I'm an assistant professor of religion at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario with a PhD in Cultural Studies also from Queen's. I'm cross affiliated with the Cultural Studies program. I am also a member of the Spirituality, Nature, and Culture Lab. This year, I became Member-at-Large for the executive of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (CSSR).
My research and teaching focuses on the contemporary religious situation. I'm interested in how we talk about, and use, and thereby create concepts of spirituality and religion as well as concepts of nonreligion and secularity. Currently I am an Assistant Editor for the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network where I commission blog articles by North American scholars who have something to say about religion's "others" - those things necessarily defined in reference to religion but which are considered to be other than religious.
I'm also interested in "new religious movements" (NRMs), ritual, and religion and/as media. An article (with Emma Funnell-Kononuk) on Free the Children as a ‘new secular spiritual movement’ will appear this Fall in the Journal for the Study of Spirituality. Recently, I had a book chapter come out on texting as ritual in The Boredom Studies Reader: Perspectives and Frameworks (Routledge; Eds. Michael E. Gardiner & Julian Jason Haladyn).
My major line of work for the past few years has been about the relationship between boredom and spirituality - the modern concept of boredom as a spiritual crisis. Right now, I'm finishing up a book called The Spiritual Significance of Boredom in the Overload Age. I'm also doing a survey study, with follow-up interviews, to learn about people's experiences with boredom and whether it motivates religious or spiritual seeking, switching, and leaving.
Another current piece of research related to boredom is a SSHRC supported project that works with literary representations of boredom as a crisis of meaning, including David Foster Wallace's The Pale King, and with conceptual "uncreative" poetry that uses found text, often from digital sources. These are aesthetic ways of taking surplus information as their medium or message and they can tell us something about how people are negotiating issues of meaning and temporality in and through the resources of info-driven and hyperconnected society.
Research and teaching are deeply connected in my practice. This year (2017-18) I am offering courses on Magic, Witchcraft, and the Supernatural (F), Religion in the Contemporary Context (W), and Spirituality and Non-religion (W). In the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) in religious studies, I am about to begin a foray into "threshold concepts" with my colleague, Dr. Richard Ascough (Queen's).
I hope you'll get in touch if your curiosity is piqued!