The Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at CU Boulder seeks proposals for the development and maintenance of an online platform meant to foster conversation among participants in a scholarly project and present the project’s activities to the public. This includes creating a visual identity for the project.

While we are open to a variety of implementation options, we envision a developer working with us to creatively adapt an existing open-source platform—especially WordPress- or Drupal-based tools like Commons in a Box or BuddyPress—and to employ open standards and protocols wherever possible to expand the project’s reach across the digital commons.

The project, Public Religion and Public Scholarship in the Digital Age, will gather a working group of scholars and practitioners from the fields of religious studies and media studies in a three-year effort that will draw together cutting-edge work in theory, research, and knowledge-building about the way religion is evolving today in and through modern means of communication. It is made possible by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Budget

The budget for the platform component of the project is a maximum of $10,000 from beginning to end. This should include all consultation, initial development, and ongoing support until the project’s conclusion in December 2019. We will negotiate a payment structure that ensures timely payment and quality control.

Background

The Center for Media, Religion, and Culture is one of the very few institutions worldwide dedicated to building knowledge and expertise in the emerging field of media and religion studies. It draws on resources from a broad range of disciplines and seeks to engage scholars, professionals, students and interested publics to build knowledge about the ways that religion and media are interacting and evolving in contemporary global cultures. The center’s students and faculty are engaged in groundbreaking work at the intersection of media and religion. Their research has received recognition within a wide variety of disciplines from media studies, journalism, and religious studies to anthropology, art history, and business.

The project’s working group will meet twice yearly between 2017 and 2019. In the middle year, the project will hold an international conference intended to be an “agenda setting” opportunity for the fields of media studies and religious studies. In addition, it will hold expert interventions in the form of lectures, seminars, and workshops on its home campus, deepening and developing this conversation through its academic networks. The project will also design and carry out two workshops in its third year, one for younger faculty and one for graduate students, and will design and pilot a course on its home campus.

To tie these various efforts together, the project will develop a digital platform through which it will do its work and provide a model for how such work can be done. This platform will house and extend the various resources developed by the working group as well as outcomes of the project in the form of conventional written materials (including books, articles, popular press, and blog essays), visual accounts of research, archives, interactive spaces, and best-practice models.

Audience and users

  • Working group members, as a means of communication, exchange, and deliberation about the project’s activities and of interaction with users outside the group

  • Other project participants, including outside speakers and graduate students, as a means of becoming more fully involved in the project and its activities

  • Interested publics, such as journalists, scholarly peers, and outside professionals interested in keeping up to date on the project’s publications and other outcomes

Functionality

  • Private social network enabling threaded discussion, file-sharing, and project-related announcements with an intuitive interface

  • Public-facing publication of working papers and blog posts with attractive design and visual coherence

  • Adaptable CMS that allows project leaders to add static pages and navigation items

  • Cohesive look and feel across the platform, conveying a strong visual identity for the project

Timeline

A rough timeline is as follows:

  • Spring 2017 - Planning and design

  • Summer 2017 - Implementation and testing

  • Fall 2017 - Launch

  • 2018-2019 - Maintenance and minor additional development

Contact

Project proposals should be sent to Nathan Schneider nathan.schneider@colorado.edu by February 1, 2017. Preference will be given to developers in the Front Range area able to attend regular in-person meetings in Boulder.