SJMC’s Mike Wagner Part of UW Team Receiving Luce/ACLS Grant

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) on Monday announced three universities each receiving a $60,000 award to study religion, journalism and international affairs. A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers, SJMC’s Mike Wagner along with Susan B. Ridgely of the Religious Studies program, were named as recipients of one of the awards.

“This program fosters collaborations between scholars and journalists around a critical issue—the complex role of religion in international affairs,” said John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS. “This year’s supported projects not only promote greater public understanding of religion but also develop new interdisciplinary partnerships on university campuses.”

The award granted to Wagner and Ridgely will support a two-year series of workshops addressing how superficial local news coverage of issues involving international relations and religion may hinder a citizen’s understanding of more complex policymaking and what scholars and journalists can do about it.

Wagner is an associate professor with SJMC whose research and teaching focuses on multiple perspectives, including religion, politics and journalism, and how they each influence how well democracy works.