Jenna Supp-Montgomerie earned a Ph.D. in religious studies with a certificate in cultural studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a joint appointment in Religious Studies and Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. Her research examines the relationships of religion, media, and infrastructure.
Jenna’s work focuses on entangled relationships of religion and infrastructure in everyday life, particularly as we negotiate technological change. Her first book, When the Medium Was the Mission: The Atlantic Telegraph and the Religious Origins of Network Culture (forthcoming, NYU Press) traces the shaping influence of religion—particularly American Protestantism—on network culture through the story of the 1858 Atlantic Telegraph Cable. In a wide range of activities, from global mission to American public speech to utopian experiments in communal living, religion forged an imaginary of networks as connective, so much so that connection now serves as the primary element of definitions of networks. She has published essays and book chapters on religion and media, including “Planetary Subjects after the Death of Geography” in Planetary Loves: Gayatri Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology and “‘If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen Through Your Eyes’: Destabilized Spectatorship and Creation’s Chaos in Blade Runner” in CrossCurrents.
Jenna teaches courses on critical theory, media history and theory, religion and cultural life, digital media, and American religious history.
- When the Medium Was the Mission: The Atlantic Telegraph and the Religious Origins of Network Culture (forthcoming, NYU Press)
- “Affect and the Study of Religion.” Religion Compass 9, no 10 (October 2015): 335-345.
- “Planetary Subjects after the Death of Geography.” In Planetary Loves: Gayatri Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology, edited by Stephen Moore and Mayra Rivera, 149-167. New York: Fordham University Press, October 2010. (Published under Jenna Tiitsman)
- “Teaching Religious Diversity and Conflict.” In Education, Innovation, and Discovery: The Distinctive Promise of the American Research University, edited by Wendy Katkin, 52-55. Coral Gables, Fl.: The Reinvention Center at the University of Miami, 2009. (Published under Jenna Tiitsman)
- “‘If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen Through Your Eyes’: Destabilized Spectatorship and Creation’s Chaos in Blade Runner.” Cross Currents 54, no.1 (2004): 32-47. (Published under Jenna Tiitsman)
- COMM/GWSS:6345 New Materialisms
- RELS:2930 Digital Media and Religion
- RELS:5400 Methods & Theories in Study of Religion
- RELS:2080 Public Life in US Religion & Media
Awards, Honors and Grants:
- Public Religion and Media Publics Working Group, Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, 2017-Present
- Innvations in Teaching with Technology Award, University of Iowa Academic Technologies Advisory Council, 2019
- Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2007-2012.
- Distinguished Teaching Award, Royster Society of Fellows, UNC-Chapel Hill, November 2011.
- Co-Chair, Religion, Media and Culture Group of the American Academy of Religion, 2009-present.
- Co-Chair and Co-Presider, Religion and Media Workshop, AAR Pre-Conference, Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, 2008-2014.