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Staff photo Stefan Gelfgren

Stefan Gelfgren

I am associate professor of Sociology of Religion and senior lecturer in Didactics of Religion.

Works at

Associate professor at Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Units: Religious Studies and Theology
A, Humanisthuset, HUM.J.122 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

I am an associate professor of sociology of religion and senior lecturer in religion didactics. I have a PhD in the History of Ideas from Umeå University, a MPhil in the History of Christianity from Birmingham University, UK, and a BA in construction engineering. During spring 2022 I was the Erik Allardt fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Helsingfors University.

My primary research interest concerns the relation between social, technical and religious transformations - today and throughout history. During the last years I have conducted some case based research studies on the use and effect of digital media within Christian churches and denominations. I am interested in digital and social media in relation to power representatives and institutional structures.

My PhD thesis from 2003 deals with the Swedish confessional revivalist movement Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen (EFS, 'The Swedish Evangelical Mission Society') between 1856-1910. The tension between revivalism, modernity and secularisation are concepts used to interpret what happened during the period. This is an issue I have returned to over the years.

I am interested in questions related to the digital humanities, as a subject, and its relation to the humanities in general. I also find an interest in questions related to infrastructure and the humanities.

Between 2017 and 2021 I am the PI for a project on so called soft surveillance (iAccept: Soft surveillance - between acceptance and resistance), financed by the Wallenberg foundation. I have also been involved in a research project on social media and disability (2016-2018), led by professor Lotta Vikström (Experiences of disabilities in life and online: Life course perspectives on disabled people from past society to present). Between 2010 and 2013 I was working within the project Pinocchio goes to Church: The religious life of avatars (financed by the Swedish Research Council, and lead by professor Jørgen Straarup), focusing on churches in virtual worlds.

During 2016-2018 I was part of the European Bible Belt network, founded by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, via Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

Teaching and publications
I have taught courses within Church History, Digital Humanities, History of Technology, History of Ideas and Religious Studies. 

I have published books, articles in books and journals, mainly on the relation between social and religious changes within the Christian sphere from the 16th century until today and also published on Digital Humanities, surveillance, revivalism, adult education, pedagogy and digital media. See list of publications. 

Other commitments
Between 2015 and 2020 I was the director of Humlab, a unit and research infrastructure at the Faculty of Arts within the field of Digital Humanities. Currently (2016-2022) I am a member of the Council for Research Infrastructures at The Swedish Research Council. I am also part of the steering group for the research network Religious History of the North (REHN) and the board of the Theology foundation, Umeå university.

I have also been member of the board of DIGSUM (Digital Social Research Unit Umeå) and the Umeå University School of Restaurant and Culinary Arts, both Umeå University. I represented the Faculty of Arts in Umeå University's steering group for Interactive Environments. I have been a member of the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Communication and Computing, University of Copenhagen, and the reference group for Digital Humanities at Uppsala University.

