Online and #IRL: Digital Media, Power, and Religion|
From meditation apps and Zoom church to TikTok witches and spiritual influencers, religion and spirituality pervade the Internet. Yet digital media reflects social, economic, and political negotiations of power that often elude our scrolling eyes. This course critically examines digital media and religion by asking how the "power" of digital infrastructures affects religion. Together we will map different platforms and mediators (social media, material technologies, and corporate gatekeepers) that shape "power" and "religion" online. We will survey how religious practitioners navigate digital media through case studies of ex-Evangelical Twitter users, Hindu mega-temple live streams, ritual smartphone apps, and more. We will discuss "spiritual machines" and ask, "Has digital technology become a new god?" This course takes an interdisciplinary approach and engages research from technology studies, media studies, and religious studies. Students will also examine methods, ethics, and theories of studying digital religion and develop their own digital religion case studies.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Birgit Meyer, "Religious Sensations. Why Media, Aesthetics and Power Matter in the Study of Contemporary Religion"
John Perry Barlow, "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace"
Safiya Umoja Noble, "Missed Connections: What Search Engines Say About Women"
Clay Shirky, "The Political Power of Social Media"
Christopher Helland "Surfing for Salvation"
Yael Lazar "Streaming the Divine"
Ruth Tsuria et al., "Approaches to Digital Methods in Studies of Digital Religion"
Safiya Umoja Noble, ALGORITHMS OF OPPRESSIONS: HOW SEARCH ENGINES REINFORCE RACISM
Roberto Simanowski, DATA LOVE: THE SEDUCTION AND BETRAYAL OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES
Heidi Campbell and Ruth Tsuria, eds. DIGITAL RELIGION: UNDERSTANDING RELIGIOUS PRACTICE IN DIGITAL MEDIA
Giulia Isetti et al., eds., RELIGION IN THE AGE OF DIGITALIZATION: FROM NEW MEDIA TO SPIRITUAL MACHINES
Xenia Zeiler, ed. DIGITAL HINDUISM
Gregory Price Grieve and Daniel Veidlinger, eds., BUDDHISM, THE INTERNET, AND DIGITAL MEDIA: THE PIXEL AND THE LOTUS
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Active in-class participation, critical reading journal, one short essay, and a research case study. The case study will be broken up into smaller research activities throughout the semester which will build into a final multimedia presentation of findings for a course website.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course satisfies the "Thematic Approach" and "Method and Theory" requirements for the Religion major
|Instructor(s): Brubaker,Debbie Lynn Times: .M.W... 02:50PM-04:10PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 19||SR major: 4||JR major: 4|| || |
|Seats Available: 19||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 4||JR non-major: 4||SO: 3||FR: 0|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|