JHI-CDHI Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow, 2024-25

January 8, 2024 by Sonja Johnston

The JHI is pleased to announce our 2024-25 JHI-CDHI Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow—Chris Miller. Chris will join us during our Undergrounds/Underworlds theme year.

Chris Miller (Ph.D. Religious Studies, University of Waterloo, 2022) is a sociologist of religion, and most recently held a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Nonreligion in a Complex Future project at the University of Ottawa. His research explores how academic sub-fields develop and how marginal communities interact with research. His current projects examine death, dying, and nonreligion, through analyses of obituaries, Death Cafés, and green burials. In other research projects he explores broader themes including New Religious Movements, popular culture, and social media.

Fellowship Project

Green Burial: Reimagined Approaches to Going ‘Underground’

This project uses the term green burial to describe the growing list of alternatives to traditional burial that people are exploring. From forest burial to aquamation and human composting, Canadians increasingly seek creative innovations for their final resting place. Through analyzing material posted online, interviewing activists, organizations, and customers, and visiting cemeteries and other sites, this project uncovers the motivations behind these practices. These range from minimizing environmental impact to putting oneself more in touch with nature. Since mortuary practices often reflect beliefs about what happens after death, this project also examines changing imaginaries of religion, spirituality, and the afterlife.