Larissa Carneiro

Research and Project

From master’s study to the present, my research interests have occupied the intersection of media/technology, science, and religion. This consists of three overarching themes involving the relationship between: science and technology, religion and technology, and the ways in which media and technology (material culture in a broader sense) contribute to the production of both religion and science. I took an MA in Communication in Brazil, focusing on the technological construction of the sacred on Islamic websites. More specifically, I argued that affordances of the digital environment (temporality, multimedia, and memory/database) allowed it to imbricate older media (icon painting and manuscript illumination) that were traditionally used to visualize sacred persons in a way that suited the production of online hagiographies of suicide bombers. This research on the relationship between religion and technology led me to North Carolina State University, where I earned my Ph.D. in Communication Rhetoric, and Digital Media.

My research is guided by the desire to understand the role that techno-scientific representations play in the construction of reality. In other words, how technologies (e.g., telescopes, microscopes, computers, and other instruments for measurement) work as tools for rhetorical argumentation and persuasion in scientific claims. My doctoral dissertation centered on the relationship among the rhetorics of science, technology, and religion, scrutinizing how they affect and intersect with one another. Steeped in the rhetoric of science and in the sociology of science developed by Bruno Latour, the dissertation scrutinizes how scientific progress and technological development have affected the way Protestant Fundamentalists interpret the Bible as a modern book composed of scientific facts.