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NMRDC announces the publication of The Digital Religion Yearbook 2021

The Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies (NMRDC) would like to announce a new publication: The Digital Religion Yearbook 2021.


The Digital Religion Yearbook is an e-publication produced with the goal of highlighting important contributions, emerging scholars, and innovative research in the growing field of Digital Religion Studies. The Network hopes that this annual publication will become a valuable resource for scholars and students working in this area by drawing attention to a select group of important works that are contributing and helping advance the study of Digital Religion.


In this inaugural publication, the yearbook introduces the core sections and explains the themes to be covered in each edition, for readers to understand the purpose behind the sections. Each edition will include an annual essay by a leading scholar in the field. The first essay is written by Heidi A. Campbell, the NMRDC’s Director, and provides a narrative overview of the development of Digital Religion Studies, some key moments, and important research projects contributing to this area of scholarship.


Next, the Digital Religion Yearbook spotlights the top ten research articles published that year in Digital Religion, based on the recommendations of members from the NMRDC advisory board as well as other leading scholars. Each article includes an extended abstract and citation that enables readers to learn and explore the work. Then in the “Scholars to Watch” section, up-and-coming researchers in the field along with their current projects are spotlighted. The aim is to draw attention to new voices entering this field and the next generation of emerging scholars. Each year, a different set of scholars will be included based on a specific theme, selected by the Network. This year’s featured scholars were chosen based on their abstract submitted to the International Society of Media, Religion & Culture Studies 2021 conference, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.


Finally, each yearbook will draw attention to what it considers the top undergraduate thesis and doctoral dissertation in Digital Religion Studies. Each entry will include an extended abstract as well as some personal thoughts from the student scholars. This year’s selected undergraduate thesis is Esmé Lily Katherine Partridge’s “Digital spirituality: Technological re-enchantment in 2021/1? An exploration of witchcraft and reality shifting on TikTok as (post-modern spiritualties existing in Wouter Hanegraaff’s ‘mirror of secular thought.’” And this year’s featured PhD dissertation that was completed in 2021 is John Borchert’s “Immanent technologies: Posthuman digital religion in America.”


Finally, each annual yearbook will include a section highlight the research and publications produced by the NMRDC research team. The purpose is to spotlight the work done that year and to demonstrate the ways that research is impacting the field of Digital Religion.


The Digital Religion Yearbook 2021 is available online at https://doi.org/10.21423/digitalreligionyearbook2021.


Heidi A. Campbell is available for interviews related to this yearbook and her research on Digital Religion studies. She can be contacted via email at heidic@tamu.edu. If you are interested in your work being included in next year’s version, please contact her Lead Research Assistant, sophie.osteen@tamu.edu.

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