“Let’s treat our digital lives as if they have important things to teach us about what it means to be human.”
The Lutheran Center is excited to welcome Minneapolis-based author, activist, and professor Chris Stedman on Tuesday, March 9, 2021! Stedman is the author of IRL (In Real Life): Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives, which was this winter’s All-Community Read, and is a 2020-21 visiting lecturer with the Network for ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU). Stedman’s visit will focus on IRL, exploring questions of what it means to be “real” online, and what we can learn from the novel ways of being and belonging that are emerging online. These topics are especially relevant as we continue to increasingly interact online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Register below for Stedman’s event on March 9:
St. Olaf Daily Chapel
11:10a.m. CT, Boe Chapel*
*Only students, faculty, and staff on campus can attend chapel in-person in Boe Chapel. Others who are interested in watching Stedman’s chapel talk may livestream it.
Stream Stedman’s Chapel Service
Taylor Center Out for Lunch session: LGBTQIA+ Identity and the Internet (open to St. Olaf students, faculty, and staff)
11:45a.m. – 12:45p.m. CT
For many LGBTQIA+ people, the internet was the first place they could find connection, support, and resources—the first place they could truly feel like themselves. But the internet can also empower those who wish to harass or harm LGBTQIA+ people and members of other marginalized communities. In this “Out for Lunch” session, Chris Stedman (author of IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives) will share some of his own journey as a queer person online, and explore what we can learn from the digital experiences of LGBTQIA+ people about the challenges and opportunities of navigating life online.
What Can We Learn about Being Human from Life Online?
For much of history, humans have grappled with questions of meaning and belonging. Today, more and more people are leaving religious and other communal institutions and moving their search for connection and significance to digital spaces. Especially in the time of social distancing and online learning, the work of being human—exploring life’s big questions, finding a sense of identity and context, and connecting with others—increasingly happens on the internet. How is this changing our understanding of who we are?
Join Stedman for a conversation with Lutheran Center Director Deanna Thompson ’89 about his new book IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives, what it means to be “real” in the time of Twitter and TikTok, and what we can learn from the novel ways of being and belonging that are emerging online. The conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A.