Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Announcing the Launch of the New Media, Religion & Digital Culture Studies Website

With an increased awareness that religion, rather than fading continues to play an important role in contemporary society, academics, futurist and religious practioners have become concerned about the impact new media are having in how people conceive of and practice religiosity in the 21st century. To this end the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies seeks to highlight this vibrant new interdisciplinary research area and provide scholars, students and independent researcher’s access to key findings and information in this important field of inquiry.  Key to this endeavor the Network has launched a resource web site found at http://digitalreligion.tamu.edu, to provide access to cutting edge studies about how religious groups are engaging new media and how new technologies highlight growing trends in lived religious practice online.

 With the support of a grant from the Evans/Glasscock Digital Humanities Project at Texas A&M University, the Network for New Media, Religion, and Digital Culture Studies was established in 2010. The central goal of the Network is to house and maintain a collaborative online resource for scholars, students and those interested in studying more extensively the unique dynamics of new media, religion, and digital culture. The Network website (http://digitalreligion.tamu.edu) features an interactive online bibliography highlighting key scholarly works in this growing research area. The site also features a “scholar’s index” listing key scholars in the field, a blog where guest bloggers highlight important research developments and studies, as well as a newsfeed to keep users up-to-date with upcoming events and publications related to religion and the digital. Seeking to broaden its scope of influence and interaction between scholars and the public Network maintains a Facebook page as well as a Twitterfeed where recent studies, news articles and calls for papers are highlighted . By highlighting the latest research as well as cataloguing the foundational studies in this field, the Network serves as an excellent resource for those seeking to contextualize their personal studies and narrow down their research questions.

 Not only is the Network abundant with resources, it has room for growth! Membership is open to any scholars, students or researchers actively working in these areas of study.  Apply for membership involves filling out an online application for a new account on the site, along with emailing a briefbiography statement describing the applicant’s reasons for wanting to join the network.Once a member, individuals will be able to add articles to the online bibliography, communicate with other members through the Network, and contribute to the news feed.  

Due to the launch of the website I will be moving my blogging energies to the new site as well as micro-blogging on the website Facebook page. I encourage you "like" and bookmark these pages to keep up-to-date on my work as well as this emerging field.