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Book: Key Categories in the Study of Religion

Chapter: 4. The Material Production of Otherworldly Citizenship: From Paper to Digital Files to Bodies

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39444


This chapter explores the physical (including digitized) materials that authorize and produce citizenship, analyzing the varieties of alternative “nations” or “worlds” get imagined through these regimes of paperwork. In the first section, I ask how those imagined communities shape the discourses on identities and either challenge or maintain normative conceptions of American national identity. In the second section, I explore the move from paper to the digital (including biometrics) as mediators of citizenship, raising questions about the changes that digitization might bring in society’s relationship to identity formation and to memory.

Chapter Contributors

  • Lauren Griffin ( - lgriffin1) 'University of Oklahoma'