The Immanent Frame, Secularism Studies, and Interstitial Spaces

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 11:10 AM
Gramercy Suite A (New York Hilton)
Jonathan VanAntwerpen, The Henry Luce Foundation
What role might digital media play in reshaping the way that knowledge is produced, distributed, circulated, consumed, and refashioned? In partial response to this question, this paper will explore the possibilities associated with digital media through a series of reflections on the work of The Immanent Frame ( and related digital projects, exploring the dynamic relationship between these projects and the fields of religious and secularism studies. The paper will focus in particular on the role of digital projects in crafting and stimulating work within the scholarly borderlands, forwarding a set of theses about the possibly distinctive qualities of these sorts of spaces, and investigating the forms of intellectual work, creative engagement, and critical reflection such spaces might enable. While questions of readership, circulation, attention, and consumption are of particular importance, the paper will focus instead largely on modes intellectual production and exchange, taking as its starting point a form of “field” analysis, associated with Pierre Bourdieu and others, while improvising somewhat on Bourdieu’s approach in order to extend its analytical reach to the consideration of “interstitial” spaces—or what sociologist Gil Eyal has called “spaces between fields.”
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