M.Phil., Religion, Columbia University, 2021
M.A., Religion, Columbia University, 2019
B.A., Religion and Art History, Vassar College, 2014
Connor Martini is a PhD Candidate in North American Religions at Columbia University. Connor received his BA from Vassar College in 2014, where he studied religion and art history. Connor joined Columbia University in 2017, earning his MA in 2019 and MPhil in 2021. Connor is interested in questions at the intersection of religious studies, science and technology studies, and anthropology. What can we learn about the natural sciences when we apply tools and concepts from religious studies, such as presence, wonder, and enchantment? What can we learn about religion and science when our inquiries are grounded in ethnography and materiality rather than intellectual history? Can we develop critical frameworks for understanding the power and influence of the sciences in contemporary America that account for the production of knowledge, the interests of knowledge producers, and the strange presences which certain scientific disciplines call into being? Connor’s dissertation will address these and other questions through an ethnographic study of astronomers and astrobiologists working on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).