Jeremy Stolow

Jeremy Stolow is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Religion and Media (New York University), and of the Centre de recherche sur l’intermedialité (Université de Montréal). Among Jeremy’s recent publications are his books, Orthodox By Design: Judaism, Print Politics and the ArtScroll Revolution (University of California Press, 2010) and Deus in Machina: Religion, Technology, and the Things in Between (Fordham University Press, 2012). Originally trained as a social theorist, Jeremy works in the nascent, inter-disciplinary field of “religion and media,” to which he has contributed several projects, based on textual, archival, and ethnographic research. These have included studies of Orthodox Jewish publishing and print culture, and of nineteenth-century Spiritualist uses of electrically-mediated communications technologies, as well as contributions to the theoretical mapping of the field. Increasingly, Jeremy’s research interests have turned to questions about how religious experiences and forms of knowledge and practice are materialized — such as in objects used for ritual practice, study, or veneration — and in the ways different religious traditions “tune” the senses for the purposes of gaining knowledge, achieving piety, or in pursuit of other goals. A second area of research interest deals with the “supernatural” or “magical” dimensions of modern techno-scientific practice, and with the ways scientific knowledge and practice resemble “religious” or “magical” modes of knowing, doing, and perceiving things. These interests converge in Jeremy’s current research project, “Picturing Aura.” Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, this project aims to reconstruct the history and examine the contemporary contexts of optical instruments and visual media technologies developed and used by paranormal scientists, alternative health practitioners, and spiritual service providers, all of whom share an interest in trying to detect, visualize, pictorially represent, and interpret the meaning of mysterious spiritual forces: specifically, the “vital energy” that some claim radiates from our human bodies and is referred to as our “aura.”