The REL Digital Lab

The REL Digital Lab builds on curricular and research initiatives by bringing together old and new technologies for creating and disseminating scholarship, and provides a central hub for the digital activities of the Department of Religious Studies. With a variety of computers, audio recording equipment, and a new high-definition display, the RELdl is a space that supports collaboration among faculty and with students, with the goal of developing shared projects along with co-authored submissions and publications. The RELdl is also exists virtually, consisting of this website, the REL Digital Lab on Github, and the Religion in Culture MA Workspace on Slack.

The RELdl is a resource for those interested in using digital tools and methods in their research and teaching. We aggregate information and resources for doing digital scholarship and host regular workshops and brown bags to introduce tools and projects relevant to our members’ work. Our goal is to ease the process of getting started with digital projects and to develop new projects for faculty and students to collaborate on. We rely on campus partnerships—such as eTech and the ADHC—to support project development, hosting, and archiving and preservation.

How to connect with us

We are always looking to learn more about computational work taking place on campus and to explore future collaborations. Please email Dr. Wieringa to start a conversation.

Who are We?

Jeri E. Wieringa, Director

Dr. Wieringa joined the REL faculty in 2020 as a specialist in digital humanities and the social theory of religion. An alumna of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, she has been active in digital humanities scholarship since 2011, and has worked on multiple grant-funded software and publishing projects, including Omeka and Digital Humanities Now.

A historian by training, her research examines new religious movements in the US through the lenses of gender and technology, with a particular interest in millenarianism and processes of knowledge formation.

In the digital humanities space, she focuses on methodologies and infrastructure for the critical use of computation in the study of human cultures. In 2019, she defended the second digital history dissertation project accepted by the Department of History and Art History at George Mason Unversity, which used computational text analysis to explore the relationship between gender norms and end-times beliefs in the development of Seventh-day Adventism.

She has experience in website design and development, digital publishing, Python, natural language processing and machine learning with historical texts, and project management.

Faculty Webpage

Joseph (Joe) DeFrank, GRA

Coming to REL’s M.A. in the Fall of 2020, Joseph DeFrank from Canton, GA, graduates in the Spring of 2020 with a B.S. in History and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Young Harris College. An Irish-American scholar for an academic year at Queen’s University of Belfast, some of his main interests include the study of religion in the United States, new religious movements, and what the future of “religion” might be.

Personal Webpage