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Media Contact: Maddy Elledge
(706) 379-5319, [email protected]

Young Harris College Presents Annual Hamilton Lecture

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. –Young Harris College is pleased to welcome University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jolyon Thomas, Ph.D., as the 2018 Hamilton Lecturer on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. in the Hatcher Dining Room of the Rollins Campus Center. This event is free and open to the public.

In his lecture “Spirit/Medium/Media: A Critical Examination of the Relationship between Animism, Animators, and Anime,” Dr. Thomas will explore the notion that animation and animism bear more than a superficial etymological connection. He rejects the term “animism” in favor of alternative terminology that describes how anime directors and their audiences engage with illustrated worlds, nature and spirits.

“I argue that when professional observers describe anime as ‘animistic,’ they use a politically fraught and technically inaccurate term to engage in recuperative or obscurantist political projects related to environmentalism or cultural nationalism,” said Dr. Thomas. “I conclude by offering alternative language that can more accurately depict what anime directors and their audiences do when depicting or observing relationships between spirits and nature in animated film. These attitudes and ideas can be deemed meaningful and even religious, I argue, without relying on the loaded language of ‘animism.’”

Dr. Thomas received his B.A. from Grinnell College and his M.A. from University of Hawaii at Manoa. He went on to study religion earning his doctorate from Princeton University. His research topics include various aspects of religion such as religious freedom, religion in conjunction with media, religion and education, marginal religious movements, and religion coupled with law and policy.

The Hamilton Lecture Series brings outstanding religious spokespersons to YHC to discuss faith-based topics. It was established by Mr. and Mrs. Kirby Strain, along with other members of their family, to honor Mrs. Strain’s parents, Rev. George Wharton Hamilton and Naomi Barton Hamilton. Rev. Hamilton was a 1907 graduate of YHC who served on the College’s faculty and was active as a minister in the North Georgia Conference for 37 years.

For more information about the event, call (706) 379-5261.

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., has completed major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. Recent LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, new residence facilities, and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. The College is an active member of NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2017-2018 list of Colleges of Distinction and is listed as a “Best National Liberal Arts College” by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit