 11:59 pm on the Sunday which ends that particular lesson.

Once you have composed your original posting, take some time to carefully review other postings within your discussion group. Pick two that are most interesting to you and provide meaningful, detailed, and constructive feedback.

Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

Course Blogs

Blogs are an open communications tool for students to share their thoughts. Here you can post text, images, links and attachments, open for comments.

1.  Within the lesson 1 folder you will find information on how to upload a video to YouTube and how to upload a video through Video Everywhere into the Introduce Yourself blog.  Students will upload all course videos to their personal YouTube channel and then into the assignment's particular blog due date noted in course schedule of this syllabus:

  • Introduce Yourself Video Blog

2.  Blogs can be found in the Blog portion of the course menu or within the content area of the course.

  • There will be three course blog topics. The topics will be posted on "Course Blogs" folder in the Course Content. Students must post well thought-out comments based on the required work throughout the semester. Participation is required and represents 15% of your final grade. Both the quantity and the quality of your posts will contribute to your grade. All students are required to participate in all the three topics (at least 200 words). Blogs must be posted during the period they are assigned and are due by 11:59 pm on the Monday which ends that particular lesson.
  • Once you have composed your original posting, take some time to carefully review other postings within your discussion group. Pick two that are most interesting to you and provide meaningful, detailed, and constructive feedback.
  • Keep in mind that your course blog postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

Journaling

There will be weekly journal reflections, which will only be seen by the student and the professor. These reflections will only be graded that they were completed, but not for content. This will provide an opportunity for students to interact privately with the professor in regards to the course content. Journals may be a short paragraph, but must be turned in on time to receive credit. Altogether, the journal entries will be worth 5% of your overall grade.

Quizzes

There will be fully online quizzes covering each section. Your quiz scores will be averaged together for a final quiz score worth 20% of your final grade. All quizzes consist of 20 multiple-choice questions, and each question will be worth 5 points. A quiz will be available from Monday 12:00 am till Monday 12:00 noon of the given week. Once you open a quiz, you will have 30 minutes to complete and submit it. You will have two attempts to take a quiz. The highest score will be counted. 

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

Exams

There will be two non-cumulative exams based on the readings and materials covered throughout the course. Each exam will be worth 20% of your final grade. Both exams consist of 45 multiple choice and true/false questions, that are worth 2 points each, combined with one ten-point essay.  Once you open an exam, you will have 75 minutes to complete and submit it. 

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

Capstone Essay

There will be one essay assigned throughout the semester, which is aimed at assisting in the comprehension and synthesis of the concepts presented throughout the course. This assignment is specifically related to your Global Learning engagement outcome that you will demonstrate an ability to engage critically with diverse forms of religion in local, regional, national and international contexts.

This essay will be at least 1500-2000 words long (6 pages double-spaced) and will be worth 20% of your grade. This is a formal academic essay and students must cite their sources. MLA is the preferred citation style in Religious Studies. 

Submission: Students must submit their essays to Turnitin via Canvas's Assignment Dropbox

This assignment requires three separate submissions in order to receive full credit for this assignment.

  1. The first requires you to submit your complete paper to the “Essay on Magic - Initial Submission” in the Turnitin Assignment Dropbox so that your paper can be sent your classmates for Review. It is imperative that you submit this assignment on-time, since it is a group project.
       
  2. In the second portion of this assignment you must access the “Capstone Essay on Magic - Peer Review Assignment” link in the Turnitin Assignment Dropbox area of the course. You will be directed to review three of your classmate’s papers. In order to receive full credit for this portion of the activity you must answer all questions presented to you for each paper. Again, you must complete this assignment during the availability period because your feedback will be used by your classmates in submitting their final draft.
       
  3. Lastly, you will evaluate your reviewed paper and make any necessary edits to it.  You will then submit your final version to the “Capstone Essay on Magic - Final Submission” link in the Turnitin Assignment Dropbox area of the course.

Turnitin

Read Turnitin's Privacy Policy 

Accessibility Statement

Late Papers: Late papers are only accepted under extreme and verifiable conditions for the Final Draft portion of the paper. 

