AREAS OF ACADEMIC INTEREST
-Ritual and Embodiment
-Death and Mourning
John W. Borchert is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. He is interested in how religious practices and media technologies intersect across American religious histories, particularly their impact on embodiment and death. He teaches on American religion, religion and embodiment, death, Christianities, and religion and media/technology.
His dissertation Immanent Technologies: Posthuman Digital Religion in America, uses posthumanism and ritual studies to theorize digital media and religion within American practices of death and play by forwarding a theory for religion and new media that emphasizes embodiment and materiality and deploying that theory over case studies about death.John has been invited to submit work on digital religion and pedagogy, and contemporary death practices to digital publications, as invited to edit the only peer-reviewed journal on religion, video, gaming and death, available here, and currently has a chapter on digital death for an edited collection on Digital Religion in press.
Original courses originate from John’s research include an Honors seminar on embodiment and a Religion course on digital culture. At Syracuse University, he was invited by the Honors College to lead a seminar on embodiment, modernization, and technology. From the mikvah to Black Lives Matter, veiling to veneration of Cuba’s Virgin of Charity, the course conceptualizes how bodies are excluded or included in certain religious discourse by bringing marginalized scholars into the room with largely first-year students. His “Digital Religion” course aimed at undergraduates with no experience studying either digital media or religion by balancing introductions to the study of religion with case studies in American digital religious practice .
John is Co-Chair of the Religion and Media Workshop of the American Academy of Religion, and serves on the board of the gamevironments, the only journal on religion and video gaming.
REL 109: Religion and Contemporary Culture
REL 207: Modern Problems of Belief