Graduate Education in the Time of COVID-19


  • Richard Newton University of Alabama



COVID-19, graduate school, higher education, professionalization, academia


“The Buzz” examines scholarly topics in light of present-day concerns and challenges. This edition centers on the unique challenges of graduate education as a result of the restrictions of COVID-19. Those contributing to this discussion include Sarah E. Fredericks (associate professor of environmental ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School), Steven Weitzman (Abraham M. Ellis professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages and literatures at the University of Pennsylvania), and Matthew Goff (professor of religion at Florida State University).

Author Biography

Richard Newton, University of Alabama

Richard Newton received his PhD in Critical Comparative Scriptures from Claremont Graduate University.

Dr. Newton’s areas of interest include theory and method in the study of religion, African American history, the New Testament in Western imagination, American cultural politics, and pedagogy in religious studies. His research explores how people create “scriptures” and how those productions operate in the formation of identities and cultural boundaries. He has published an array of journal articles, book chapters and online essays. His book, Identifying Roots: Alex Haley and the Anthropology of Scriptures (Equinox 2020), casts Alex Haley’s Roots as a case study in the dynamics of scriptures and identity politics with critical implication for the study of race, religion, and media. He is also the curator of the  multimedia professional development network, Sowing the Seed: Fruitful Conversations in Religion, Culture, and Teaching.


American Academy of Religion. n.d. “Applied Religi­ous Studies Committee.” American Academy of Religion. Available at:

———. n.d. “Beyond the Professoriate.” American Academy of Religion. Available from:

———. “Careers Beyond the Academy.” Podcast audio, November 27, 2018. Available from:



How to Cite

Newton, R. (2021). Graduate Education in the Time of COVID-19. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 50(1), 4–6.



The Buzz