Scholarium regularly hosts free lectures online by scholars ranging across the humanities, social sciences, and beyond. Join us for engaging, insightful talks and discussion with speakers who have spent careers immersed in creative research and scholarship, and who are passionate about sharing their subject matter.
November, 2021: Dr. Andrew Mark Henry: From PhD to YouTuber: Scholars as Content Creators
“Public scholarship” has become something of a buzzword in recent years. Promoting the “public understanding of religion” has even become a stated, central mission of the American Academy of Religion. But “public scholar” is an insider’s term used by the academy. Outside of the academy, bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and TikTokers are called “content creators.” The difference is subtle, but it is worth examining. Can scholars take ownership of the role of “Content Creator?” What does content creating as a scholar entail? In this talk, Andrew Henry, the creator of the largest religious studies YouTube channel, Religion for Breakfast, will share his experiences pivoting from full-time research to YouTubing. Topics he will touch on include the challenges that independent content creators face, the commodification of scholarship, and the future of public scholarship on social media platforms.
Dr. Andrew Henry is a scholar of religious studies and a post-doctoral research fellow at the American Research Center in Egypt. Andrew is also the creator of Religion for Breakfast, a YouTube channel where he publishes educational videos on a variety of topics about religion.
July, 2021: Dr. Kate Stockly, “Spirit Tech: How Technology Is Transforming Spirituality”
Dr. Kate Stockly spoke in July to Scholarium about her recent book Spirit Tech: The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Enlightenment Engineering, coauthored with Dr. Wesley Wildman of Boston University and the Center for Mind and Culture. Dr. Stockly’s lecture discussed the growing pursuit of — and opportunities for — technologically mediated spiritual experience, including neurofeedback, meditation apps, and magnetic brain stimulation. She tackled tough questions about the ethics of technology-assisted spirituality and the future of religion in Western countries, and fielded interesting questions about whether technology helps us to enhance our own spirituality or merely brings the “spiritual” down to the level of the mundane.
June, 2021: Dr. Connor Wood, “A Natural History of Music”
Dr. Connor Wood delivered Scholarium’s second lecture, “A Natural History of Music,” on June 17th, 20201. Dr. Wood surveyed the comparative study of music within an evolutionary and cultural framework. Drawing on recent debates in cognitive motor science, behavioral biology, anthropology, and even philosophy, he discussed the surprising similarities between the rhythmic abilities of humans and birds; the possible relationship between music and language; and the role of music in social life. The lecture culminated with a new proposal about the role that rhythm and dance may have played in human origins themselves.
May, 2021: Dr. Paul Cassell, “Between the Humanities and Sciences: Interdisciplinarity in Academia”
Dr. Paul Cassell, of Arizona State University, delivered our first lecture, “Between the Humanities and Sciences: Interdisciplinarity in Academia,” on May 20th, 2021. Dr. Cassell, an expert in systems theory, evolution, and the study of ritual, gave an account of the role of interdisciplinary research in his own scholarship and career at the intersection of religion and science, focusing in particular on the evolutionary neuroanthropology of UC-Berkeley scientist Terrence Deacon.