Category Archives: Research

I am a Postdoctorate Fellow

I’m pleased to share that starting today, I will be a Postdoctorate Research and Teaching Fellow at UBC. Along with teaching several courses in the department of education, my research centers on the historical critique of media and technology. This entails reframing the current discourse of curriculum theory and history by focusing on the importance of media and technologies within the conceptualization of curriculum throughout history.

More to come.

PhD done!

I have successfully defended my PhD thesis! Now after a few more edits, I have uploaded my thesis to UBC’s circle (collection of theses and dissertations). You can find the link to my thesis HERE.

My PhD oral examination

Today, I will be defending my PhD thesis. The information is as follows:

The Final Oral Examination For the Degree of
(Curriculum Studies)

Yu-Ling Lee

Wednesday, May 10, 2017. 12:30 pm
Room 207, Anthropology and Sociology Building,
6303 Northwest Marine Drive


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to understand how religion and spirituality matter in the consumer use, design, and engineering of media and technology. Specifically, the research questions were: 1) What role do ethics and values perform in maker and hacker networks? 2) How are ethics and values integrated and manifested throughout the design process in maker or hacker networks? 3) What are the routines, rituals, and subjective well-being of participants in the maker or hacker design process? The research setting was the designers in the maker community in Vancouver and technologists associated with Code for the Kingdom in Seattle. All designers and technologists in Vancouver and Seattle have independent projects at various levels of collaboration. I recruited seven participants affiliated with the Vancouver maker community for in-depth analysis of their design process. In Seattle, I recruited two hackers who participated in Code for the Kingdom, a Christian organization that hosts hackathons for altruistic and religious purposes. Their focus on innovation, design methodologies, and critical making allowed me to discern their values and ethics through their design process. These participants have different perspectives on religion and spirituality, which make their technotheological networks complex. Case studies facilitated in-depth examination of makers and hackers as the main actors of our inquiry. The use of video in dialogue with ethnographic inquiry allowed for nuance, discerning complexities, and giving form to expression in designing technotheologies. Conceptually, the research is framed by actor-network theory (ANT) and value sensitive design (VSD), enabling the study to discern how participants discover, design artifacts, make meaning, develop values, and maintain a sense of the good life and well-being, emotional and spiritual. Findings indicate that among the makers and hackers, technotheological networks articulate specific values alongside technological creations, practices, and personal ways of being. In their own unique ways, these makers and hackers inquire into the materialized morality and design phases of ethically responsible decision making processes. Conversely, the non-human actors express their own values within technotheological networks. My role as a techno-theologian helped facilitate competing value claims by positing a normative focus and by temporarily opening black boxes.

Prof Richard Young (Counselling Psychology)

Supervisory Committee:
Prof Stephen Petrina, Research Supervisor (Curriculum Studies)
Prof E. Wayne Ross (Curriculum Studies)
Prof Francis Feng (Curriculum Studies)

University Examiners:
Prof Kerry Renwick (Curriculum Studies)
Prof Brian Wilson (Kinesiology)

External Examiner:
Prof Matt Ratto


Technotheologies in the Holy Land

WIRED has a documentary on YouTube called Holy Land: The Era of Permanent Revolution about the developing tech and innovation in Israel. This is a fascinating case study where techne readily meets theo. Certainly other issues of geography, politics, and education all come into play, however, for my purposes, this is an assembling of technotheologies.

YouTube Preview Image

Researching technotheologies: Introducing Code for the Kingdom Hackathons

My working thesis, so far,  is titled Designing technotheologies: Ethics, pedagogies, and spiritualities in maker actor-networks. In essence, my focus is to understand how religion or spirituality matter in the consumer use, design and engineering of media and technology. My research is aiming to distinguish how religion and spirituality contribute to ethical know-how in this area. In order to discern values and ethics throughout the design process, I am situating my research in the DIY community, maker culture, and hacker space.

Which is why, this past weekend, I went to Seattle to conduct research at Code for the Kingdom Seattle.

YouTube Preview Image

According to their website, Code for the Kingdom is described as: “A hackathon movement igniting the Christian passion and purpose of technologists and entrepreneurs to innovate culture shaping technologies that would reclaim our times for the Gospel”.

Hackathons are events where technologists collaborate for a set period of time on various software projects. These events are regular phenomenon in computer related workplaces and studies, yet there has never been a direct link to religiosity until the development of organizations such as Code for the Kingdom.

Code for the Kingdom specifically addresses the intersection of technology and theology through the medium of the hackathon. A more detailed description of their purpose as found on the website:

Code for the Kingdom is a weekend hackathon and ongoing ecosystem where global issues are tackled from a Christian perspective.

Join an incredible group of individuals who are applying their skills and experiences to advance common good and serve God’s Kingdom. In collaboration with innovative nonprofits and churches, we’ll write code and create technology to help release the oppressed, teach God’s Word, heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and support the church and the body of Christ.

Make a difference by writing much-needed code or designing beautiful interfaces. Find a community of peers who want to have fun while serving the Lord.

Code for the Kingdom is a new technological-theological phenomenon that I am hoping to capture in more detail as part of my research. I will report more details from my experience this past weekend in Seattle in the next post.