Students are responsible for reading their Canvas messages and all announcements posted by the instructor. The instructor also reserves the right to make changes to the syllabus by means of announcements or messages with ample time allowed for students to respond and adjust appropriately.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarism, or attempting to pass off another's work as your own, falls into three different categories:

  1. A written work that is entirely stolen from another source;
  2. Using quotations from another source without properly citing them; and
  3. Paraphrasing from another source without proper citations.

Students are expected to understand the definition of plagiarism. See the University Code of Academic Integrity at http://www.fiu.edu/~oabp/misconductweb/2codeofacainteg.htm if you need further clarification. Offenders will receive a grade of F for the plagiarized assignment, and possibly the course.

Important:
You will need to do research; your textbook and required readings will not have enough information about the topic. You will need to consult a minimum of three outside sources and one must be a book reference. You will also need notes in your paper, and a Bibliography/Works Cited page in MLA style.

Do not use Wikipedia as an internet source. You may use internet sources, but use only academic sources from the internet. (Academic sources list individual authors, name their sources, and have institutional affiliations.) Points will be deducted for infractions of these rules.

If you have questions regarding how to cite or what to cite, ask me BEFORE you submit your essay. If you turn in your paper and you "accidentally" plagiarize parts of your essay, you will fail the assignment and possibly the course. Better safe than sorry! To reiterate, ask me before the due date if you are unsure about how to cite your sources.

**Students may not submit work from a previous semester or from another class for this assignment or any other assignment in this course. It will be flagged for plagiarism by Turnitin.

Review the detailed Turnitin Instructions on how to submit your assignments and how to review the Grademark comments (feedback) from your professor.

Course Requirements

In addition to the completion of writing assignments, discussions, quizzes, and exams, a key requirement for successful completion of this course will be an open mind. Students are expected to exhibit respect to all religious traditions and peoples at all times. Thus, disrespectful or derisive commentary will not be tolerated in this course. Religion is, after all, a very personal and sensitive subject for many.

On the other hand, class participants can expect academic freedom to express their views. Although religion can be personal, this is an academic course taken for college credit and thus students are expected to examine the topics rigorously. Religion shall not be exempt from the scrutiny placed on any and all academic subjects.

Protocol For Technical Issues

If you have any technical problems,

1) Contact tech support to file a report, and
2) Contact me by email to let me know what is going on.

If you are having technical problems and an assignment is due,

1) E-mail me a copy of the assignment, so it is on time, and
2) Contact tech support.

Student Support Offers Assistance in the form of: 

E-mail & Live Chat Support
Phone Support
Office Support (On Campus)

7 days a week 8am - midnight
Email Us
Support Center
Live Chat

7 days a week 8am - midnight
Telephone: 305-348-3630
Toll-Free: 1-877-3-ELEARN

Monday - Friday from 8am - 10pm
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
MANGO Building, 5th Floor
Driving Directions || Campus Map

Grading

Course Requirements
Number of Items
Weight
Midterm Exam
1
20%
Final Exam
1
20%
Quizzes
1020%
Essay (5% Initial Submission/5% Peer Review/10% Final Paper)
320%
Blogs (Including Introduce Yourself Video Assignment)
4
15%
Journal Entries
6
5%
Total
25 Graded Assignments
100%
LetterRange (%)LetterRange (%)
LetterRange (%)
A95 or aboveB83 - 86C70 - 76
A-90 - 94B-80 - 82D60- 69
B+87-89C+77 - 79F59 or less

Course Calendar

Weekly Schedule

Date
Tasks
May 11 - May 18

Course Introduction

  • Review and fully familiarize yourself with the course and site.
  • Print and read the course syllabus and course calendar

Tasks Due:

  1. Obtain texts and read ahead for Lesson 1
  2. Student Introduction Video Blog
May 11 - May 18

Lesson 1: The Anthropological Study of Religion

  • PowerPoints: The Anthropological Study of Religion
  • Read Chapter 1 – Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 1 - Moro    
  • Videos: "Culture Clash New World Meets Old: The Hunt for Society" (4:46) & "How to Study    Cultures" (24:14)


