I am a researcher on the project Cultural Conflict 2.0 which is headed by Professor David Herbert. The project investigates the development of cultural conflicts, as well as production and reproduction of social order, via social media, collective rituals, city promotion and planning, etc. in different cities in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.

My research interests are located at the intersection of modern social and technological history, historiography and theory of history, and secularity studies and political theology. As a historian of modernity, I am interested in the material technological/performative mediation of “modern” concepts of temporality, autonomy, and immanence.

I have taught modules in the theory of history, religious studies, culture and communication, worldview pluralism, and philosophy of science. I have lectured on rhetoric, nineteenth-century British history, and theories of secularity and secularisation.


I am a historian (MA, PhD) with a background in English Studies and Journalism.

My PhD thesis (entitled ‘Time Machines’, June 2012) aimed to recast the question of secularization in Victorian England through critically drawing on the work of Charles Taylor in combination with the philosophy of Bruno Latour, and locating the ‘secular’ in the temporal dimension of particular social imaginaries and their technological performance – railways and national clock synchronization; newspapers and the public sphere; and bank notes and the economy. I am currently working on a monograph based on parts of the thesis.

Since completing the PhD thesis, I have continued to explore the meanings of secularity and post secularity, and the intersections of political theology, historiographical theory and new materialism.


Fisher-Høyrem Stefan “If It Teaches, It Teaches Imperceptibly”: Recasting the Secularity of the Victorian Public Sphere (2017). Journal of Religious History. ISSN 0022-4227. Early View doi: 10.1111/1467-9809.12452

Fisher-Høyrem Stefan Sekulariteter og postsekulariteter: Notater til en femdelt typologi (2016). DIN: Religionsvitenskapelig tidsskrift . ISSN 1501-9934. (2), s 48 – 78

Fisher-Høyrem Stefan Charles Taylor and Political Religion: Overlapping Concerns and Points of Tension (2013). Religion Compass . ISSN 1749-8171. 7 (8), s 326 – 337


Cultural Conflict 2.0

Cultural Conflict 2.0 investigates in what ways and to what extent social media is reshaping social relations in culturally diverse areas of large and small cities in Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands. We especially look at how cultural conflict is created, circulated, handled and dealt with both on social media platforms and at their intersection with life in the physical city.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

Social Media and Social Order

This international conference will investigate how social media re-inscribe social order—asserting established ways in which social groups are assigned their proper place in the city or the nation. Social media are frequently imagined as vectors of transformation and disruption, and as a result very little existing research considers the continuities and conservative schemas that are reproduced by these platforms. The conference will make up for this blind spot by placing the symbols, institutions, rituals, socially induced emotions and everyday social interactions mediated and produced by digital media at the center. When, how and why do social media serve to reproduce rather than to challenge the existing order? Under which conditions, and on what levels, can challenges to the social order occur? What difference does it make to regard social media not just as a conduit but also as a site of social order?

The conference will pursue these questions by considering cases and identifying mechanisms through which social media both re-inscribe and challenge social order. These will range across several fields, including urban life, public debate, social movements, community dynamics, and religious or cultural conflict. The conference will also reflect on methodological issues in studying the social media/social order nexus, such as the relationship between computational and qualitative approaches. We will also consider the relative merits of various theoretical perspectives, including mediatisation, actor–network, figurational and practice theories.

The conference will feature reports from Cultural Conflict 2.0, a three-year project on digital media and cultural conflict funded by the Research Council of Norway based at the University of Agder, Norway, and the University of Amsterdam.

Presentations can deal with the following topics under the broader conference theme of Social Media & Social Order:

  • Racialized, classed and gendered ordering through social media

  • How do social media impinge on local community relations?

  • Memes, fake news and the far-right ascendancy

  • Building alternate and activist social media to challenge social order

  • The puzzle of aesthetic homogeneity and conformity on social media

  • How hierarchy is established in digital networks

  • Negotiating online and face-to-face encounters

  • The relationship between ‘legacy’ and social media in the structuring of social order

  • The logic of mutual affirmation in global/online vs. local/offline interactions



Associate Fellow, Academy of Higher Education

International Network for the Theory of History

Secularity and Nonreligion Research Network

The Nordic Network on Media and Religion

Stefan Fisher-Høyrem

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Active 3 years, 9 months ago