Religious Soundmap Project

About Us

The Religious Soundmap Project of the Global Midwest was a pilot program for future research. The goal of this project was to listen for religious diversity in two Midwestern cities and to create a publicly-accessible digital platform to present what we found. Our working hypothesis was that listening for religious sounds would allow us to better appreciate the increasingly global tones of religious practices in the Midwest. Rather than focusing on religious institutions and texts, the project sought to offer a new approach to studying American religious diversity by using our auditory perception as a source of local knowledge. The collaborative research team aimed to think expansively about where and when everyday religion happened and worked closely with religious groups and communities.

The recordings on this site include "canonical" sounds like Islamic prayer calls or Buddhist chanting, but also "non-canonical" sounds in homes and workplaces, during public festivals, ambient noises, and in ostensibly "secular" gatherings such as school graduations or football games. Our intent was not to resolve definitively what counts as religious sound, but to present varied sounds that might invite new ways of thinking about religion in the Midwest..

Working under faculty supervision, in conjunction with already scheduled courses, student researchers and faculty at the Ohio State University and Michigan State University conducted community-based research and produced, edited, and formatted field recordings. We created a digital sonic archive and custom-designed this website that is open to the public. The completion of this two-year project set the stage for a larger collaborative initiative, The American Religious Sounds Project.

The Religious Soundmap Project of the Global Midwest was supported by the Humanities Without Walls consortium, based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The Humanities Without Walls consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Collaborators

 

Contact Us

Dr. Amy DeRogatis
Professor of Religious Studies

Dr. David Stowe
Professor of English and Religious Studies

Dr. Mohammad Khalil
Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Bobby Smiley
American History and Digital Humanities Librarian

Kristen Mapes
Digital Humanities Specialist

Dr. Scott Schopieray
Director of Academic Technology, College of Arts and Letters

Dr. Marsha MacDowell
Professor of Art History & Visual Culture and Curator, MSU Museum

Joshua T. Schnell
Project Manager (2015 - 2016), Undergraduate Student

Allegra Smith
Project Manager (2014 - 2015), Graduate Student

Bree Gannon
Project Manager (2016 - Present), Graduate Student

Malarie French
Graphic Designer

Will Mianecki
Graphic Designer

Tommy Truong
Web Developer

Marcus Fields
Content Manager

Devin Clark
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Julia Haugh
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emma Pittsley
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rachel Rossow
Undergraduate Research Assistant

David Sutherland
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Micah Zylstra
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Marlen Briones
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Jessica Buzalski
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Amanda Fleming
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Jess Goldblatt
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Tiffany Mora
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Elise Robinson
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Rachel Ryder
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Jonathan Wolak
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Dr. Isaac Weiner
Associate Professor of Comparative Studies

J. Caroline Toy
Project Manager

Lauren Pond
Documentary Photographer and Multimedia Producer

Erin Allen
Graduate Research Assistant

Ehsan Estiri
Graduate Research Assistant

Afsane Rezaei
Graduate Research Assistant

Yanty Wirza
Graduate Research Assistant

Eva Allibone
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jake Kowal
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sara Liebler
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ada Matusiewicz
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Katie Thomas
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Garrett Brown
Graduate Student Researcher

Matthew Campbell
Graduate Student Researcher

Dan Jian
Graduate Student Researcher

Carl Laamanen
Graduate Student Researcher

Peter Moeller
Graduate Student Researcher

Gregory Vaillancourt
Graduate Student Researcher

Gameesa Abdalhalim
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Marsha Akoto
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Shivani Amin
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Kyndell Belcher
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Mason Bernstein
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Corrine Bootes
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Yiyun Chen
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Julian Ebner
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Devynne Eldridge
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Mike Francati
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Chelsy Garcia
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Ashton Hood
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Haerim Kwon
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Rebecca Melnick
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Chido Nyamayedenga
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Franklin Pera
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Nicholas Rosler
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Thomas Struck
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Janine Walker
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Evie Wentzel
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Tony Woodford
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Contact Us

Email
religioussoundmap@gmail.com