Lesson 2: Mythology, Symbolism and Worldview

  • PowerPoints: Mythology & Religious Symbols
  • Read Chapters 2 & 3 – Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 2 – Moro
  • Read Deming Religious Symbolism PDF
  • Videos: "Sketches of the World: In The Search of the Light"(26:12) &"Scrabble Creek" (5:39) & "Sketches of the World: The Winds of Mystery" (27:18)

Tasks Due:

  1. Journal 1 Due
  2. Lesson 1 Quiz 
  3. Course Blog #1 
  4. Lesson 2 Quiz 
May 18th, 11:59pm
May 18 - May 25

Lesson 3: Ritual

  • PowerPoint:  Rituals
  • Read Chapter 4 – Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 3 - Moro
  • Videos: "Peruvian Blood", “Santeria Ritual"

Lesson 4: Religious Specialists

  • PowerPoint: Religious Specialists
  • Read Chapter 6 - Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 4 - Moro
  • Videos: “Korean Shaman Kut " (14:48), "Becky Fisher"

Tasks Due:

  1. Lesson 3 Quiz
  2. Lesson 4 Quiz
  3. Journal 2 Due
May 25th, 11:59pm
May 25 - June 2

May 25: Memorial Day Holiday (University Closed)

Lesson 5: Altered States of Consciousness

  • PowerPoint: Altered States of Consciousness
  • Read Chapter 5 – Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 5 - Moro
  • Videos: "San Pedro Ceremony" (6:42) & "Possession" (1:55),"Phuket Pain Rituals" "Alex &Allyson Grey" (video 1 & 2)

Tasks Due:

  1. Lesson 5 Quiz 
  2. Course Blog #2 
  3. Journal 3 Due
  4. Midterm Exam: Monday, May 25th - Tuesday, June 2nd by 11:59 pm
  5. Submit Capstone Essay on Magic - First Submission
June 2nd, 11:59pm
June 2 - June 8

Lesson 6: Illness, Healing, and Religion

  • PowerPoint:  Illness, Healing, and Religion
  • Read Chapter 6 – Moro
  • Read: “The Origins and Functions of Religious Healing,” “Magic in Everyday Life” Culture Specific Diseases
  • Videos: “Native American Healers,” & “Brazilian Healing”

Lesson 7: Witchcraft, Sorcery, Divination, and Magic

  • PowerPoints: Magic & Divination, Witchcraft
  • Read Chapter 7 & 10 – Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 7 - Moro
  • Videos: “Mexican Witchcraft,” “Divination,” “Wicca,” “Zimbabwean Magic.”

Tasks Due:

  1. Capstone Essay on Magic - Peermark Review Due
  2. Lesson 6 Quiz 
  3. Lesson 7 Quiz
  4. Journal 4 Due
June 8th, 11:59pm
June 8 - June 15

Lesson 8: Death, Ancestors, Ghosts, and Souls

  • PowerPoint: Death, Ancestors, Ghosts, & Souls
  • Read Chapter 8 – Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 8 - Moro
  • Videos: “Mystic Lands Haiti: Dance of the Spirit” (25:00) & "Aghoris" (3:13)

Lesson 9: Gods and Spirits

  • PowerPoint: Gods & Spirits
  • Read Chapter 9 – Stein & Stein
  • Videos: "Ethiopian Healing” & “Indian Exorcism" and “Venezuelan Umbanda”

Tasks Due: 

  1. Lesson 8 Quiz 
  2. Lesson 9 Quiz 
  3. Course Blog #3 Due
  4. Journal 5 Due
  5. Capstone Paper Due - Final Draft
June 15th, 11:59pm
June 15 - June 19

Lesson 10: Religion in a Changing World

  • PowerPoint: The Search for New Meaning
  • Read Chapter 11 – Stein & Stein
  • Read Chapter 9 - Moro
  • Videos: “Circumcision" (1:58) & "XTC - Rave Culture" (14:47)

Tasks Due:  

  1. Lesson 10 Quiz - Friday, June 19th @ 11:59 pm
  2. Journal 6 Due Friday, June 19th @ 11:59 pm
  3. Final Exam: Monday, June 15th - Friday, June 19th @ 11:59 pm
June 19th, 11:59pm