Skelleftebygden, Skellefteå: Skelleftebygdens lokalhistoriska förening 2022, (2) : 12-13
Gelfgren, Stefan
The Oxford Handbook of Digital Religion, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2022 : C29.S1-C29.S8
Gelfgren, Stefan
Routledge international handbook of research methods in digital humanities, Oxon & New York: Routledge 2021 : 203-217
Foka, Anna; Cocq, Coppélie; Buckland, Philip I.; et al.
Uppsala: Svenska kyrkan 2021
Fransson, Sara; Gelfgren, Stefan; Jonsson, Pernilla
Corona och kyrkorna: Lärdomar, digitala möten och beredskap inför nästa kris, Stockholm: Libris 2021 : 133-151
Fransson, Sara; Gelfgren, Stefan; Jonsson, Pernilla
Conservative Religion and Mainstream Culture: Opposition, Negotiation, and Adaptation, Palgrave Macmillan 2021 : 17-35
Gelfgren, Stefan
Vårt budskap, Umeå: EFS Västerbotten 2021, Vol. 94, (3) : 7-7
Gelfgren, Stefan
Hembryggaren, Stockholm: Svenska hembryggareföreningen 2021, (2) : 8-11
Gelfgren, Stefan
Conservative Religion and Mainstream Culture: Opposition, Negotiation, and Adaptation, Palgrave Macmillan 2021 : 1-14
Gelfgren, Stefan; Lindmark, Daniel
Palgrave Studies in Lived Religion and Societal Challenges
Nordicom Review, De Gruyter Open 2020, Vol. 41, (2) : 179-193
Cocq, Coppélie; Gelfgren, Stefan; Samuelsson, Lars; et al.
Från nyläseri till bibelbälte: kyrka och väckelse i Västerbotten, Umeå: Luleå stiftshistoriska sällskap 2020 : 85-101
Gelfgren, Stefan
Disability & Society
Gelfgren, Stefan; Ineland, Jens; Cocq, Coppélie
Politics, Religion & Ideology, Taylor & Francis 2019, Vol. 20 : 148-150
Gelfgren, Stefan
Politics, Religion & Ideology, Routledge 2019, Vol. 20, (3) : 391-393
Gelfgren, Stefan
Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, Vol. 21, (1) : 238-249
Ineland, Jens; Gelfgren, Stefan; Cocq, Coppélie
Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018, Vol. 33, (2) : 264-278
Foka, Anna; Misharina, Anna; Arvidsson, Viktor; et al.
Inomkyrklig sekularisering, Umeå: Umeå Universitet 2018 : 83-100
Gelfgren, Stefan
Religionspädagogik in einer mediatisierten Welt, Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer GmbH 2017 : 131-145
Gelfgren, Stefan
Cultural Analysis, Berkeley: 2017, Vol. 16, (1) : 83-100
Gelfgren, Stefan
Religious education in a mediatized world, Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer GmbH 2017 : 125-137
Gelfgren, Stefan
Thule - Kungl. Skytteanska Samfundets årsbok, Umeå: Kungl. Skytteanska samfundet 2017 : 171--189
Gelfgren, Stefan
Digital humaniora: humaniora i en digital tid, Göteborg: Daidalos 2017 : 147-164
Gelfgren, Stefan; Foka, Anna
Digital humaniora: humaniora i en digital tid, Göteborg: Daidalos 2017 : 11-26
Gelfgren, Stefan; Pennlert, Julia
Nordicom Information, Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet 2016, Vol. 38, (3) : 71-71
Gelfgren, Stefan
Research methods for reading digital data in the digital humanities, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2016 : 93-110
Gelfgren, Stefan
Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, Stockholm University 2016, Vol. 5, (2) : 279-295
Gelfgren, Stefan
Nordicom Review, Nordicom 2015, Vol. 36, (1) : 109-123
Gelfgren, Stefan
Digital politik: sociala medier, deltagandeoch engagemang, Göteborg: Daidalos 2015 : 133-152
Gelfgren, Stefan
Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, St. John's College 2015, Vol. 4, (1) : 1-4
Gelfgren, Stefan
Religion: Konflikt och försoning, Lund: Förbundet kristen humanism 2015 : 178-179
Gelfgren, Stefan
Interaktiva medier och lärandemiljöer, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB 2014 : 101-112
Gelfgren, Stefan
Online - Heidelberg Journal for Religions on the Internet, Heidelberg: University of Heidelberg 2014, Vol. 6 : 42-65
Gelfgren, Stefan
Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, Oslo: Akademika forlag 2014, Vol. 27, (1) : 59-73
Gelfgren, Stefan; Hutchings, Tim
Umeå 1314–2014: 100 berättelser om 700 år, Umeå: Artos & Norma bokförlag 2013 : 359-364
Gelfgren, Stefan
Hybrid media culture: sensing place in a world of flows, London: Routledge 2013 : 123-138
Gelfgren, Stefan
Årsbok för kristen humanism
Gelfgren, Stefan
Temenos, the Finnish Society for the Study of Religion 2013, Vol. 49, (1) : 83-110
Gelfgren, Stefan
Human IT, Borås University 2013, (3)
Gelfgren, Stefan
Human IT, Borås: Högskolan i Borås 2012, Vol. 11, (3) : 83-87
Gelfgren, Stefan
Digital Religion, Social Media and Culture: Perspectives, Practices and Futures, New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group 2012 : 227-242
Gelfgren, Stefan
Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology, Brno: Faculty of Law, Masaryk University 2012, (1)
Gelfgren, Stefan
Axess, Stockholm: Axess Publishing AB 2012, (5) : 85-86
Gelfgren, Stefan
Digital Religion, Social Media and Culture: Perspectives, Practices and Futures, New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group 2012 : 293-306
Gelfgren, Stefan; Fischer-Nielsen, Peter
Multi-User Virtual Environments for the Classroom: Practical Approaches to Teaching in Virtual Worlds, Hershey: IGI Global 2011 : 31-46
Barrett, James; Gelfgren, Stefan
Religionspedagogisk tidskrift, Lomma: Religionspedagogiskt idéforum/Arbetsgemenskapen för religionspedagogik 2011, Vol. 22 : 6-8
Gelfgren, Stefan
Undervisning på tvären: student- och lärarerfarenheter: den nionde universitetspedagogiska konferensen 25-26 februari 2009 : konferensrapport, Umeå: Universitetspedagogiskt centrum (UPC), Umeå Universitet 2010 : 59-76
Barrett, Jim; Gelfgren, Stefan
Årsbok för kristen humanism och samhällssyn, förbundet för kristen humanism och samhällssyn 2010, Vol. 72
Gelfgren, Stefan

Research projects

1 January 2011 until 30 December 2016
26 February 2007 until 31 December 2010