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The faculty associated with the center are Stewart M. Hoover, director, and Nabil Echchaibi, associate director.

Stewart M. Hoover

Stewart M. Hoover is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is the director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture.

He is also a Professor Adjoint of Religious Studies and American Studies. He holds both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. His research centers on media audience and reception studies rooted in cultural studies, anthropology and qualitative sociology. Within this field, he has concentrated on studies of media and religion, looking first at the phenomenon of televangelism, and later at the professional, cultural and discursive construction of religion by the press. His most recent work involves household-level studies of media audience practices of meaning-making and identity. He is author or co-author of six books, including his most recent, Religion in the Media Age, and one on religion journalism, titled Religion in the News: Faith and Journalism in American Public Discourse. He is co-editor of three others, including (with Nadia Kaneva), Fundamentalisms and the Media, (with Lynn Schofield Clark), Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media, and Co-author, with Dr. Clark, Dr. Diane Alters, Dr. Joseph Champ, and Dr. Lee Hood, of Media, Home, and Family.


Nabil Echchaibi

Nabil Echchaibi  is assistant professor of journalism and media studies and associate director of the Center for Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Colorado-Boulder. His research is situated at the crossroad of important contemporary issues such as identity, religion, and the role of media in shaping and reflecting modern religious subjectivities among Muslims in the Middle East and in diaspora. His work on diasporic media and the leveling of religious authority through the proliferation of Islamic media has appeared in various international publications such as Javnost, International Communication Gazette, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Nations and Nationalism, Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research, and Media Development.

Dr. Echchaibi is currently working on his book, Formations of the Muslim Modern: Islam, Media and Alternative Modernity, which explores how Muslims engage, through their own media production, modernity as a source of both contention and identification. Using a  multilayered analysis of six case studies of Muslim media in Cairo, Los Angeles, Dubai, San Francisco, London, and Austin, the book examines how transnational satellite television and digital media have become prime discursive and performative stages where young individuals and institutions debate and contest what it means to be “modern” in the Muslim context.

Dr. Echchaibi is also directing a project funded by the Social Science Research Council, which will compile a cultural history of Muslims in the Mountain region of the United States. The project will produce an interactive web resource and a documentary film. His book Voicing Diasporas: Ethnic Radio in Paris and Berlin Between Culture and Renewal was published by Lexington Books in 2011. His co-edited book International Blogging : Identity, Politics and Networked Publics was published in 2009 by Peter Lang Publishing. Prior to joining CU, Dr. Echchaibi taught at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland, where he helped set up the international communication department, the University of Louisville and Indiana University-Bloomington. A native of Morocco, he earned his BA from Mohammed V University in Rabat and his MA and PhD from Indiana University-Bloomington. For more information visit his website at follow him on Twitter: @nechchai and on his blog, Islam in a New Media Age


Peter Simonson

Peter Simonson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is broadly interested in historical, philosophical, and sociological approaches to rhetoric and mass media, and focuses especially on the U.S. since the 1850s.

His research cuts across a number of areas, including the intellectual history of communication, rhetorical and mass  communication theory, pragmatism, rhetoric and religion, ethnographic approaches to rhetorical studies, communication and community, the history of the field of communication, and the work of Robert K. Merton.

Simonson came to the University of Colorado after teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and Allegheny College. He took his doctorate at the University of Iowa, where he worked with John Durham Peters and the late, great Ken Cmiel.  Before graduate work in communication studies, he took undergraduate and Masters degrees in philosophy and comparative religion at Stanford University.

Deborah Whitehead

Deborah Whitehead (PhD, Harvard, 2006) is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and senior faculty research affiliate with the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her book William James, Pragmatism, and American Culture is forthcoming with Indiana University Press in 2015. Her research interests include the work of William James, religion and American culture, religion and media, religious rhetoric and communication, gender and popular culture. She is author of several articles on these topics and is currently at work on her second book, Christian Evangelicals and Digital Media: The Mediated Gospel in America, with Routledge.

Jeffrey Mahan

Jeffrey H. Mahan is Professor of Ministry, Media and Culture and holds the Ralph E. and Norma E. Peck Chair in Religion and Public Communication at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. He is affiliated faculty at the Center for Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Mahan hold the Ph.D. from Northwestern University, in Religious and Theological Studies. Publications include: Media/Religion/Culture, Routledge: New York, (forthcoming) Revised edition, Religion and Popular Culture in America, Bruce David Forbes & Jeffrey H. Mahan, editors The University of California Press; 2005 (original edition published 2000) Shared Wisdom: A Guide to Case Study Reflection in Ministry, Mahan, Troxell and Allen, Abingdon Press: Nashville, 1993 A Long Way from Solving That One: Psycho/social and Ethical Implications of Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer Tales, University Press of America: Lanham, MD; 1990 American Television Genres, Stuart M. Kaminsky with Jeffrey H. Mahan, Nelson Hall: Chicago; 1985 As well as articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and film and book reviews. Professional Associations include: American Academy of Religion, where he was founding co-chair of the Religion and Popular Culture Group. International Association for Media, Religion and Culture Interfilm American Association of University Professors


About the Center

The Center for Media, Religion and Culture is one of the very few institutions worldwide dedicated to building knowledge and expertise in this emerging field. And its multidisciplinary efforts draw on resources from a broad range of approaches, locations, and directions. READ MORE...

Stewart Hoover’s blog

Reflections on media and religion. Stewart M. Hoover is Director of the Center and author of several books and numerous articles on media and religion. READ MORE...

Nabil Echchaibi’s blog

Focuses on the intersections between Islam, Arab popular culture, and the media. READ MORE...